Surveys Say Adults Sleep in, Shower More Than in 1950

Article excerpt

Americans are getting up later, showering more frequently and watching TV less than in years past. Also, more are going to church weekly.

The findings come from two recent CNN-USA Today-Gallup surveys of U.S. residents. Taken together, the polls of representative, nationwide cross section of adults provide insight into Americans' changing mores.

Gallup's pollsters began a survey containing "questions about . . . lifestyle" by asking 1,031 persons when they wake in the morning.

They found that more than half (56 percent) roust themselves between 5 and 7 a.m.

Fifty years ago, 65 percent of Americans began the day between 5 and 7 a.m.

Sleeping late on Saturdays proves to be more fiction than fact. Thirty-nine percent of the nation are on their feet between 5 and 7 a.m. that day with the largest number (17 percent) rising at seven. Eleven percent more are up between 7 and 8 a.m. and 13 percent turn out at 8.

In 1950, about half of the nation (51 percent) woke up between 5 and 7 a.m., with the plurality (15 percent) rising at 6, 14 percent at 7, 8 percent between 7 and 8, and 11 percent at 8.

Fifty years ago, daily bathing and showering was not routine for most Americans. Just 29 percent lathered up daily in those days. Now it's 65 percent, with 10 percent bathing or showering twice a day.

People possibly wash twice daily because they exercise in the course of the day. After all, 60 percent of the population reports doing something "that helps [them] keep physically fit" - aside from "any work at home or on the job."

The number of people working out daily has stayed constant for years, but the number of couch potatoes has dwindled. Seventeen years ago, more than a third of the population (37 percent) reported watching television three to four hours a day. The figure is down to 29 percent now.

Another change is is the way people vacation. In 1968, 62 percent reported that "within the last 12 months" they took a vacation "away from home [that lasted] six nights in a row or more. …