Sleep of Short Duration Common in U.S. Workers

Prevalence particularly high in night-shift workers

THURSDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial proportion of workers in the United States get less sleep than recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, according to a report published in the April 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Sara E. Luckhaupt, M.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey to assess the prevalence of short sleep duration, defined as six or fewer hours per night, among U.S. workers.

The author found an overall rate of 30 percent of U.S. workers reporting short sleep, but that varied by industry, with a higher prevalence of short sleep in manufacturing workers and people who work night shifts (44.0 percent for night-shift workers versus 28.8 percent for those who worked the day shift ). A striking prevalence (nearly 70 percent) of short sleep was reported in people who work night shifts in the transportation and warehousing industries.

"Because short sleep duration is associated with various adverse health effects and with decreased workplace safety, targeted interventions are needed to increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep," Luckhaupt writes. "In-depth examination of work hours and scheduling with respect to industry can guide employers in the design of schedules that afford more opportunity for workers to sleep."

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