Don’t Snooze on Sleep

We all need more sleep. There’s no way around it.

In January, the CDC officially declared sleeplessness a public health epidemic in America. In addition to the numerous personal health risks, the CDC’s move was motivated out of concern for mounting workplace and driving disasters in the United States. All signs point to a deepening sleep-deprivation crisis in this country.

For example, according to federally-funded studies between 2005 and 2008, an estimated 49.2 million adults have trouble concentrating because of their sleep habits. That’s around 20 percent of the U.S. adult population.

As to be expected, healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, are consistently ranked as the most sleep-deprived adults. I am highly appreciative of the sacrifices these care providers make every day (and night), and I am encouraged by the CDC’s treatment of sleep as a public health issue. In time, I hope that awareness and advocacy on the part of organizations such as the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation will help trigger a cultural shift where sleep gets the respect it deserves.

Here is a great infographic detailing the prevalence and risks of sleeplessness:

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