Millennials clock more sleep than Gen X


Housework, shopping, pet care, or sleep: How do you spend your time? The answer may depend on when you were born.

A recent study reports that millennials slept 22 minutes per day longer than their Generation X counterparts, which researchers say may reflect shifting attitudes about the importance of sleep.

Younger generation gets more shuteye

The study, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, used data from the American Time Use Survey to examine how millennials and Generation X spent their time on an average day.

Millennials – people born between 1981 and 1996 – were surveyed in 2019, when they were age 23 to 38. Generation X – people born between 1965 and 1980 – were surveyed in 2003, when they were age 23 to 38.

The survey looked at how many hours each day people in each generation spent engaging in various activities, including sleeping.

On average, millennials spent 8.9 hours per day sleeping in 2019, compared to Gen X’s 8.5 hours in 2003. This amounts to 22 minutes more per day. While that does not seem like much time in a single day, it adds up to a significant difference in sleep over time.

Changing attitudes toward sleep

What’s to thank for millennials’ longer sleep times?

There are important societal differences between millennials and Generation X to consider. Millennials are less likely to be married, own a house, or have children. They’re more likely to have advanced degrees and be employed.

Millennials reported less time spent on childcare, housework, and lawn care compared to Gen X, which may allow them more time to spend on personal care activities, such as sleep, exercise, and leisure time.

“Sleeping a lot was considered lazy [among baby boomers]. We now respect the fact that more sleep is good for our health,” Michelle Freeman, author of the study, told the Associated Press.

The sleep habits of millennials could reflect a shifting attitude toward the importance of sleep and positively influence future generations.

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