New Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data has spawned more consumer press on the negative effects of sleep deprivation. The latest comes courtesy of the June 22 USA Today via reporter Nanci Hellmich.
The USA Today piece reiterates that sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of many serious health problems, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, heart attacks and strokes, as well as premature death and reduced quality of life and productivity.
“CDC data show that 28% of U.S. adults report sleeping six hours or less each night, and that’s just not enough for most people, experts say,” writes Hellmich. “It’s no wonder that the CDC calls insufficient sleep ‘a public health epidemic.’”
Sleep is so critical to good health that it should be thought of “as one of the components of a three-legged stool of wellness: nutrition, exercise and sleep,” says Safwan Badr, a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a sleep expert with Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University, in the article. “The three are synergistic. It’s hard to lose weight if you are sleep deprived. It’s hard to eat healthy if you are sleep deprived. It is hard to exercise if you’re tired.”
Although people’s sleep needs vary, the sleep medicine group quoted in USA Today recommends that adults get about seven to nine hours a night for optimal health, productivity and daytime alertness. “That’s a conservative estimate when it comes to the number of people with sleep disorders or those who have difficulty sleeping,” says Michael Twery, director of the Detroit Medical Center. “There are more than 70 sleep disorders.”
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