Patient Care

Not Sleeping Enough Can Cause Serious Health Issues


 

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Did you get enough sleep last night? If not, you are not alone. More than one out of three American adults do not get enough sleep, according to a study released Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"That's a big problem," says Dr. Nancy Collop, director of the Emory Sleep Center at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, who is familiar with the study. "You don't function as well, your ability to pay attention is reduced, and it can have serious, long term side effects. It can change your metabolism for the worse."

At least seven hours of sleep is considered healthy for an adults aged 18 to 60, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The CDC analyzed data from a 2014 survey of 444,306 adults and found roughly 65% of respondents reported getting that amount of

sleep.

"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," said Dr. Wayne Giles, director of the CDC's Division of Population Health, in a statement.

Getting less than seven hours a night is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and frequent mental distress, the study shows. Published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study is the first of its kind to look at all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The study found that among those most likely to get great sleep were married or have a job, with 67% and 65%, respectively saying they get enough. Only 56% of divorced adults said they get enough sleep, and just over half of jobless adults sleep seven hours a night regularly. Among the best sleepers were college graduates, with 72% reporting seven hours or more.

The study found geographical differences as well as ethnic disparities. Hawaiian residents get less sleep than those living in South Dakota, the study found. Non-Hispanic whites sleep better than non-Hispanic black residents, with 67% and 54%, respectively.

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