Study Funded by Bryte Foundation Set to Transform Understanding of Sleep Health in America
LOS ALTOS, Calif. , July 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bryte, the leader in restorative sleep technology, today announced the release of and their support for a new study published in the prominent scientific journal Frontiers in Sleep revealing that more than 7 out of 10 Americans do not achieve restorative sleep.
This finding is consequential because although mainstream awareness of America’s burgeoning sleep problems has risen since the COVID pandemic, most reporting on the nation’s sleep health quotes only around 3 out of 10 Americans to have a sleep problem.
This report casts new light on the true state of America’s sleep health, and together with newly identified disparities of restorative sleep outcomes within different population groups, is set to reignite debates around the need to improve sleep quality for all.
An all-star cast of sleep scientists
The study was conducted by leading sleep scientists from the Sleep Matters Initiative, led by clinicians and researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The study was led by Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a leading sleep researcher, author and influential advocate for sleep health and awareness.
Together with colleagues of the Sleep Matters Initiative team led by Dr Charles A. Czeisler, Dr Robbins garnered collaboration from a world-class panel of eminent sleep scientists, including Dr. Stuart Quan (Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Matthew P. Walker (University of California; Berkeley), Dr. Daniel Buysee (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine), Dr. Thomas Roth (Henry Ford Hospital), Dr. Shanthakumar W. Rajaratnam (Monash University; Melbourne, Victoria).
The caliber of scientists involved and the peer reviewed publication in Frontiers assures the validity of such a significant shift in how we should understand and quantify America’s need for better sleep.
The first national study based on restorative outcomes
Typically, most articles about the state of sleep in America tend to cite approximately one third of Americans to have a sleep problem, however this stat vastly misrepresents the problem, as it is typically sourced either from a count of it Americans with clinically diagnosed with Insomnia1, (and therefore excludes the experience of most people) or it is based on a measure of sleep duration alone2.
This new study is unique because it is the first to assess America’s sleep satisfaction based on the prevalence of a positive outcome – sleeper restoration – rather than prevalence of sleep disorders or common measures such as hours of duration.
As Dr Robbins explains…
"Too often, we focus solely on sleep duration when measuring sleep or communicating its importance. While sleep duration is an integral part of a healthy sleep routine, focusing on duration alone has some shortcomings. First, it can be stressful for some who are struggling with sleep and currently far from achieving the recommend range of 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Second, focusing on sleep duration alone may miss the fact that while some may sleep for an amount of time that is in the recommended range but wake up not feeling restored by their sleep. This could be a sign of an opportunity to improve sleep by practicing good sleep strategies (e.g., keeping a consistent bedtime or practicing an unwind routine) or, importantly, a sign of an untreated sleep disorder or other problem."
"Although many of us, even those of working in the fields of sleep science and sleep medicine, commonly use the term restorative sleep, we have not had a concise definition. In this paper, we offer a definition of restorative sleep. We also conduct one of the first nationally representative studies of restorative sleep. By observing America’s sleep through the lens of feelings of restoration, we gain important insight into not only the duration of sleep but qualitative evaluation of sleep and its impact on quality of life."
New investments in restorative sleep science
This study by the Sleep Matters Initiative team was made possible thanks to a donation from The Bryte Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the leading restorative sleep technology company, Bryte.
"We have always believed that at the end of the day, what matters most about sleep is how restored you feel by your sleep. This is why we focus on technology and products that are purpose-built to improve restorative outcomes."
Explains Jonny Farringdon, Co-founder and Fellow at Bryte
"However, we also recognize that the science of restorative sleep itself is not as clearly understood as other aspects of sleep science, which is why we created the Bryte Foundation to help fund further research into this domain."
Key achievements and findings
The first challenge facing the team of researchers was the absence of a scientific consensus definition of the term restorative sleep itself. The team therefore collaborated on an established scientific process called the Delphi procedure, leading to a newly validated definition of restorative sleep:
Restorative sleep is the aspect of sleep associated with improved subjective alertness, cognitive function, mood, energy, and/or wellbeing relative to the immediate pre-sleep period.
Next, the BWH team researchers evaluated several existing methods of measuring sleep quality, before electing to enhance a previously validated measure for non-restorative sleep, created by Drake, Roth et al (Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2014).
Armed with this device, the researchers were able to conduct a nationally representative study to assess the prevalence of restorative sleep in the USA.
The research determined that a mere 28.1% of Americans achieved high restorative sleep scores. That the inverse — 71.9 percent of Americans – demonstrated low restorative sleep scores shows that the commonly accepted view that 3/10 Americans require sleep improvement needs is actually closer to 7/10.
Notable findings from the report also highlighted significant disparities in the prevalence of restorative sleep scores by gender, age, income and other societal factors.
The dawn of a new focus on restorative sleep science
The team at Bryte hopes to see more sleep research that uses restorative outcomes as the measure of sleep quality and will continue to collaborate with the sleep science community and contribute funding to advance further research into restorative sleep science, while also continuing to advocate for mainstream understanding of restorative sleep.
"We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the uncovering of these new insights and would like to thank Dr Robbins and her esteemed colleagues for their work. We invite all sleep professionals to consider how restorative sleep science can benefit their own scientific and clinical aims and welcome discussion with any and all interested parties."
– Jonny Farringdon
To access the full Study on REST-Q: The National Prevalence of Restorative Sleep Among US Adults, please visit https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frsle.2022.935228/full .
About The Bryte Foundation
The Bryte Foundation exists to advance sleep science and socialize the positive impacts of quality, restorative sleep. The Bryte Foundation mobilizes the scientific community, and funds research to develop a deeper understanding of the benefits of restorative sleep. For more information visit brytefoundation.org
Founded in 2016 by Silicon Valley veteran John Tompane, Ely Tsern and Jonathan Farringdon, Bryte is the leading restorative sleep technology platform powered by AI. Bryte’s turn-key hardware, software and services platform is available to select mattress manufacturing partners for licensing, The Restorative Bed is available to consumers through Bryte.com and select hotel and resort partners. For more information, visit Bryte.com.
Contact: Lindsay Stevens
Phone: (213) 200-9638
1. Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its
correlation with medical comorbidities (Bhaskar et al, 2026)
2. 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep (CDC, 2016)