By Dr. Mercola
In 1942, 59 percent of Americans were getting eight hours of sleep – or more – each night. Fast-forward to 2013 and that percentage had dropped to 34 percent. Further, the number sleeping a dangerously low numbers of hours each night – five or less – increased from just 3 percent in 1942 to 14 percent in 2013.1
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even warned that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic linked to increases in motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and medical and other occupational errors.
They also pointed out that people experiencing sleep insufficiency are more likely to suffer from “chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”2
Many Americans in Denial Over the Importance of Healthy Sleep…
Here’s an interesting point to consider: a survey by the Better Sleep Council revealed half of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep. Yet, less than half of them take any specific action to help them sleep better.3
Perhaps that’s because 45 percent of men also reported believing it’s possible to train yourself to need less sleep. I used to believe this too… but it’s a myth. Your body requires adequate sleep – about eight hours a night or so – and there’s no way of “fooling” it or getting around this basic need.
Further, many seemed reluctant to acknowledge the extreme health risks of insufficient sleep. Less than 30 percent of adults strongly agreed that lack of sleep contributes to memory loss, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes, for instance.
And when Americans wake up sleepy, which happens quite often, close to one-third rely on coffee or other caffeinated beverages as a way to get
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