Study: We’re Not Getting Enough Sleep


Veronica Carter, Arkansas News Service

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As a nation we are not getting enough sleep. That’s the conclusion of a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It took a look at sleep patterns on a state-by-state basis, and found those in the southeastern United States and in the Appalachian Mountain region are most likely to skip out on a healthy night’s sleep.

Anne Wheaton, epidemiologist and lead researcher on the study, says there are a lot of health consequences that come with not sleeping enough.

“What happens after just one night of not getting enough sleep? It affects your mood so you may not notice that you’re in a bad mood but the people around you might,” says Wheaton. “It affects whether you feel sleepy and how alert you are and that can affect your driving.”

Wheaton says sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

She adds a healthy amount of sleep is considered seven hours or more per day.

Wheaton says the CDC surveyed more than 400,000 people and looked at race, employment, marital status and geography.

“In the southeastern United States and along the Appalachian Mountains there are larger proportions of adults not getting enough sleep,” says Wheaton. “And if you look at other chronic conditions, it tends to be that same area that has high obesity and heart disease and that kind of thing.”

Wheaton says to make sure you’re sleeping enough stick to a bedtime schedule, even on the weekends, and keep electronics out of the bedroom.

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