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According to the latest study, it’s official: Americans are not getting enough sleep at night. If all this time you felt like you were the only one who is sleep-deprived, you were completely wrong. Turns out, a full third of Americans aren’t able to get the amount of shut-eye they need.
How many times did you hit the snooze button this morning? We all crave sleep, but too many nights we fall short of the seven or eight hours we need to thrive.
An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, according to the Institute of Medicine. Gayle Greene, author of Insomniac, explains how sleepless nights can have a devastating effect on daily routines. She affirms that chronic insomnia is often mistaken as ‘a bad night’ and that few people realize just how debilitating sleep deprivation can be.
Now, according to latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 1 in 3 Americans are sleep deprived. This situation can prove extremely dangerous since insufficient sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, mental illness and eventually premature death.It also impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity that could affect the wider community.
The conclusion is quite simple.
As a nation, we are not getting enough sleep.
declared Wayne Giles, director of the CDC’s Division of Population Health.
For this particular study, the CDC reviewed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), in order to determine the prevalence of a healthy sleep duration (seven hours or less) among 444,306 adult respondents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
More than one-third of the adults reported sleeping less than 7 hours during the 24 hour period, meaning 83.6 million people aged 18 and over sleep less than required. Of all the respondents, around 11% were reported getting less than five hours of sleep while 23% were getting six hours of eye shut. Only 4.4% people reported getting nine hours of sleep.
Moreover, people in Hawaii have the lowest percentage in terms of getting sufficient sleep and states with the highest reported amount of sleep were South Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota.
On the other hand, these sleep habits among Americans vary by geography, race, ethnicity, marital status and employment, the CDC found.
A person’s employment status played a role in sleep duration. The 51 to 60% of those unable to work or unemployed respectively reporting getting enough sleep, compared to 65% for those with jobs, prove the fact that sleep habits depend on many factors.
However, no theory as to why the under-educated or unemployed aren’t getting enough slumber was put forward, but the CDC did call on employers to initiate changes that will benefit the health of their employees. The advice for them was to consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
On the other hand, being married also helped, according to the CDC study. The 67% of respondents saying they got enough sleep, compared to 62% for those never married and 56% for those divorced, widowed or separated, sustain that theory.
So, what can that sleepy third of Americans do? Although it is known that 9 million people take sleeping pills, none of them actually work.
Experts suggest that healthy sleep can be promoted by sleep health education and behavior changes. For instance, making sure that the bedroom environment is quiet, dark and relaxing and has modest temperatures and adults should avoid large meals, alcohol and caffeine before going to bed at night.
All in all, getting a good night sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being. That being said, next time you go to bed, just unplug yourself and take into consideration all of the advice the experts give us. After all, they must know better.
Image Source: neurogistics.com.