Tag Archives: sleep

Health could be at risk without enough sleep

If you’ve fallen asleep at your desk lately, it’s no wonder. More than a third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep each night — a deficit that could put their health at risk, a new report says.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed sleep surveys of 74,571 adults in 12 states and is offering up its findings in a report released Thursday, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

In questions about habits within the prior 30 days, almost 38 percent of respondents said they had fallen asleep by accident and almost 5 percent said they had nodded off or fallen asleep while driving.

For multi-taskers pushing the envelope, it’s worth noting that the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per day for adults and 10 to 11 hours for school-age children.

“Sleep difficulties, some of which are preventable, are associated with chronic diseases, mental disorders, health-risk behaviors, limitations of daily functioning, injury and mortality,” said the report, officially named the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

National Sleep Awareness Week is March 7 to 13.

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Sleepy teens may have technology to blame

Despite years of warnings about the risks of insufficient sleep — including poor school performance, obesity and, as presented in June at an annual meeting of sleep researchers, links to depression — teens and their parents say adolescent exhaustion remains a fact of life.

And the best parents can do is help balance their teens’ need for sleep with their need to keep up with today’s technology, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

Scientists studying teen sleep deprivation have several theories about why exposure to technology cuts into rest.

Some suggest that the media simply take the place of sleep and exercise. Others point to the arousing content of TV, video games and music as a sleep deterrent. Increased caffeine use could be a factor. And a more controversial hypothesis is that bright lights from the screens trick teenage bodies into delaying the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps trigger sleep at night.

Still others believe it is the use of multiple technological devices at once that keeps teens alert past bedtime.