Sleepless in America: 34% in Bed after Midnight, 29% up by 6 AM; ACNielsen Survey Finds Late Bedtime Hours Are Common Around the World

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.--()--April 4, 2005--With work and family schedules squeezing sleep time, America is becoming a nation of both night owls and early birds. More than one-third (34%) of U.S. adults go to bed after midnight during the week, while nearly the same number (29%) are out of bed by 6 a.m., according to a new study of sleep habits from ACNielsen, the world's leading provider of consumer and marketplace information.

Looking at the time people go to bed, ACNielsen's multinational study found that the U.S. certainly isn't the only night-owl nation. In fact, when comparing the percentage of adults who go to bed after midnight, the U.S. ranked 11th out of the 28 markets studied across three major geographic regions.

An average of 37% of adults the world over aren't usually tucked into bed until after midnight. By region, 40% of adults in Asia Pacific burn the midnight oil compared with 32% of Europeans.

Of the top five globally ranked night-owl markets, three are Asian; the other two are Mediterranean countries.

             Top Night-Owl Nations - In Bed After Midnight

Rank  Country                   Between      After     Total after
                              12 - 1 a.m.    1 a.m.      12 a.m.
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  1   Portugal                     47%         28%         75%
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  2   Taiwan                       34%         35%         69%
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  3   Korea                        43%         25%         68%
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  4   Hong Kong                    35%         31%         66%
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  5   Spain                        45%         20%         65%
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 11   United States                17%         17%         34%
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"The Internet, laptop computers, PDAs, cell phones, and ever-rising expectations about what one can get done in a day have created a 24/7 global culture," said ACNielsen Chief Marketing Officer Tom Markert. "The implications for the consumer packaged goods industry are far-reaching. There are certainly additional opportunities for manufacturers of eat-on-the-go foods and products positioned as late-night snacks. However, with recent research linking the lack of sleep with a host of health problems, there also may be opportunities for companies to 'sell' consumers on the idea of slowing down."

Not surprisingly, bedtimes differ quite a bit by age. In the U.S., young people tend to stay up the latest, with 55% of those aged 18-20 staying up past midnight; the earliest-to-bed are older people, with 25% of those 60 and older in bed by 10 p.m.

What time do you normally go to bed during the week?  U.S. Respondents
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                 Total    Age     Age      Age      Age     Age    Age
                         18-20   21-29    30-39    40-49   50-59   60+
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Before 8 p.m.      1%      5%      1%       0%       0%      1%     0%
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  8-9 p.m.         2%      0%      2%       3%       2%      0%     7%
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  9-10 p.m.       11%      0%      6%      13%       8%     15%    18%
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  10-11 p.m.      27%     15%     22%      37%      27%     22%    18%
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  11 p.m.-12 a.m. 26%     25%     28%      18%      30%     33%    21%
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  12-1 a.m.       17%     20%     19%      17%      15%     19%    11%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
  After 1 a.m.    17%     35%     22%      13%      19%     10%    25%
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Judging from the markets for over-the-counter sleep-related remedies, it appears that perhaps more people would like to get more sleep, with sleeping aids outselling anti-sleep products in the U.S. by more than two-to-one.

                                     Volume (capsules,    % Change Vs.
                                        tablets, etc.)       Year Ago
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Sleeping Aids                             599,281,701            +0.8%
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Anti-Sleep Products                       237,326,508            +1.7%
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Source: ACNielsen Strategic Planner, 52 weeks ending 12/28/04,
food/drug/mass merchandise (excluding Wal-Mart) stores combines

The National Institutes of Health estimates that some 70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Yet only six percent of U.S. households buy over-the-counter sleeping aids according to ACNielsen Homescan(R) consumer panel data.

"Clearly, there is some upside potential for sleeping aid manufacturers and the retailers that sell such products," said ACNielsen's Markert. "People understand a lot about the downside to sleepiness - that it makes it more difficult to concentrate and makes driving more dangerous. However, with links now being discovered between sleep deprivation and both diabetes and obesity, more and more people who find it hard to get adequate sleep will likely turn to over-the-counter or prescription remedies."

As for what time people start their day, 29% of American adults are out of bed by 6 a.m., compared to 25% of those in Asia Pacific and 15% of Europeans. Leading the market-by-market rankings globally are the Indonesians, with 72% out of bed by 6 a.m., followed by 55% of Vietnamese.


                Top Early Birds - Up Before 6 a.m.

                                          Between    Before    Total
Rank  Country                             5-6 a.m.   5 a.m.   Before 
                                                              6 a.m.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
  1   Indonesia                              50%      22%       72%
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  2   Vietnam                                44%      11%       55%
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  3   Philippines                            29%      12%       41%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
  4   Germany                                22%       7%       29%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
  4   United States                          23%       6%       29%
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In the U.S., the earliest risers are people in their prime earning years; one-third or more of those aged 30-59 are out of bed by 6 a.m.

 What time do you normally get up during the week?  U.S. Respondents
----------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Total   Age     Age     Age    Age     Age    Age
                            18-20   21-29   30-39  40-49   50-59   60+
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Before 5 a.m.         6%      0%      2%      8%     7%      9%     4%
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5-6 a.m.             23%      5%     13%     25%    27%     26%    21%
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6-7 a.m.             31%     15%     21%     40%    35%     27%    32%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
7-8 a.m.             18%     20%     29%     14%    14%     20%    11%
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8-9 a.m.              9%     20%     10%      4%     8%     13%    14%
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After 9 a.m.         13%     40%     24%     10%     9%      6%    18%
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Despite having a high percentage of early-risers, the U.S. is also a nation of sleepy-heads. Thirteen percent of U.S. adults don't get out of bed until after 9 a.m., ranking the U.S. second only to Taiwan as a nation of late risers among the 28 markets studied by ACNielsen (Hong Kong and Spain, each also at 13%, were tied for second place with the U.S.). The night-owl Taiwanese, by far, are the last out of bed in the morning, with 26% not getting up until after 9 a.m. By region, 8% of adults in Asia Pacific and 7% of adults in Europe rose after 9 a.m.

The youngest American adults are most likely to sleep in; 40% of those aged 18-20 do not get up until after 9 a.m.

In terms of total sleep hours, the U.S. is in the top 10 when it comes to getting little sleep, with 19% getting six hours or less during the week. The Japanese top the list, with 41% getting six hours or less. On the other hand, the U.S. also makes the top ten when it comes to sleeping in, with 18% getting nine hours or more during the week. Australians top that list with 31% getting nine hours or more. Neighboring New Zealanders came in second at 28%.

Globally, both "Work Hours" and "Habit" were selected by nearly half of all respondents as major factors dictating their sleep schedule. By region, 54% of Europeans claimed "Work Hours" more than "Habit" (41%) determined their sleep schedule, particularly among younger respondents. Both Americans and Asians rated "Habit" as the biggest driver of sleep hours. It's worth noting that one-third of Americans were influenced by their "Family/Children" in their sleep schedule - double that of Europeans (17%) and Asians (16%).

The ACNielsen Survey was conducted in October 2004 over the Internet in 28 markets across Asia Pacific, Europe and the U.S., with more than 14,000 adults participating. In Vietnam, the survey was conducted face-to-face.

About ACNielsen

ACNielsen, a VNU business, is the world's leading marketing information provider. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the unit provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behavior. Clients rely on ACNielsen's market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns. To learn more, visit www.acnielsen.com.

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Contacts

ACNielsen
Matt Bell, 847-605-5686
mbell@acnielsen.com

Contacts

ACNielsen
Matt Bell, 847-605-5686
mbell@acnielsen.com