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More than a third of Americans get too little sleep, CDC report says

March 03, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
  • More than a third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep, a new study finds. (This pygmy hippo mom and baby at a zoo in Sweden appear to have no such problem.)
More than a third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep, a new study… (AFP / Getty Images )

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

Whoa! Let's hope some of this can be attributed to dozing off late at night in front of the TV and not in the middle of the freeway. Take the test yourself with these sleep survey questions.

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. (Parents can stop laughing now.)

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

The news coincides (how convenient) with National Sleep Awareness Week from March 7 to 13. And let's hope no one annoyingly asks: "Got sleep?"

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