One-third of adults in the US are sleep deprived.
Experts generally recommend a minimum of seven hours of sleep for optimal health and well-being. New research suggests that not many people in the US are getting enough sleep.
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According to the 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.
“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”
The study involved more than 400,000 adults from all 50 states and they were asked how many hours of sleep they get in a 24-hour period. 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.
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.
This is the first large-scale report that identifies in which region most sleep-deprived people are living or where the problem is most severe.
“It’s a public health problem. The reason we are trying to draw attention to it is that first it effects such a larger proportion of the population and second it’s tied to so many health conditions that are such a big issue,” said study author Anne Wheaton, an epidemiologist at the CDC.
Researchers suggest that healthy sleep during in adults 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.
“People just aren’t putting sleep on the top of their priority list. They know they should eat right, get exercise, quit smoking, but sleep isn’t at the top of their board. And maybe they aren’t aware of the impact sleep can have on your health. It doesn’t just make you sleepy, but it can also affect your health and safety.”
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