A Third of Americans Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep—Are You One of Them?

Ball State University analyzed more than 150,000 working adults from 2010 to 2018 and reached some concerning conclusions. // Photo Credit: Prostock-Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus(Photo Credit: Prostock-Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Are you getting seven or more hours of sleep each night? If not, you are a part of the one-third of Americans getting inadequate sleep.
The study “Short Sleep Duration in Working American Adults,” conducted by Ball State University, analyzed more than 150,000 working adults from 2010 to 2018. It found that 35.5 percent of men and 35.8 percent of women reported inadequate sleep in 2018. This is a significant increase from 2010, when 30.5 percent of men and 31.2 percent of women reported inadequate sleep. This rise in sleep deprivation in adults is a major reason for concern. 

“Inadequate sleep is associated with mild to severe physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and premature mortality,” says Jagdish Khubchandani, lead author and a health science professor at Ball State. “This is a significant finding because the U.S. is currently witnessing high rates of chronic diseases across all ages, and many of these diseases are related to sleep problems.”
The study also found that that in 2018, the professions with the highest levels of poor sleep were the police and military at 50 percent, health care support occupations at 45 percent, transport and material moving 41 percent, and production occupations at 41 percent.
 “We see the workplace is changing as Americans work longer hours, and there is greater access and use of technology and electronic devices, which tend to keep people up at night,” says Khubchandani. “Add to this the progressive escalation in the workplace stress in the United States, and the rising prevalence of multiple chronic conditions could be related to short sleep duration in working American adults.”
Contrary to popular belief, medications cannot make up for lack of sleep. Many of these medications can have side effects, including worsening of insomnia when inappropriately prescribed or used. Even in primary care, insomnia is frequently misreported or ignored.
“There is a need for increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders,” says Khubchandani. “There needs to be emphasis on public education, training for health professionals, and monitoring.”
To read Ball State University’s study, click here.


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