30% of U.S. Workers Get < 6 Hours of Sleep A Night.

wsj - sleep 3These statistics are shocking.  And here I thought I was in a minority class…

“A growing number of Americans don’t get enough sleep, thanks to higher stress and other factors”

“Some 20% of automobile accidents come as the result of drowsy drivers”

“U.S. military researchers, meanwhile, have concluded that sleeplessness is one of the leading causes of friendly fire.”

“Technology was making the world smaller by the day; the global economy blurred the lines between one day and the next, and things like time and place were supposed to be growing ever less important in the always-on workplace”

“74%: People who drink a caffeinated beverage on an average weekday”

“13%: People who drink more than six caffeinated beverages on an average weekday”

wsj - sleep

“Researchers are increasingly finding that lack of sleep is terrible for our health. Sleeplessness has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, obesity, stroke and even certain cancers. The exact reasons for these effects are still largely unknown, but give support to the theory that sleep is the time when our bodies naturally repair themselves on a cellular level.”

wsj - sleep 2

“About 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled in the U.S. last year…That number is up from 48 million in 2006. Yet a number of studies have shown that drugs like Ambien and Lunesta offer no significant improvements in the quality of users’ sleep. And they only give you the tiniest bit more in the quantity department…”

“Nonetheless, there are steps we can take to adapt the way we approach sleep to be more effective for modern life. In a new branch of sleep medicine, scientists have identified how to get a good night’s sleep naturally. Most of the suggestions come down to changing your behavior. One thing you can do is go to bed at the same time every night. Also, studies have shown that people should avoid the bluish light from computer screens, TVs and smartphones—which our brains interpret as sunlight—for at least an hour before bed. And, by doing yoga or other relaxation techniques that put the mind at ease, subjects in studies have dramatically improved both their sleep quality and quantity…”

Read entire article @ Wall Street Journal: Decoding the Science of Sleep – WSJ.com

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  1. David: just what I need, more evidence of my unhealthy lifestyle. Thanks for the wake up call!


  2. Alex Jones says:

    Sleep is a major casualty of modern day living. Lack of sleep impacts mental health and the immune system.


  3. You know it’s an interesting trend and I’ve actually seeing many people in their 20s who are now suffering from insomnia when our parents never did. Though I’m sure it’s a number of different factors, this is my theory:
    1. The number of hours we spend in front of a computer at work. Many of us easily spend an entire day at an office doing computer work.
    2. The number of hours we spend in front of a TV.
    3. The greater separation we now have from nature. Nature has a very peaceful effect and we can feel more “in touch” with it, but so many of us can’t have that time very often.
    4. And, of course, stress. But what I find interesting is that “stress” in itself isn’t necessarily bad — it’s whether we choose to resist and over-think our busy schedules.

    I actually may write my own blog post on this topic because it is something so incredibly common in today’s modern world and sleeping pills and medication isn’t the answer — it only makes it harder in the long term.

    Anyway, thanks for posting! It gave me good food for thought! 🙂


    • Jennifer, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was actually shocked to see that the younger generations have a bigger sleeping problem than the older/middle aged. Then, I happened to get up at 2am last night, to find my Eric (18) upstairs playing Playstation remotely with his friend. I think you are squarely on point with your reasoning. I try to get Eric and Rachel to take walks in the park, they have zero interest. I hope to figure this all out before they grow old. Dave


      • Agreed. Seeing this trend with the current 20-somethings does make me wonder about the even younger generation. I see 13 year olds walking around with smart phones and staying up until 1 AM playing video or computer games… none of which are really mentally “stimulating” for creativity. Some shifts in daily habits need to be made. Anyway, thanks again for posting! Jennifer


  4. My eleven rules are:
    No lying in until lunchtime
    No daytime lie downs for longer than twenty minutes (set alarm clock)
    No coffee ever
    Avoid alcohol, but if you do have some, don’t drink it too near to bedtime
    At least thirty minutes fresh air and exercise every day
    No caffeinated tea after 5 p.m.
    No heavy eating less than 2 hours before bed, but preferably 3.
    Drink a pint of water in sips over the course of the evening to prevent dehydration (no swigging the drink, or you’ll need the toilet half-an-hour after getting into bed)
    Read a book before going to bed
    Go to bed when it’s painful to keep your eyes open a moment longer
    Ban yourself from active thinking

    P.S. I used to suffer from terrible insomnia. Nowadays, I sleep for 7-8 hours at a stretch.


  5. What is up with me? I have cut caffeine way back, didn’t even have a cup of joe today, but I am sleeping less than before….


  6. Sleep deprivation has a huge impact on performance. I’ve seen men who work 24 hour shifts in Mexico and they are zombie like after.


  7. Guilty as charged, I never get enough sleep, but as a working mom, and a night person, late night is often the only quiet, me time in any quantity available and I have found over the years that between sleep and the time to engage in what’s life giving to me, recharging my own battery – sleep loses. The stats are staggering I will admit!


  8. lkanigan says:

    Sad to say I am in all three graphics…for now. Mind just keeps racing on wanting to get things done and achieve others.


  9. I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blog Award and it is at http://ivonprefontaine.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/very-inspiring-blogger-award/


  10. No wonder we are all stumbling around in confusion!



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