Sleep affects Health

  • A new study says 45% of American workers get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep is tied to less productivity, accidents and health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and depression.  There are 6 lost work days per year in individuals who sleep less than 6 hours a night, resulting in missing work or working at less than ideal levels.  Risk of death increases 13% for people who average less than 6 hours a night.

    If people want to increase their sleep at night, the researchers recommend physical activity during the day. They also suggest limiting the use of electronics before bedtime, and having a consistent wake-up time every day.   ("Americans' lack of sleep harms health, costs economy hundreds of billions," Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS Evening News, Nov. 30, 2016; and Rand Corp Report)

  • Having enough sleep actually helps us work better during the day.  The key is to get regular sleep - go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time in the morning. 

    Signs of too little sleep are when:
    • You can't concentrate during the day
    • You can't focus
    • You are feeling fatigue
Daily Sleep Recommendation:
16 - 18 hrs           Newborns
11 - 12 hrs           Pre-school
at least 10 hrs     School-aged Children
9 - 10 hrs.            Teens
7 - 8 hrs               Adults (including the Elderly)
                            (Source:  Nat'l Heart, Lung & Blood Institute)
Our sleep is negatively affected by being overweight, drinking sugary sodas, drinking caffeine and alcohol, and not dong enough exercise.  We need to change our lifestyle. (source:  "Restless Nation," Dr. David Agus, CBS This Morning, December 1, 2016) 
  • Sleep is one thing you cannot store up or save up, and sleeping for 10 hours in one night will not make up for weeks of not sleeping enough.  In fact, after 10 hours of sleep, people's reaction times and ability to focus were worse than if they didn't sleep at all. 

    Instead of trying to play catch up, it is better to get into a good routine and get in the habit of sleeping as much as possible.  Some ways to establish a routine before going to sleep to prepare your body for a good night's rest, are scheduling regular times to go to sleep and wake up, even on days off; removing all light and noise from your room when you sleep; and even wearing dark glasses before sleep to help your body fall asleep faster.  (Source:  2010 Harvard Medical School study and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine) 

  • Most Americans are sleep deprived. 
    • 38% of Americans unintentionally fall asleep during the day. 
    • 30% get less than 6 hours of sleep a night.
    • 4.7% fall asleep while driving
      (Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Sleep Medicine,, and Mental Health