From politics to work stress, Americans need more time to relax according to a recent study. The study finds out that Americans prefer using valuable vacation time for things unrelated to vacation such as catching up on sleep and running errands. When it comes to catching more shut-eye, a majority of working Americans (72%) take at least one day off a year just to sleep, and two out of five Americans (40%) take five or more days off per year (a full work week), just to catch up on sleep.
However, 43 percent of Americans admit they frequently feel guilty for relaxing according to the results of the Princess Cruises' seventh annual Relaxation Report. Ninety-one percent of working Americans say they look forward to sleeping while on vacation, but it appears that the stresses of everyday life are getting in the way of a good night's sleep on vacation. More than a third (35%) of working Americans, including half (50%) of Millennials, often feel more stressed when they're on vacation because they can't stop thinking about work. The lack of sleep is even getting in the way of leisure activities with nearly half of Americans, including 65% of Millennials, admitting they frequently skip events or activities on vacation because they're simply too tired.
Stress levels by regions
Stress levels are high on vacation in every region except one. Working Americans in the Northeast (43%), West (42%) and South (33%) are significantly more likely to feel more stressed on vacation because they can't stop thinking about work than those in the Midwest (21%). It's clear that Midwesterners have no problem relaxing. Most agree (67%) that they never or hardly ever feel guilty about relaxing, compared to an average of only 54% across other regions (Northeast, South and West).
Men vs. Women
When it comes to the differences between the sexes, working women are far more likely (48%) than men (39%) to feel guilty about taking the time to relax. However, among the Americans who take at least one day off per year to catch up on sleep, men take more days than women - 8 versus 7, on average.
Redefining Digital Detox
The role of technology and smartphones seems to have shifted from a source of stress to a source of relaxation over the last couple of years. In 2016, 53% of Americans feel their smartphone makes it easier, rather than harder, to relax, compared to 2014 where 52% felt it made it harder.
This year has taken political stress to the next level from the U.S. presidential election to the U.K.'s historic Brexit. In fact, when it comes to Trump vs Hillary, more than half of Americans (54%) say Trump is more likely to keep them up at night, with Hillary a close second at 46%. However, Americans aren't the only ones in need of a political pause, as 61% of those polled felt that the United Kingdom, rather than Rio de Janeiro (39%), was in most need of a National Relaxation Day this year.
An earlier study conducted by Wakefield Research, finds out that 57 percent say getting more sleep is a resolution that is more appealing than going back into the gym. Sixty-one percent said they would rather get a great night's sleep, every night for a month, than lose five pounds – particularly because medical research shows a direct correlation between sleep quality and weight loss (53 percent of respondents agree that lack of sleep contributes to weight gain).
Therefore it is obvious that you need more sleep. It is not only weight but Americans also think if they had more sleep they'd actually be more productive (51 percent), happier (50 percent), more successful (21 percent) and more creative (21 percent).