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Americans Have More Sleep Debt Than Ever

Without a doubt, sleep is one of the essential requirements of optimal wellness. Catching the recommended amount of shut-eye can certainly be beneficial to your overall health and well being, but not getting enough can certainly take its toll, according to the latest sleep study released by the National Sleep Foundation.

The numbers alone speak volumes:

  • A quarter of adults believe sleep problems affect their daily lives.
  • Sixty percent of those who drive cars say they have driven while drowsy in the past year and 4 percent have had an accident or near-accident because they were too tired or fell asleep behind the wheel.
  • An astonishing 75 reported their partner has a sleep problem (the most common being snoring).
  • About 25 percent believe their sexual relationships have been hurt because they are too sleepy, meaning fewer intimate encounters or losing interest far too often.
  • Even worse, 70 percent of those polled said their doctor has never asked them about their sleep.
  • Only 50 percent believed they slept well on most nights.

The study also didn't take into account recent research that found how the lack of sleep can impair your memory and affect a woman's fertility. And, you can sure the mega-pharmaceuticals have been paying attention, with the approval of new drugs like Lunesta.

Some quick hints to help you sleep better:

  • Avoid bedtime snacks, particularly grains and sugars, which will raise your blood sugar and inhibit sleep.
  • Read something spiritual or religious to help you to relax.
  • Turn off the TV or, better yet, remove it from your bedroom.
  • Sleep in complete darkness or as close to it as possible.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes every day.

For more detailed facts about getting the right amount of sleep every night, I urge you to read my detailed sleep guide.

National Sleep Foundation Free Full-Text Article

Yahoo News March 29, 2005

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