Archive for April, 2011

Sleepless in Our Culture

April 18, 2011 – #8

Everywhere we look – from air traffic control towers to the front row at the President’s deficit speech – we’re seeing people asleep on the job. Even Arianna Huffington, arguably the very personification of focus and ambition, revealed at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference that she was so sleep deprived she landed face-first on her desk and ended up with a broken cheekbone and stitches.

Now we hear that the government’s own records show that “more than 20% of the nation’s air-traffic controllers work at least one midnight shift in 14 days, which puts them at risk of falling asleep or making critical safety errors.” (Source: USA Today)

Cliff Owens/Associated Press

And yet none of us seem terribly surprised by all this. Maybe that’s because the rest of us, whether we work a midnight shift or not, don’t feel very good about our own sleep habits.

Only 26% of Americans give a “Grade A” to the amount of sleep they get, according to our DYG SCAN® findings.

And that number, by the way, lines up closely with how Americans grade their own health, looks, and fitness.

Watch for a cultural status shift from “I don’t need much sleep” posturing to the new holy grail: the ability to pull off a healthy night’s sleep.

Business Implications: As sleep (both quantity and quality) becomes a status marker of how together we are in controlling our own lives, the market grows for whatever makes our sleep life more beautiful and achievable. Consumers are hungry for anything that somehow helps them reach that ever-elusive goal: healthful sleep.

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