May 27, 2024

News and Political Commentary

Gen Zers and millennials set an early bedtime

2 min read

Take one last look at the night owl, because it’s becoming extinct— or at the very least a rare bird. The sun is seemingly setting on the nation’s tradition of the youth going out and staying up late. Americans are trudging through a loneliness epidemic, an economy marked by high inflation, a world rife with socioeconomic turmoil and climate change. It’s enough to make people get a little sleepy. 

Gen Zers and millennials are tuning into the wellness space and turning in especially early, as the Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Wolfe reports that young adults are going to bed around 9 p.m. Part of what is happening is a greater access to information and lifestyle trends, as health influencers take off on TikTok. But data points to a larger societal change across generations, as the economy and current state of the world impose new living habits.

It might not seem like a tidal wave level-change, but it’s a ripple that might represent what is to come. Compared to just one year ago, people of all ages are going to bed earlier and sleeping more. The average bedtime has been bumped from 10:19 last year to 10:09 these days, per data from Sleep Number.

First off, we can’t ignore the pandemic’s role in this society of sleepytime tea bears. Americans slowly started to sleep more throughout the last decade, but once COVID-19 struck they began to snooze more, according to the American Time Use Survey from the Labor Department. The difference becomes especially pronounced when looking at younger and older adults, as respondents aged 25 to 34 went from sleeping 8.52 hours in 2003 to 9.07 hours in 2022. In 2018, these young respondents were sleeping  8.78 hours on average, a number that jumped to 9.04 just two years later. Boomers too are resting more, experiencing the greatest increase in sleep times from 2019 to 2022. 

It’s no coincidence that the people sleeping the most are also the ones most likely to be struck by the rising loneliness…

Chloe Berger

2024-02-08 14:51:07

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