The most searched sleep questions in 2020

December 14, 2020 4 mins read
The most searched sleep questions in 2020

Every day, thousands of people across the world hop onto their keyboards to find information about their health. While Google is jokingly labeled Dr. Google, the statistics tell an entirely un-funny story.

Internet searches are skyrocketing as more and more people look to Google for answers to their sleep problems.

We did some digging and compiled a list of the Top 20 sleep questions you’ve been asking in 2020. From pets to sleep duration and babies, here’s what U.S. sleepers want to know:

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the top sleep query for 2020, with 19,000 searches throughout the year. This sleep disorder happens when the is a blockage in the nose and throat. At different times throughout the night, a person with sleep apnea will wake up gasping for breath because the brain receives a signal that there is not enough oxygen in the body. According to, about 22 million Americans live with the illness.

Another sleep disorder on the list, in the 9th position, is sleep paralysis. It seems the disturbing disorder, which is often linked with nightmares and night terrors, has affected a large number of people, judging from the high amount of searches, at 7,000.

How much sleep do I need?

It seems the U.S. needs more clarity on how much sleep is necessary to function well. On average, adults require 7-9 hours. Children need more sleep, especially babies when they are growing at a rapid rate.

There were 12,000 searches for “how long can you go without sleep” and 11,000 “how to sleep better” placing these questions in the third and fourth spot respectively.

Why can’t I sleep?

There are many reasons why falling asleep may be an uphill battle including insomnia, stress, and anxiety. According to Harvard University, 35% of the population suffers from insomnia, and with the pandemic, these numbers have risen.

CNN reports that the number of prescriptions filled for sleep disorders between February 16 and March 15 increased by 14.8%, a report from pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts indicated.

More recently, 36% of Americans reported difficulty sleeping this summer due to stress about the pandemic, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Pets and sleep

The U.S. really is a pet-loving nation as searches for the sleep duration of cats and dogs were wildly popular terms featuring in the 6th and 12th spots. According to, dogs snooze for about 12 hours a day. They also spend less than 10% in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and make up for it throughout the day.

Cats on the other hand can sleep for up to 15 hours a day. This allows them to save their energy for when they go hunting at night. As they grow older, they will turn in sooner and spend the majority of their day taking a ‘cat nap.’

How to sleep faster

It’s clear that we’re in serious need of quick sleep fixes. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all sleep solution (it could come down to your diet, stress, or a sleep disorder) we have a few tips to get you to sleep in 5 minutes.

  • Focus on controlling your breathing and inhale and exhale slowly from 5 to 10 counts at a time.
  • Relax your muscles and ease tension with a magnesium-rich Epsom salt bath before bedtime.
  • Drink a hot cup of chamomile tea. The brew is infused with the antioxidant apigenin, which contributes to the relaxation you feel after drinking it.
  • Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and valerian are all commonly used in aromatherapy to aid sleep.
  • Massage the acupressure points on your body; these can be found on your inner thigh, behind your neck, and on your temples. Use swift and circular motions to induce relaxation and sleep.

Find the full list of the top sleep-related queries below:

Rank Question Search Volume
1 What is sleep apnea? 19,000
2 How much sleep do I need? 15,000
3 Why can’t I sleep? 13,000
4 How long can you go without sleep? 12,000
5 How to sleep better? 11,000
6 Why do cats sleep so much? 11,000
7 How to sleep? 10 000
8 What is REM sleep? 7,800
9 What causes sleep paralysis? 7,000
10 How to sleep faster? 6,800
11 How to fix sleep schedule? 5,900
12 Why do dogs sleep so much? 5,300
13 Why is sleep important? 5,000
14 How many hours of sleep do I need? 4,900
15 When do babies sleep through the night? 4,500
16 How to sleep on your back? 4,300
17 How to get more deep sleep? 3,400
18 How long is a sleep cycle? 3,100
19 Why do I sweat in my sleep? 2,800
20 How do horses sleep? 2,700

All search data refers to average monthly search volume according to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and is correct as of 12/11/2020.