More than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep and are suffering related health consequences, according to a report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Feb. 19.
(The less-than-scintillating title of the report—“Prevalence of Healthy Sleep Duration Among Adults—United States, 2014”—might help put some of those folks to sleep, but we digress.)
Sleeping less than seven hours a night has been associated with everything from obesity and diabetes to high blood pressure and “frequent mental distress,” as well as impairment of cognitive performance, which increases the risk of accidents and lowers productivity, the CDC noted. The CDC analyzed the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which includes data from 444,308 adults across the United States, including their answers to the question, “On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a 24-hour period?” Overall, only 65.2% of respondents reported what the CDC calls a “healthy sleep duration” of seven hours or more.
“More than one-third of U.S. respondents reported typically sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period, suggesting an ongoing need for public awareness and public education about sleep health; (and) worksite shift policies that ensure healthy sleep duration for shift workers, particularly medical professionals, emergency response personnel and transportation industry personnel,” the report says.
State-by-state comparisons show residents of Hawaii (56.1%) are least likely to get the recommended amount of sleep, while those in South Dakota (71.6%) are most well-rested. More broadly, residents of the southeastern United States and along the Appalachian Mountains sleep the least and residents of the Great Plains sleep the most, according to the report.