“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep”, Dr. Wayne Giles, director of the CDC’s Division of Population Health, said in a press release. The CDC found that more than a third of American adults are not getting the recommended amount of seven-plus hours of sleep on a regular basis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just published their first national survey of sleep for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The split between those who do and do not get enough sleep was along economic, educational and ethnic factors, which researchers said suggests a variety of reasons for why people get too little shut-eye. The state with the lowest reported amount of sleep was Hawaii, and the states with the highest reported amount of sleep were South Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18-60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. The healthy sleep figures for other minorities weren’t much better: 54.2% for Non-Hispanic blacks, 53.6% for multiracial non-Hispanics, and 59.6% American Indians/Alaska Natives. Inadequate sleep has been tied to the start and worsening of a range of diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression.
Study author Anne Wheaton, PhD, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said that people haven’t been placing sleep on number one position in their priority list.
‘They know they should eat right, get exercise, quit smoking, but sleep just isn’t at the top of their board. “It doesn’t just make you sleepy, but can affect your health and safety”. Researchers believe that this is caused by either the fact that people who finished college are more likely to be aware of the fact that the body needs a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly, or because they tend to have better paying jobs. Health care providers should also discuss the significance of healthy sleep duration with patients and identify why they aren’t sleeping enough.
Being married also helped, according to the CDC study, with 67 percent of respondents saying they got enough sleep, compared to 62 percent for those never married and 56 percent for those divorced, widowed or separated. The CDC already declared that the lack of sleep is one of the major problems in the United States.
Researchers at the agency said one-third of the country is opening themselves up to greater chance for obesity, high blood pressure and other metabolic diseases by missing out on sleep.
Few would dispute the value of a good night’s sleep, defined by the CDC as at least seven hours a night.