Monday, March 2, 2009

America is Still Sleeping, More or Less

Today the National Sleep Foundation released the results of its 2009 Sleep in America Poll. It shows how a random sample of 1,000 American adults responded to a survey in the fall.

How are we doing? On average, Americans could use a little more sleep.

Respondents reported sleeping an average of 6.7 hours per night on weekdays for the past two weeks. This is down slightly from the 6.8 hours reported in the 2005 poll.

More people reported sleeping eight or more hours per night than in 2005. But more people also reported sleeping less than six hours nightly.

Individual sleep needs vary from one person to another. But the AASM recommends that most adults need about seven to eight hours of nightly sleep.

In the poll about 55 percent of people reported that they were getting at least seven hours of sleep during the week. On weekends this figure rose to 68 percent.

This is similar to what the
CDC has reported. From 2004 to 2006 about 63 percent of U.S. adults reported sleeping for seven to eight hours in a typical 24-hour period.

In the 2009 Sleep in America Poll about 27 percent of people also said that
the economy is keeping them awake. Concerns include personal finances, employment and health care.

Studies show that such complaints are common. At any time roughly 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia.

But insomnia causes daytime problems in only about 15 to 20 percent of people. Less than 10 percent of people are likely to have an ongoing, long-term case of insomnia.

So how Americans are sleeping is all over the map. But what about you? In this cloud of numbers, where do you fit?

Maybe you’re one of the people who needs a little more sleep. Perhaps you can turn off the TV or the computer 30 minutes earlier at night. Do you think you would notice a difference if you began to
“sleep for seven”?

Or maybe you have a problem that prevents you from sleeping well. Insomnia.
Sleep apnea. Restless legs. Or one of the many other sleep disorders. In this case it may be time for you to contact an AASM-accredited sleep center for help.

Tonight, don’t worry about America. Focus on getting the sleep that you need instead.

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