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New Survey Shows Stress Over the Past Year Is Negatively Impacting the Quality of Sleep for Half of Americans


Nationwide survey from ResMed finds sleep quality impacted more for women 
High prevalence of snoring and low concern for potential health impacts point to the need for increased sleep apnea awareness

SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2021 – ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD), a world-leading digital health company, announced today the results of a nationwide survey of 1,000 adults, which revealed that for half of Americans, stress over the past year is negatively impacting the quality of their sleep – and many are ignoring sleep challenges that could point to a larger underlying health concern. 

ResMed published the survey in conjunction with National Sleep Awareness Week (March 14-20) and World Sleep Day (March 19), and as part of Sleep for a Better Tomorrow, an education and outreach initiative to build awareness of the critical role good sleep plays in physical and mental health – and how to get our best sleep.

“COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives, including our sleep health, leading many people to struggle to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep at night,” said Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., chief medical officer for ResMed. 

Beyond the pervasive effects of stress, the survey found the impacts on sleep vary across gender and working arrangements.

  • 35% of women reported worse sleep quality in the past year compared to just 26% of men. Women selected stress and anxiety as the most significant impacts on their sleep. 
  • More individuals working from home reported improved sleep quality since the pandemic began vs. those who haven’t worked from home (39% vs. 21%). 
  • Across all respondents, more than one-third say they are having a harder time falling asleep, and nearly one-third say they are sleeping less over the last year, and one-quarter started taking naps more often.

Snoring and sleep apnea
While COVID-related stresses are often noticeable, one of the biggest stealers of our sleep might be something we can’t easily detect: sleep apnea.

The survey revealed that more than one in two Americans say they snore, or a bed partner has told them they snore, yet 78% of those who snore aren’t concerned it could be related to an underlying health condition, despite snoring being a top symptom of sleep apnea. Additionally, nearly half of survey respondents said their doctor had not asked them about their sleep quality, reinforcing the importance of consumers being aware of the potential health impacts of poor sleep and acting on key sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring.

“While data show that stress and worry are key factors impacting many people’s sleep, now is an opportunity for everyone to take measure of all of the factors that could be impacting the quality of their sleep, which could include sleep disorders that can have negative long-term impacts to overall health,” said Nunez.

Everyone experiences a lousy night of sleep once in a while; however, those who experience ongoing sleep issues could be dealing with a more significant underlying health condition. Most survey respondents who snore overwhelmingly discount the potential health impacts, yet snoring is the most prevalent symptom of sleep apnea—one of the most common sleep disorders. Over 54 million adults in the U.S. have sleep apnea, but more than 80% don’t know they have it. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea may increase your risk for developing other chronic and life-threatening conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. 

“Sleep apnea can impact all types of people from all walks of life, and while some people are more prone to have sleep apnea, it does not discriminate,” said Nunez. “If you snore, have been told you stop breathing in your sleep, or feel tired each day despite getting enough hours of sleep, ask your doctor if sleep apnea – which is 100% treatable at home – could be the cause.”

To learn more about ResMed’s sleep survey or to take a free quiz about your risk for sleep apnea, visit

About the Survey
The survey was conducted in February 2021 among 1,000 individuals 18 and older in the U.S. The survey was fielded using Qualtrics Insights Platform, and the panel was sourced from Lucid.

About ResMed
At ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD) we pioneer innovative solutions that treat and keep people out of the hospital, empowering them to live healthier, higher-quality lives. Our digital health technologies and cloud-connected medical devices transform care for people with sleep apnea, COPD, and other chronic diseases. Our comprehensive out-of-hospital software platforms support the professionals and caregivers who help people stay healthy in the home or care setting of their choice. By enabling better care, we improve quality of life, reduce the impact of chronic disease, and lower costs for consumers and healthcare systems in more than 140 countries. To learn more, visit and follow @ResMed.


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