More adults are getting less sleep. That’s the conclusion of a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looked at how long working Americans sleep each night.
The percentage of people who averaged six hours or less per night has increased since the last study in 2008-09. Then, the figure was 28%. The new analysis showed an increase to almost 33% for 2017-18.
And it didn’t make a difference what kind of employer the people had. Self-employed, working for the government or in a private-sector job, the results were about the same.
Experts at the Cleveland Clinic say at least seven hours nightly is key to maintaining good health.
Too little sleep can make it challenging to complete tasks during the day, but there are also more drawn-out consequences. A prolonged shortage of shut-eye is linked to some serious, long-lasting ramifications: high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, to name a few.
Your mental health also can take a hit, with greater vulnerability to depression, anxiety and other problems. Your immune system cannot be at its best without adequate sleep. Less sleep also means you’re more likely to catch viruses, such as colds. And, a tired body has a tougher time regulating hunger, leading to a greater chance of obesity.
Getting enough sleep is crucial. If that’s tough for you, be sure to follow consistent times for winding down each night, going to bed and waking up. Regular exercise, limiting caffeine to mornings and ditching daytime naps also can help.
Give it a try. Maybe you’ll reach that elusive seven or eight hours per night!