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CDC: More Than One-Third of Americans Lack Sleep

Sleep-related difficulties more likely among those getting less than seven hours of sleep

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of Americans do not get adequate sleep on a daily basis, which affects activities of daily living -- particularly resulting in an inability to concentrate on actions, according to two reports in the March 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In the first report, the CDC evaluated data from a new sleep module added to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2009 to assess the prevalence and distribution of selected sleep difficulties and behaviors. Among 74,571 adult respondents in 12 states, 35.3 percent reported having less than seven hours of sleep on average during a 24-hour period, with 48.0 percent reporting snoring, 37.9 percent reporting unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least one day in the prior 30 days, and 4.7 percent reporting nodding off or falling asleep while driving in the preceding 30 days.

In the second report, the CDC analyzed data from the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The report revealed that 37.1 percent of adults reported regularly sleeping less than seven hours per night. Short sleep duration was more common among adults aged 20 to 39 years (37.0 percent) or 40 to 59 years (40.3 percent) as compared with adults aged ≥60 years (32.0 percent). Short sleep duration was also more common among non-Hispanic blacks (53.0 percent) than among non-Hispanic whites (34.5 percent), Mexican Americans (35.2 percent), and persons of other races/ethnicities (41.7 percent). Perceived sleep-related difficulties were significantly more likely among individuals reporting less than seven hours of sleep as compared with those reporting between seven to nine hours of sleep; the most prevalent was an inability to concentrate on doing things (23.2 percent).

"Based on these findings, at least one third of U.S. residents do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, and this impairs their ability to perform daily tasks," write the authors of the second report. "Chronic sleep deprivation also has a cumulative effect on mental and physical well-being and can exacerbate chronic diseases."

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