Stress, family issues, problems at home, medical issues—getting the recommended amount of sleep can be a difficult task even for the best of sleepers. In fact, according to a recent study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more than a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. You’re not alone by any means.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults 18 to 60 get at least seven hours of sleep each night in order to promote ideal health and well-being. Thirty five percent of Americans are sleeping fewer than the recommended amount of hours, resulting in higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and mental distress.
“As a nation, we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health.
Results of the study varied by geography, race, ethnicity, employment and marital status. The research included data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System which is a state-based, random digit-dialed telephone survey conducted by state health departments and CDC.
Here are some of the important findings from the study:
– Healthy sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (54 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (54 percent), multiracial non-Hispanics (54 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (60 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (67 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), and Asians (63 percent).
– The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota.
– A lower proportion of adults reported getting at least seven hours of sleep per day in states clustered in the southeastern region of the United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Previous studies have shown that these regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.
– People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent).
– The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married (67 percent) compared with those who were never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).
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