Sleep & Stress in the Time of COVID-19

With the help of OnePoll, Mattress Advisor surveyed 2,000 Americans on how stress is affecting their sleep during the pandemic.

By Ashley Little

May 11th, 2022

Is the coronavirus pandemic stressing you out? You’re not alone. 

Mattress Advisor set out to learn about the effects of COVID-19-related stress on American’s sleep. With the help of OnePoll, we surveyed 2,000 Americans on how the stress of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their sleeping habits.

Top Causes for Quarantine Stress

Four in 10 Americans say their sleep schedule is the top stress point in their lives, according to our findings.

Other large drivers of stress during the pandemic include work life, finances, sex life, and romantic life.


  1. Sleep schedule – 41%
  2. Work life – 41%
  3. Finances – 36%
  4. Sex life – 30%
  5. Romantic life – 27%

How is Stress Affecting Americans?

Stress can have a harmful impact on many facets of a person’s life. According to our findings, stress surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has harmed people’s sleeping patterns and mental health. 

Half of our respondents say the stress of COVID-19 has harmed their sleeping patterns, and six in 10 respondents said their mental health has been negatively impacted in the wake of the COVID-19 news cycle.

Related: How stress impacts sleep

In fact, 57% of the respondents said they avoid watching the news because it causes them additional stress.

COVID-19 Stress for Parents

The survey took a close look a few specific groups of people who may be experiencing more stress than others. For parents with children at home, 65% percent of those surveyed (approximately 1,300 respondents) said their stress is often amplified when their children’s sleep schedules get thrown off.

And unfortunately, 35% of parents surveyed reported having difficulties putting their kids to bed during the quarantine and stay-at-home orders.

A tip from Mattress Advisor:

Challenging as it may be, getting a good night’s sleep is important for the health of every member of your household. Sticking to a routine and maintaining proper sleep hygiene habits like avoiding technology, caffeine, or sugars late in the evenings can help make bedtime a little easier for everyone.

COVID-19 Stress for People Working From Home

The survey also took a close look at people who have shifted to working from home due to COVID-19, which included approximately 1,500 of those surveyed. Here’s what we found:

  • 47% of these respondents said they didn’t realize how important it was for them to separate their work and personal lives until these worlds collided during the pandemic.
  • 62% also admitted that they’ve had difficulty making this distinction as they continue to social distance at home.

A tip from Mattress Advisor:

Designating physical spaces in your home reserved for your working hours may be able to help create a mental distinction between work and your personal home life. Particularly avoiding bringing work into the bedroom can help maintain that space as an area to wind down both mentally and physically at the end of the day.

Related: How remote work affects sleep

How Americans are Trying to Improve their Sleep in Quarantine

We wanted to know, what are Americans doing to try to address their stress and sleep challenges during the pandemic? Some of the most common responses were reading a book before bed, meditating, and having sex before bed.

Each of these tactics can be useful in helping you relax and unwind before bedtime so you can fall asleep faster and get better sleep. Take a look at some of the other tactics people are trying.


  1. Eating healthier – 36%
  2. Exercising – 31%
  3. Reading a book before bed – 27%
  4. Listen to music before bed – 27%
  5. Take a warm bath or shower before bed – 26%
  6. Meditating – 26%
  7. Have sex before bed – 21%
  8. Take an over-the-counter sleep aid – 20%
  9. Purchase higher quality pillows – 19%
  10. Listen to a podcast before bed – 18%
  11. Remove digital devices from their bedroom – 17%
  12. Purchase a new mattress – 16%
  13. Writing in a journal before bed – 16%
  14. Speak to their doctor about prescription medication – 16%
  15. Purchase higher quality sheets – 15%

A tip from Mattress Advisor: 

Try upgrading your sleep situation. That can be something as simple as getting a more supportive pillow or hanging up blackout curtains that darken your space, or even something as big as getting a new mattress! (16% of respondents said they’re gotten a new mattress during the coronavirus pandemic for better sleep.) If you’re looking for a new bed, head over to our best mattress of 2021 guide.

It’s difficult to avoid increased stress during a global pandemic, but it’s important to be aware of ways you can better manage your stress for better sleep at night and better overall health.

Our findings shed light on the harmful impact that stress can have to your physical and mental health, but they also may offer comfort in knowing you aren’t alone and giving you some inspiration for new tactics to try for a better night’s sleep. For more ways to improve your sleep, stick around on and explore our sleep resources.


Mattress Advisor partnered with OnePoll to survey 2,000 Americans on their sleeping habits and overall health during the summer of 2020.

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