Sleeping Away the Dark Economy. Literally.

Photograph by Kent Nishimura/AFP/Getty Images

Asleep at the Honolulu International Airport.

Americans are weathering the slow economy by catching up on their sleep.

The 2011 American Time Use Survey found that Americans spent more time sleeping last year then in any since 2003, when the survey began. The survey is based on 12,500 interviews. The amount of time spent working rose from a low reached last year, but it is still below the peak level reached in 2007.

On the average day, less than 1 in 5 men did housework such as cleaning or doing laundry, compared with 48 percent of women.

More than half of the average person’s leisure time is spent watching TV, 2.8 hours per day.

As people reach higher levels of educational attainment, they tend to spend less time on personal care, leisure and sports, and more time eating and drinking, working. The average person with a Bachelor’s degree spends 4.42 hours per day on leisure activities and 1.76 hours watching TV on weekdays, compared with 6.12 hours on leisure activities and 3.78 hours watching TV on weekdays for people with less tham a high school diploma.

People also tend to do more solo activities as they age — people 55 and over spend more than three hours per day watching TV, compared with less than two for most people under the age of 45. Time spent reading also increases progressively, from .16 hours for 15-19 year olds to .73 hours for people 75 and over.


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