America the sleep-deprived

February 29, 2008 3:16:39 PM PST
Study says Americans need more sleep; CDC report finds 70 percent of adults don't get enough rest

A study by the centers for disease control shows that 70 per cent of americans aren't getting enough rest at night.

And that's true across all ages, all races, and all genders.

Yawning in America

The study, which surveyed adults in Delaware, Hawaii, New York and Rhode Island, found that a lack of sleep is a particular problem for younger adults.

The CDC says an estimated 50-70 million people suffer from constant sleep loss or sleep disorders. People often do not understand that lack of sleep can cause health problems.

Of those between 18 and 34, 13.3 percent lacked enough sleep every day, compared to 7.3 percent of adults over 55.

The National Sleep Foundation says that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Many are not getting that.

Nationwide, adults that averaged six hours or less of sleep a night increased in all age in groups from 1985 to 2006, according to a National Health Interview Study.

For example, in 1985, about 20 percent of men and women ages 45-64 reported sleeping an average of six hours or less. By 2006 that number had jumped to 30 percent.

Some sleeplessness is due to disorders like sleep apnea, some is because we try to cram too much into a day. Lifestyle choices, such as late-night television watching, Internet use, or caffeine and other stimulant intake, can also affect sleep patterns.

A separate study shows the biggest night for sleep loss is Sunday night.

But there is some good, if unsurprising, news: Retirement is apparently good for your sleep habits.

The CDC found that those who are no longer working were twice as likely to report that they got a full night's sleep.

Those who are unable to work at all perhaps because of medical or mental issues were the most likely to indicate 30 days of inadequate rest.

Sleep patterns can be influenced by what kinds of jobs people have, and even where they live.

The study found those who lived in Hawaii apparently got more sleep than their counterparts in the other three states studied.