More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a
regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy
sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the
District of Columbia.
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. Sleeping less than seven
hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing
chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart
disease, stroke, and frequent 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.”
Prevalence of healthy sleep duration varies by geography, race/ethnicity, employment, marital status
CDC researchers reviewed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based, random-digit–dialed
telephone survey conducted collaboratively by state health departments
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
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).
Healthy Sleep Tips:
Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep
patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and
excessive daytime sleepiness.
Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.
You don't have permmission to comment, or comments have been turned off for this article.