Over the past year or so, Samsung has become a lot more involved with the sleep-tracking aspect of its Health platform. Its smartwatches are better at sleep-tracking thanks to new One UI Watch updates, and the company is often conducting studies, trying to optimize methods of helping its customers get well rested.
Samsung has just published its findings of one such sleep study. The company says it conducted one of the largest single sleep health studies ever undertaken, analyzing results from approximately 716 million nights of sleep collected through Samsung Health and the Galaxy Watch series between June 2021 and May 2023.
The results gathered from this expansive study suggest that more and more people are tracking their sleep, but sleep quality has unfortunately decreased. The number of users who actively track their sleep has increased by 182% in the past two years, yet sleep efficiency and quality are declining everywhere and for everyone.
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People sleep less and stay awake more during sleep
Samsung has discovered that the average sleep duration has declined across the globe from 7 hours and 3 minutes to 6 hours and 59 minutes, which is just below the 7-hour threshold recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
And while sleep duration declined, awake times during sleep have increased, which ultimately leads to a decline in sleep efficiency — a ratio of actual time asleep versus the total time spent in bed each night.
Samsung found that these sleep trends are happening to everyone, everywhere, regardless of demographic or region. Over the course of two years, sleep duration and efficiency declined across all sexes, age groups, and regions.
Likewise, the study shows that sleep debt negatively contributes to global sleep issues. Sleep debt is a measure of sleep inconsistency determined by the ratio between sleep durations on weekdays and weekends.
Studies show that sleeping more on the weekends than on weekdays, i.e., creating sleep debt, affects sleep quality. And according to Samsung, Health users in their 20s had nearly double the sleep debt recorded by users in their 70s.
Most Samsung Health users are ‘Nervous Penguins'
The Sleep Coaching feature in Samsung Health assigns one of eight animal symbols to users once they have accumulated sleep data for at least 7 days. Each animal symbol represents a different combination of sleep habits and patterns of sleep time, sleep consistency, and awake time.
Samsung found that the majority of Samsung Health users are “Nervous Penguins,” which means they maintain healthy circadian rhythms during sleep but frequently experience interruptions during sleep.
The study also shows that older Health users tend to have the “Cautious Deer” assignment, which means they have shorter sleep duration and higher awake times. Meanwhile, people in their 20s are more often “Sensitive Hedgehogs” and “Sun Averse Moles,” as they exhibit higher sleep inconsistency.
Other interesting findings:
- Sleep efficiency is trending downward for males and females, but females experienced the more notable decline.
- Older users aged over 70 exhibited a greater decline in sleep efficiency.
- On average, North Americans recorded the greatest decline in sleep efficiency, while Asians recorded the least.
- Excluding North America and Europe, people in all other regions sleep less than 7 hours a night on average.
Through its studies, the tech giant also found that people who are using the Sleep Coaching tool in Samsung Health are getting better sleep after just two months of coaching. “Exhausted Sharks,” which record the lowest sleep quality, have experienced the most benefits from using Sleep Coaching.
With the One UI Watch 5 update that debuted on the Galaxy Watch 6 series, Sleep Coaching is now accessible directly from the wrist.