CDC study examines sleep patterns of Americans in four states

ATLANTA About 10 percent of adults reported 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 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday.

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.

Nationwide, 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, the CDC reported.

“It’s important to better understand how sleep impacts people’s overall health and the need to take steps to improve the sufficiency of their sleep,” stated Lela McKnight-Eily, 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.”

The study, “Perceived Insufficient Rest or Sleep–Four States, 2006,” analyzed data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 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.

The study 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 sleep disturbance 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 sufficient sleep.

In addition, 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.

The study comes just before the National Sleep Awareness Week, March 3-9, an annual campaign held in conjunction with Daylight Savings Time.

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