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Sleep Deprivation Officially Declared a Public Health Crisis

Jan 17, 2019

Health and Wellness

Sleep Deprivation Officially Declared a Public Health Crisis

One-third of the Americans don’t get enough sleep! Sleep and your physical and mental health are strongly related, and sleep deprivation increases the risk of early death, mental health issues, disease, and disability.

Sleep Deprivation Is a Public Health Crisis

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society, adults aged 18–60 years need at least 7 hours of sleep every night to boost their optimal health and well-being.

However, about 80% of US adults reveal that they generally get less than the suggested amount of sleep at least once a week. Sleep deprivation is such a widespread problem now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared sleep deprivation a public health epidemic. According to their research:

  • 23.2% of Americans have difficulties concentrating during the day
  • 11.3% say insufficient sleep interfered with driving
  • 8.6% reported that sleep deprivation interfered with job performance

Read on to discover more facts about sleep deprivation and ways to counter it effectively.

How Much Sleep Do You Require?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends different amount of sleep according to your age. For example, school children need approximately 10 hours of sleep per day. This reduces to 9 hours of sleep for teenagers and 7 to 8 hours for adults.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Lack of sleep deeply impacts your brain’s functional ability. The collective impact of continuous sleep deprivation at night is linked to a greater risk of developing chronic disorders including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and frequent mental distress.

How Much Sleep Are You Getting?

According to a Gallup survey conducted in 2013, it was noted that 40% of Americans get to sleep less than 7 hours every night. This implies that 2 in 5 Americans are not getting the recommended quantity of sleep.

What Can You Do to Get Healthy Sleep?

To help you get healthy sleep, you need to make some lifestyle changes including:

  • Going to bed each night at the same time
  • Waking up every morning at the same time
  • Switching off or removing electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and cell phones from your bedroom.

The CDC also provides a few recommendations for healthy sleep including:

  • Healthcare providers should create awareness about the significance of sleep on a patient’s health.
  • People should prioritize getting adequate sleep and practice sound sleep habits.
  • Employers can include adjustments in work schedules to allow employees time to have enough sleep.
  • Employers can also make their shift workers aware about how to enhance their sleep.

Sleep is an essential factor for overall health and well-being as it serves many critical functions in our body. You should take proper measures to overcome sleep deprivation problems and stay healthy.

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