CDC Finds Most Americans Experience Insufficient Sleep

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October 29, 2009

Woman Sleeping

A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds a majority of Americans experience insufficient rest or sleep at least once during a 30-day period. The findings come from an analysis conducted in 2008 of data from all 50 states (as well as D.C. and three U.S. territories) using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The system, run by state health departments in conjunction with CDC, gathered information through a random telephone survey of more than 400,000 adults 18 years and older. Participants were asked "During the past 30 days, for about how many days have you felt you did not get enough rest or sleep?" While over 30 percent reported no days of insufficient rest or sleep, 41 percent reported between one to 13 days, almost 17 percent reported 14 to 29 days and 11 percent reported insufficient rest or sleep for the entire 30-day period.

According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2009 Sleep in America ™ poll, the number of Americans who report they get less than six hours of sleep on average increased significantly from 13 percent in 2001 to 20 percent. The poll also found the number of Americans who report they get eight hours or more has decreased from 38 percent in 2001 to 28 percent. Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health and safety. As a result of the study, the CDC recommends that health care providers consider adding sleep assessments to routine office visits in order to make needed interventions or referrals to sleep specialists.