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Sleepless Nights Plague America
Date:3/8/2010

ent of blacks and Hispanics report having sex every night, compared with 1 percent of Asians and 4 percent of whites.
  • Doing job-related work before bed is more common among blacks and Asians than whites or Hispanics.
  • More blacks and Hispanics say they lose sleep over financial worries (12 and 11 percent) than whites (6 percent) or Asians (1 percent).
  • Blacks say they need less sleep, and get 38 minutes less sleep than whites and 34 minutes less than Asians.
  • Fewer Asians (9 percent) say they never or rarely get a good night's sleep than whites (20 percent), blacks (18 percent) and Hispanics (14 percent).
  • Fewer Asians (52 percent) watch TV before going to bed than whites (64 percent), blacks (75 percent) or Hispanics (72 percent), but Asians are most likely to use the Internet every night.
  • Asians report getting the best sleep and infrequently use sleeping pills.
  • Whites are more likely to use over-the-counter sleep aids.
  • Blacks are most likely to use prescription sleeping pills.
  • Blacks have the highest rate of sleep apnea, a common but potentially serious sleep disorder.
  • What accounts for these ethnic differences isn't clear, Loredo said. "The differences could be cultural or the environment," he said.

    Television keeps many people awake, Loredo noted. As does the recession.

    Dr. Bruce A. Nolan, an associate professor of clinical neurology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences and medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the economic crisis is a common cause of sleeplessness.

    "Many people are experiencing more difficulty with sleep related to economic, social and personal circumstances," he said. "It really says that bad days lead to bad nights."

    But efforts to improve sleep habits will pay off, Nolan said. "Better quality of sleep gives better quality of lif
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