How long do most people sleep globally – and which regions feel most sleep deprived?

Samuel TanAPAC Data Journalist / B2B Content Manager
March 13, 2024, 7:09 AM GMT+0

World Sleep Day falls on March 15 this year with the annual event seeking to raise awareness of the importance of restorative sleep as a key pillar of health.

So how many hours of sleep do you need for optimal health – and how many are people getting? The answer to the first question according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS), is an average of seven hours of sleep every night – sleeping any less “on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes”.

But how much sleep are people actually getting? The theme for World Sleep Day in 2024 – Sleep Equity for Global Health – aims to draw attention to “measurable differences in sleep health” that persist across populations worldwide today. Now, an international study by YouGov sheds light on just how much sleep various populations across the globe get in a typical night – and the countries whose denizens most feel deprived of sleep.

How many hours do people around the world typically sleep every night?

Latest research from YouGov Surveys has found that over half of residents across 17 international markets report sleeping seven or more hours on a typical night.

Among the markets polled, Denmark (67%) and Germany (65%) had the highest proportion of such residents at over two in three, followed by France (62%), Spain (61%) and India (60%).

On the other hand, less than half of residents in Indonesia (48%), UAE (45%) and Singapore (44%) enjoy an average of seven or more hours of sleep each night.

About a fifth in UAE and Singapore (both 21%) say they typically sleep 5 hours or less, while almost a quarter of in Indonesia (24%) say the same.

Additionally, among the markets polled, the USA has the highest percentage of residents who are unsure how many hours they sleep on average each night (7%).

Wishing for more shuteye: how markets compare in their proportion of residents who feel sleep deprived

But what proportion of sub-7h sleepers actually want to sleep more?

YouGov Surveys research also show that the vast majority of residents across markets who sleep less than 7 hours a night would ideally like to clock more snooze time.

Over nine in ten of sub-7h sleepers in Spain (92%), Hong Kong (91%), Mexico (91%) and Poland (90%) wish they could sleep more than they typically do each night, as do over eight in ten in GB (89%), Italy (88%), Singapore (87%), Denmark (86%), Canada (85%), Australia (84%), France (82%) and Sweden (81%).

However, a significantly lower proportion of sub-7h sleepers in India (57%) indicate their ideal sleep duration as seven or more hours, compared to other international markets polled.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 510 and 2,044 for each market. All surveys were conducted online during December 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Cover photo by sukanya sitthikongsak