If drowsiness sets in reading this story, chances are you live in a house not an apartment home.
That's an oversimplification, and there are other reasons for dozing off mid sentence such as tedious writing. But according to San Francisco-based online rental tracker Apartment List, renters grab 14 extra minutes of sleep per night on average or 84 hours a year than householders largely due to the volume of chores that homeowners tackle compared with tenants who rely on their landlords. Put another way, tenants are racking up an extra week of sleep — based on 12 hour nights — annually compared with homeowners.
"Time is our most valuable resource, and the way that we choose to spend our hours ultimately adds up to the way that we spend our lives," says Chris Salviati, housing economist for Apartment List. "Homeowners," he says, "bear a greater responsibility for maintaining their homes."
In its findings, Apartment List catalogued the difference in how homeowners and renters spend a typical day including:
- Tenants spend an average of 23 fewer minutes per day on household activities, including yard work, housework and maintenance. That computes to three and a half additional 40-hour work weeks that homeowners tally keeping up their homes.
- The extra time for renters is divided into an additional 12 minutes per day on relaxing and leisure and an extra five minutes on socializing and entertainment.
- Renters spend an average 25 fewer minutes per day at home compared with property owners.
Apartment List describes itself as the fastest-growing online apartment rental marketplace reaching more than 150 million users in 40-plus cities, it says. Go to www.apartmentlist.com.
Meanwhile, snoozing estimates caught the interest of Sleepopolis, an online blog that offers independent reviews on bedding mattresses.
"Buying a house is often considered one of the pillars of the American dream; unfortunately, many homeowners are not sleeping enough to dream much of anything," wrote Sarah Riccio, who calls herself a "journalist, storyteller and comic."
She cited "a recent survey" showing the average renter gets nearly eight and a half hours of shut eye a night, while buyers get about 85 percent less than that.
Noting that she was "intrigued with this bedtime imbalance," Riccio got in touch with New York City realtor Cathy Federer and two new homeowners.
"When I told Federer about the survey’s results, she was not at all surprised," Riccio wrote. "That makes total sense. When someone buys a home instead of renting it, they become the owner — and the owner has much more responsibility. They’re worried about the roof leaking, their taxes, tenants who don’t pay, the lawn, the list goes on and on.”
Riccio notes that renters spend an annual average of 141 hours less on home maintenance, 50 hours less on lawn care, 30 hours less on repairs and 19 hours less on cleaning than homeowners, according to the survey results. "As Federer pointed out to me, many renters sleep easy knowing that if something breaks or needs tending to, their landlords will take care of it."
The writer also emailed recent home buyers Allen Maikels and Fiona Peach. "Maikels admitted that he has been experiencing a loss of sleep since the move, and that increased anxiety probably has something to do with it. Peach, his wife, agreed but predicted that better sleep is on the horizon. 'I think once we are finished with painting and repairs,' she explained, 'we should be good to go.'”
The couple believe that the amount of sleep isn't as significant as finding the right balance of shut eye, Riccio notes. “'We don’t expect it to always be this way,' said Maikels, 'and once we’re really settled in, I’m sure our sleep schedules will go back to normal.'"