Sleep: 1 in 3 Americans Aren't Getting Enough

Are you getting enough sleep at night? New study finds for many adults, the answer is "no."
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According to the CDC, a third of Americans aren't getting enough shut eye, leaving them vulnerable to adverse health issues such as heart disease and obesity. What do you want to bet most of the people who reported needing more sleep are parents?

Researchers looked at surveys from 400,000 people in the U.S. and found 65 percent get about seven hours or more of much-needed rest. But the rest of the country is apparently sleep-deprived—and that's a problem, but not only because they probably feel exhausted!

"Sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality," the CDC wrote in its report.

Dr. Wayne Giles, director of CDC's Division of Population Health, adds that the survey further revealed many adults don't know about healthy habits around bedtime. That's right; a nightly routine isn't just for the kids in the house. "Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need," he said.

Once you become a parent, it may feel like getting a good night's sleep is a thing of the past, but that shouldn't be!

Interestingly, Americans living in paradise, A.K.A. Hawaii, get the least amount of zzz's while South Dakotans are getting the most nightly rest. Could that have something to do with the amount of daylight hours? Researchers didn't speculate on that point. But they did find that snooze time is tied to race and economic status: Black people tend to get less rest than whites and Hispanics, and lower-income individuals are also sleeping less. The report specified:

"People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent)."

The takeaway: Get more rest. I know, I know. Easier said than done. But clearly sleeping at least seven hours per night is tied to major health benefits both you and your kiddos need.Do you get enough shut eye each night?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

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