Adults May Not Get Enough Rest or Sleep, New Study Reveals
Early to bed
and early to rise, something we learned as children, makes sense given
the number of Americans who suffer from chronic sleep loss and sleep
percent of adults report not getting enough rest or sleep every day in
the past month, according to a new four-state study released by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report.
The data from
the four states–Delaware, Hawaii, New York, and Rhode
Island–may not reflect national trends. But an additional study
conducted by CDC utilizing data from the National Health Interview
Study indicated that across all age groups the percentage of adults
who, on average, report sleeping six hours or less has increased from
1985 to 2006.
an estimated 50 to 70 million people suffer from chronic sleep loss and
sleep disorders. Sleep loss is associated with health problems,
including obesity, depression, and certain risk behaviors, including
cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, and heavy drinking.
important to better understand how sleep impacts people’s overall
health and the need to take steps to improve the sufficiency of their
sleep," said Lela R. McKnight-Eily, Ph.D., the study’s lead
author and a behavioral scientist in CDC’s Division of Adult and
Community Health. "There are very few studies to assess and address
sleep insufficiencies; therefore, more needs to done to better
understand the problem and to develop effective sleep interventions."
"Perceived Insufficient Rest or Sleep--Four States, 2006," analyzed
data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
(BRFSS) survey. Among the four states, the percentage of adults who
reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day in the past 30 days
ranged from 14 percent in Delaware to 8 percent in Hawaii.
concerned about chronic sleep loss should consult a physician for an
assessment and possible treatment, such as behavioral or medical
interventions, McKnight-Eily said. They can also try setting a regular
sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine or other stimulants before bed,
insufficient rest and sleep may be due to occupational or lifestyle
factors. The causes of sleep loss could include busy schedules or shift
work; irregular sleep schedules; or lifestyle factors such as heavy
family demands, late–night television watching and Internet use,
or the use of caffeine and alcohol, according to a 2006 Institute of
Medicine report. The National Sleep Foundation reports that most adults
need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to feel fully rested while school
children aged 5-12 years require 9-11 hours, and adolescents aged 11-17
years require 8.5–9.5 hours each night.
also found that the prevalence of insufficient sleep decreased with
age. An estimated 13.3 percent of adults aged 18-34 reported
insufficient rest or sleep everyday in the past month compared to only
7.3 percent of adults ages 55 and older. While some studies have found
sleepdisturbance more prevalent among older adults, results from this
study are consistent with other research that supports the idea that
older adults (who are more likely to be retired) make fewer complaints
regarding impaired sleep and adapt their perception of what encompasses
the study showed that only one out of three (29.6 percent) adults said
they did get enough rest or sleep every day in the past month.
report said the definitions of "enough" (sufficient) sleep and "rest,"
and responses to the survey question were subjective and were not
measured or equated to reports of hours of sleep per night. The report
said the analysis cannot be compared directly with studies measuring
hours of sleep. The survey question also did not define or distinguish
between "rest" and "sleep."
The study was
released in connection with National Sleep Awareness Week®, an
annual campaign held in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time. For more
information on the National Sleep Foundation, visit www.sleepfoundation.org.
For more information on CDC‘s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, visit www.cdc.gov/sleep.