The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked a lack of sleep to industrial tragedies, motor vehicle accidents, and medical mistakes, all caused by inattention or nodding off at inappropriate times. Beyond that, the CDC say a lack of sleep can cause or exacerbate such problems as diabetes, hypertension, depression and obesity. If you don’t sleep well, you’re likely to suffer from cancer, a higher risk of dying, and a greatly diminished quality of life.
In short, getting a good night’s sleep may be the most important thing you can do for your health next to diet and regular exercise. Yet so many of us aren’t getting enough rest, and even when circumstances permit, may be self-sabotaging the time we do have to sleep.
Granted, we live in a world where hyperactivity is the norm. Work, school, activities, family, technology, entertainment, daily chores, pets – all are important, and all are consuming. That makes it important to segment out the time you have to lay down and recharge, but few take the time to do so.
The CDC devised their own sleep-related study, called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included a section on sleep habits. The survey found that among 74,571 adults in 12 states, some 35.3 percent reported less than seven hours of sleep during a 24-hour period deemed a typical day.
Of those, 48 percent reported snoring, and 37.9 percent found themselves falling asleep during the day at least once in the month, with 4.7 percent reporting the even more dangerous incidence of falling asleep while driving. The Department of Transportation found that 1,550 annual road fatalities could be traced to drowsy driving in the United States.