One in Five Americans Is Sleep Deprived8 years, 11 months ago
Posted on Jun 22, 2010, 6 a.m.
Moderate to excessive daytime sleepiness resulting from insufficient sleep is a leading problem across the United States, raising the risks for serious injuries and accidents.
While the amount of nightly sleep needed to maintain daytime alertness varies among individuals, most adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep per night. A study by Stanford University (California, USA) researchers finds that one in five Americans fails to get sufficient sleep, resulting in moderate to excessive daytime sleepiness, which may be a symptom of serious sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Maurice Ohayon and colleagues surveyed the scope of excessive sleepiness in the US and other countries, finding the condition is more common in the US than in Europe: 19.5 % of U.S. adults reported having moderate to excessive sleepiness, and 11% of participants reported severe sleepiness, which was more prevalent in women (13% ) than in men (8.6%). The researchers also found that nearly 18% of participants reported falling asleep or being drowsy in situations that required a high level of concentration, such as during meetings or conversations. The team warns that these findings raise public safety concerns, particularly regarding the potential for workplace injuries and drowsy driving accidents related to excessive sleepiness.
“More Adults Report Excessive Sleepiness in the U.S. than in Europe,” American Academy of Sleep Medicine, May 21, 2010; http://www.aasmnet.org/Articles.aspx?id=1713.