Falling asleep is harder for Gen Z than millennials, but staying asleep is hard for both: study

Falling asleep is harder for Gen Z than millennials, but staying asleep is hard for both: study

Anthony Robledo
 USA TODAYplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}New study claims night mode doesn’t help with sleepA new study by Brigham Young University suggests “night modes” actually have little impact on a person’s sleep.unbranded – Lifestyle, unbranded – Lifestyle

Routinely having a good night’s sleep is often a challenge for many millennials and Generation Z, but not for the same reasons, a recent study found. 

Mental health brand Calm released their Snooze Report which analyzed sleep among different generations in the U.S. and U.K. The study found millennials and Gen Zers both face sleep barriers often impacted by caffeine and news consumption that vary between each other. 

“A lot of people just lump those two groups together and that would not be the case,” clinical psychologist and Calm’s Chief Clinical Officer Chris Mosunic told USA TODAY. “They’re only a few years apart so it’s pretty crazy to see how rapidly just a few years can separate a sleep pattern.”

Mosunic said a major distinction that stood out to him was that Gen Zers are not falling asleep nearly as fast as millennials. Falling asleep is difficult for 46% of Gen Z and for just 25% of millennials, the study found. Mosunic said technology use is a major reason why. 

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The report found that Gen Z is 26% more likely to be kept up by prolonged technology use than millennials. Meanwhile, 28% of millennials reported that prolonged technology use is rarely or never a problem when it comes to falling asleep. 

“[Gen Zers] are using tech much more frequently right before they go to bed. So, they’re going to bed with their phone in their hand and essentially not able to go to sleep,” Mosunic shared. 

Gen Zers also tend to experience vivid dreams and remember their dreams more than millennials, which Mosunic explained means they’re not entering as deep of a state of sleep as they should. 

Millennials vs Gen Z’s reasons for lack of good sleep

While millennials often have an easier time falling asleep compared to Gen Zers, both groups struggle to stay asleep.

The report found that 1 in 4 millennials struggle to control their caffeine intake, 14% higher than Gen Zers. Additionally, Gen Zers are 20% less likely to consume alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol before bed worsen the chances of receiving sound and healthy sleep, Mosunic shared. 

Multiple actors indicate why Gen Zers struggle getting good sleep at night. The study found that 25% of Gen Z say having a good morning routine that would improve their sleep quality is difficult. 

And thinking about current events makes sleep difficult for 38% of Gen Z but just 29% of millennials.

Gen Z dream about dying and social media more than millennials

The report also found that different fears and stresses impact dreams between the two age groups.

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Gen Z is 57% more likely to have dreams involving death than millennials. 

The younger generation is also 76% more likely to have a dream where they were in a video game (14%) and 30% more likely to dream about social media interactions (12%).

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Are you Gen Z or millennial?  

Gen Z birthdates typically span from 1997 to 2012 while millennials are usually considered to be born between 1981 and 1996.

What is good sleep?

Mosunic said while most people view sleep as a motor switch between on and off, the quality of sleep is actually determined through four brainwaves: beta (awake), alpha, theta and delta (deep dreamless sleep). 

“If you don’t go all the way down to delta waves and REM sleep, you’re not getting really deep sleep,” Mosunic shared. 

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