The study, which used participants’ Apple Watch data, revealed that the average amount of sleep for participants was 6 hours and 27 minutes, for those who shared at least 10 days of data. In addition, more than 29 percent of the survey participants got less than 6 hours of sleep.
Overall, the study had more than 42,000 participants.
The study is the first part of an eight-part series that ties into the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8, which educates people on the eight important aspects of heart health: better sleep, better diet, more physical activity, weight management, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and no smoking.
The American Heart Association recommends humans get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. Less than optimal sleep increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia, depression, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and obesity.
Study: If you live in Hawaii, you likely aren’t sleeping great
The hospital study revealed that people in Washington, Idaho and South Dakota had the highest proportion of participants hitting their sleep goal, while Hawaii, Mississippi and West Virginia had the lowest.
The study also showed that participants tended to go to bed before midnight on weekdays 66.4 percent of the time, but on weekends, that number dropped to 56.6 percent.
How to get better sleep
The hospital offered tips on how to improve your sleep habits:
Measure your sleep: Apple Watch offers a sleep measurement app, as do other wearables, such as Fitbit and the Whoop strap. You can also use a bedside monitor or a monitor that either goes under your mattress or sheets.
Establish a routine: The study recommends setting a target bedtime and a time to wake up. Limit screen time before bed to allow the brain to wind down.
Be consistent: It can be difficult to get exactly 7-9 hours every night, but the study reminds us that the goal here is over the long term, and hitting 7-9 hours more often will help.
In addition, the American Heart Association listed the benefits of good, consistent sleep:
Healing and repair of cells, tissues and blood vessels
Stronger immune system
Improved mood and energy
Better brain function including alertness, decision-making, focus, learning, memory, reasoning and problem-solving.