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Americans Losing Sleep Over Financial Woes

National sleep survey finds economy, personal finances keep one-third of Americans awake at night

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Concerns over the state of the economy and personal finances are keeping one-third of Americans from having a good night's sleep, according to a report published by the National Sleep Foundation.

Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and colleagues on the 2009 Sleep in America Poll Taskforce polled 1,000 people across the United States on their sleep habits. They found that only 32 percent of respondents who reported having sleep problems discussed them with their doctor, and that 54 percent of respondents reported having driven while feeling drowsy at least once in the previous 12 months.

Since 2001, there has been a 13 percent increase in incidence of sleep problems, the authors report. Twenty percent of Americans have less than six hours' sleep a night, and among those respondents with too few hours of sleep, insomnia at least a few nights a week in the previous month was reported by 90 percent. Only 28 percent of respondents slept for at least eight hours, down from 38 percent since 2001, the researchers found.

"It's easy to understand why so many people are concerned over the economy and jobs, but sacrificing sleep is the wrong solution," David Cloud, chief executive officer of the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. "Sleep is essential for productivity and alertness and is a vital sign for one's overall health."

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