88% of US adults sacrifice sleep to binge-watch shows, survey reveals

This is despite ranking sleep as the No. 2 most important thing to them

Long gone are the days you could watch only one episode of your favorite show each week.

With the abundance of streaming services available, we can plop down on the couch and spend the entire day with “Jack Ryan” or even “Lucifer.”

Quite often, a new survey found, those “days” spent binge-watching a favorite show continue into the night, and people are sacrificing a good night’s sleep in order to be up to date on “Atypical” or “Riverdale.”

In the survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, U.S. adults ranked sleep as their second priority, behind family. However, 88% of the survey respondents said they stayed up late to watch multiple episodes of a show. That percentage jumps to 95 for 18- to 44-year-olds.

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“It’s encouraging that Americans rank sleep as one of their highest priorities, but choosing to binge on entertainment at night instead of sleeping has serious ramifications,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “Sleep is essential to health, well-being and safety, and chronic insufficient sleep can lead to an increased risk of health problems, mood disorders and motor vehicle accidents.”

A January study by National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid found that people who don't get enough sleep increase their risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease — regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.

And a study published this week in Nature found that not sleeping enough can lead to changes in the brain that are linked to higher levels of anxiety.

» Dealing with anxiety? Deep sleep may help, researchers say

The AASM survey aslo found:

  • Streaming: 88% of American adults — and 95% of 18- to 44-year-olds — have lost sleep because they stayed up to watch multiple episodes of a TV show or streaming series. While those 45 and older were the least likely to lose sleep from binge-watching, 80% have done so.
  • Video games: Young adults 18 to 34 (72%) were more likely than those 35 and older (38%) to have stayed up to play video games. Men (59%) were more likely to postpone sleep for gaming than women (42%).
  • Reading: Women (71%) make up a majority of night-readers; they were more likely than men (61%) to have lost sleep staying up with a book. Overall, two-thirds of U.S. adults have lost sleep because of reading.
  • Watching sports: While almost 60% of all U.S. adults have stayed up past their bedtime to watch sports, men were more likely to do so. Seventy-five percent of men admit they lost sleep watching sporting events on TV, compared with only 45% of women. Additionally, 25- to 54-year-olds (54%) were more likely than other age ranges (51%) to have stayed up for overtime or extra innings.

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