If I haven’t had enough sleep, you don’t want to be near me. I’m grumpy, grouchy, irritable and find it hard to focus on tasks. Without sleep, my brain doesn’t seem to want to function, so I’m left feeling useless as well as tired.
Did I mention I’m the working mother of a toddler? I don’t ever get enough sleep! While I’ve found ways to deal with my morning maladies (caffeine is a big factor) all I really want is enough good sleep – and it looks like I’m not alone.
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index, forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days. The index is a new poll of the general population that aims to track Americans’ sleep behaviors. The NSF hopes it will uncover new insights into Americans’ sleep beliefs, habits, knowledge and disorders and identify areas for improvement in sleep health.
Americans report sleeping seven hours and thirty-six minutes at night on workdays, and around forty minutes longer on weekends. Despite this range being within the recommended range for sleep, thirty-five percent of Americans report that their sleep quality was “poor” or “only fair.”
There was a strong correlation between sleep quality and overall health. Sixty-seven percent of those with less than good sleep quality also rated themselves as having “poor” or “only fair” health. Low satisfaction with life and higher stress levels were also related to lower sleep quality. The groups that reported the lowest sleep quality were those in low-income households or with less than a high school education.
There were also gender divides in the findings. Women are more likely to report insomnia, while men are more likely to admit that they snore. Despite reporting similar sleep times, twenty-four percent of women say they have woken feeling rested zero of the past seven days, compared to sixteen percent of men.
A little over eleven percent of the population had been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Since the NSF estimates twenty-five percent of Americans have the condition, this suggests that more than half of Americans with sleep apnea are undiagnosed.
Most respondents reported napping at least once during the seven days, suggesting that Americans may need more nighttime sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, see your chiropractor or a doctor. You deserve to feel well-rested after a full night’s sleep.
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