Report

Nap Time

  • July 29, 2009
  • By Paul Taylor

Feeling drowsy? You're not alone. On a typical day, a third of the adults (34%) in the United States take a nap.

Napping thrives among all demographic groups, but it's more widespread among some than others, according to a Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,488 adults.

More men than women report that they caught a little snooze in the past 24 hours—38% vs. 31%. This gender gap occurs almost entirely among older adults. More than four-in-ten ( 41%) men ages 50 and older say they napped in the past day, compared with just 28% of women of the same age. Below the age of 50, men and women are about equally likely to say they napped in the past day (35% vs. 34%).

There are distinctive racial patterns to napping. Half of the black adults in our survey say they napped in the past 24 hours, compared with just a third of whites and Hispanics.

Napping is quite common at the lower end of the income scale; some 42% of adults with an annual income below $30,000 report they napped in the past day. As income rises, napping declines. However, at the upper end of the scale (adults whose annual income is $100,000 or above) the tendency to nap revives and reverts to the mean.

Read the full report Nap Time on the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Web site.