Many Americans say they’re too tired for sex

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© Latin Stock Collection/Corbis

The results of a new poll from the National Sleep Foundation, highlighted yesterday in the New York Times, reveal that roughly one in four Americans who are married or living with a romantic partner regularly feel too exhausted for sex. The survey, which included more than 1,000 randomly selected people ages 25 to 60, focused on sleep variations among different ethnic groups—finding, among other things, that Asians are less likely to watch TV in the hour before bed than whites, blacks or Hispanics; that blacks get the least sleep before workdays compared with other ethnic groups; and that nearly a quarter of all respondents said that their work schedules kept them from getting enough sleep.

According to the survey, about 20 to 30% of those polled said that they their persistent lack of sleep often left them too tired for sex. Additionally, the sleep survey revealed different trends in physical intimacy among ethnic groups: compared with blacks and Hispanics, whites and Asians were less likely to say they regularly had sex in the hour before bed, for example.

Yet romance wasn’t the only bedtime routine that differed for ethnic groups, according to the poll. Asians were less likely to report consuming alcohol in the hour before bed (3% said they regularly did so), compared with Hispanics (7%), blacks (8%) and whites (8%). Additionally, compared with other ethnic groups, whites were the least likely to report doing job-related activities in the hour before bed: 9% of whites said they regularly worked right before going to sleep, compared with 13% of Hispanics, 16% of Asians and 17% of blacks.

The sleep foundation hopes the recent poll will offer clues about different habits and attitudes about sleep among different ethnic groups in order to improve targeted education efforts about the importance of a good night’s sleep to overall well being and good health. Read more about the findings here (PDF).

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