Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans sleep-deprived, Europeans better rested

It’s no secret that many Americans regularly clutch a cup of hot coffee to get through another sleep-deprived day. Far fewer Europeans are downing espresso shots to fight daytime sleepiness according to a research abstract that was the subject of a presentation at SLEEP 2010 in San Antonio.

The study found 19.5 percent of adults in America have moderate to excessive sleepiness. A previous study by the same head researcher found excessive daytime sleepiness in five European countries was significantly less – only 15 percent.

11 percent of U.S. participants reported severe sleepiness. In this case there were far more women than men.

The study involved interviewing a representative cross-section of residents in Texas, New York and California. The 8,937 participants answered a phone survey on sleeping habits, health, sleep problems and mental disorders.

Nearly 18 percent said they fell asleep or were drowsy in situations requiring a high level of concentration, including work meetings and conversations.

The likelihood of daytime sleepiness tripled for people with obstructive sleep apnea. Survey respondents who slept six hours or less or were diagnosed with insomnia were 2.5 times as likely to report sleepiness. Night shift workers and people with major depressive disorder were nearly twice as likely to be drowsy.

Learn where in America people are getting the least sleep according to the CDC.

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