More Than a Third of US Adults Not Getting Enough Sleep
Two reports released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today (March 3) reveal the sleep habits of adults in the United States, including their increasing tendency to get fewer than seven hours a night, hurting their ability to concentrate and raising the risk of driving.
Residents of Hawaii have particular trouble sleeping well, according to the responses to one survey, and the CDC said more research on the matter is needed.
In one report, based on a survey of nearly 75,000 people in 2009, CDC researchers examined four unhealthy sleep behaviors: inadequate sleep, snoring, nodding off during the day and nodding off while driving.
Thirty-five percent reported getting fewer than seven hours of sleep on an average night, 48 percent reported snoring, 38 percent reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day sometime in the previous month, and nearly 5 percent said they'd nodded off while driving in the previous month.
The number of U.S. adults reporting that they get fewer than seven hours of sleep rose from 1985 to 2004, and that increase could be attributed to trends such as the increased use of technology and more people working night shifts, the CDC said.
Among people ages 25 to 54, nearly 40 percent reported getting fewer than seven hours of sleep. People over 65 were the least likely to say they got fewer than seven hours of sleep about 25 percent of them reported this.
About 46 percent of those currently unable to find work said they got fewer than seven hours of sleep, compared with 37 percent of employed people. And, of the 12 states in which adults were surveyed, Minnesota had the lowest rate (27 percent) of residents who got fewer than seven hours of sleep, while 45 percent of Hawaiians said the same.
In fact, Hawaiians had the highest prevalence of all of the unhealthy sleep behaviors.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults. Both shorter and longer durations can be worse for your health, the CDC said.
More than 56 percent of men reported snoring, while 40 percent of women did.
People ages 18 to 24 and those over 65 were the most likely to unintentionally fall asleep during the day about 44 percent of these groups reported nodding off.
And people ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to say they'd fallen asleep while driving sometime during the last month. Seven percent of them did, compared with just 2 percent of seniors, who were least likely to report this behavior. Nearly 6 percent of men said they'd done this, while 3
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.
By Rebecca Sohn
By Sascha Pare