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Only One In Three Americans Get Enough Sleep, CDC Finds

Only One In Three Americans Get Enough Sleep, CDC Finds

According to a study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which documented estimates of self-reported sleep duration, more than 35% of Americans do not get enough sleep on a regular basis.

It’s the first study of its kind that documents which components of the population are sleep deprived. According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, adults from ages 18–60 years need to sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. 

Less than seven uninterrupted hours of deep REM sleep is associated with an increased risk of developing medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and recurring mental distress.

“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., 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.”

Because of work schedules and disparities by profession, along with variations caused by geography, race/ethnicity, employment, and marital status, a large portion of the population is consistently sleep deprived. 

Technology plays a hand in the lack of restorative sleep we experience, with more people using white and blue light emitting devices in the bedroom, which disturb the sensitive mechanisms needed for optimal sleep induction (falling asleep) and staying asleep. 

Having an inferior mattress can also be to blame. Many people never realize that a mattress needs to be matched effectively to the user, and that the perceived comfort and support from a mattress is an important element in just how effective sleep can be to our health.

Key Findings:

  • Sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, non-Hispanic blacks, multiracial non-Hispanics, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, compared with non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and Asians.

  • The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent of the population in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota. 

  • A lower proportion of adults reported experiencing 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, financial stress may also play a role.

  • People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration, than did employed respondents. The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or advanced degrees.

  • The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married. compared with those who were never married, divorced, widowed, or separated.

Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess their patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness as a standard element of any health assessment.

  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health as well as the risks.

  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits, making a commitment to getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

  • Individuals should invest in a decent mattress and other devices to help improve sleep. White noise machines, eye masks, black out shades and other tools are part of a healthy sleep environment, more important that trips to the gym or spa.

  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.

  • Employers can also educate their graveyard and shift workers about how to improve their sleep.


Economic Loss Tied To Chronic Sleep Problems Is A Global Condition

According to a study conducted by The Rand Corporation, The United States sustains by far the most vast economic loss due to lack of sleep (up to $411 billion a year, which is 2.28 per cent of its GDP). 

Small changes to sleep duration could have a big impact on the economy.  Incredibly, if people who averaged less than 6 hours per night were able to get one more hour of sleep per night, the result would be adding $226.4 billion to the U.S. economy. 

Sleep deprivation reduces productivity in the workplace and quickly adds up to a significant number of days per worker being lost per year.  On an annual basis, the U.S. loses an equivalent of around 1.2 million working days due to inadequate or insufficient sleep. This is followed by closely by Japan, known for their stringent and relentless work ethic, which loses on average 600,000 working days per year. The UK and Germany both lose just over 200,000 working days. Canada loses around 80,000 working days.

Lack of sleep is linked to a substantial risk of premature death, too. An individual that sleeps on average less than six hours per night has a 15% higher mortality risk than someone sleeping between 7-9 hours. An individual sleeping between six to seven hours per day has a 7%  higher mortality risk, than those who sleep a full 7-9 hours.

Many other medical risks are associated with insufficient sleep schedules. These include obesity, desire to consume more alcohol and sugary drinks, cigarette smoking, lack of physical activity, mental health problems, stress at work, graveyard shifts and irregular working hours, financial issues, and long commute times.

How To Increase Sleep Duration And Sleep Quality

  • Try to set consistent wake-up times; limit the use of electronic items before bedtime; and exercise. Even walking one mile every 2-3 nights will give you more energy and help promote the release of sleep hormones like melatonin that cause you to fall asleep easier.

  • As an employer or team manager, acknowledging the importance of sleep your role in promoting good sleep hygiene in the workplace is essential. You can contribute by designing brighter workspaces, combat workplace stress, discourage the extended use of electronic devices, and have discussions about the relationship between quality sleep and productivity.

  • Government and municipal authorities should actively nurture health professionals to provide sleep-related support and encourage employers to pay attention to sleep issues. One example would be to implement and introduce later school starting times.

Why A Mattress Is Important To Sleep Hygiene, Getting More Sleep, And Creating Anticipation And A Desire To Sleep

Our site is essentially a mattress review site that educates consumers and provides industry expertise to outfit buyers with only the best mattress retailers in the country. There are over 215 online mattress stores, yet we only recommend a handful, about 40. And of those 40 stores, only about a dozen offer a mattress that we should consider the “best of the best”. 

A mattress should be visually appealing, for sure, but it’s what’s on the inside that is going to promote better sleep habits. Even though most foam mattresses that are sold online are fairly similar, the quality of the ingredients used variety greatly, and there are ranges of soft vs. firm, cradling vs. firmer and more resilient, and other characteristics that are designed to fit a range of users. 

Look for a mattress that is softer towards the top, has good underlying support that promotes a buoyant and lifting kind of sensation, and a firmer, more rigid underlying foundation layer. Hybrid mattresses that offer a pocketed coil component are ideal for back and side sleepers that have pressure point issues or back problems, while memory foam mattresses are great for individuals with nerve pain such as sciatica, arthritis, or other degenerative diseases. 

Here are some mattresses we highly recommend to promote better sleep hygiene and create that anticipation ahead of bed time that will help get the sleep cycle rolling for you. If your bedroom is not setup in a way that both promotes better sleep and moves you away from all of the excessive stimulation that we are bombarded with during the day, you won’t be able to ritualize the experience of healthy bed time habits. Check out our page on setting up your Z-Cave, which provides a blueprint for creating the perfect sleep environment.

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