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Millions of Americans Don't Get Enough Sleep
Date:10/29/2009

Seven hours of rest a night is important for good health, expert says

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-third of adults say they are getting enough sleep every night, a new U.S. government report shows.

Some 50 million to 70 million American adults suffer from sleep and wakefulness disorders, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not getting enough sleep has been tied to mental distress, depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and certain risk behaviors including cigarette smoking, physical inactivity and heavy drinking.

"There is a relatively small percentage of people getting what sleep experts feel is an adequate amount of rest and sleep," said Dr. Bruce Nolan, director of the sleep center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved in the report. "That is a very important physical and mental health concern."

Getting at least seven hours of sleep results in greater alertness, better work performance and better quality of life, Nolan said. "People who get too little or too much sleep are associated with more health problems, including work problems, performance problems and productivity problems," he noted.

The report is published in the Oct. 30 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.

Of the U.S. adults surveyed regarding their sleep in the past month, 11.1 percent said they did not get enough sleep every day of the month.

In addition, CDC researchers found that women (12.4 percent) were more likely than men (9.9 percent) to report not getting enough sleep. There were ethnic differences, with blacks (13.3 percent) saying they got less sleep compared with all other ethnic groups.

There were also geographical differences, which ranged from a low of 7.4 percent of people in North Dakota not getting enough rest to 19.3 percent in West Virginia
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