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The Most Recent Sleeping Disorder Statistics in America

Fewer Americans are taking sleep seriously, and even fewer are getting the sleep that they need. Unfortunately, a noticeable lack of sleep can have a negative effect on health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a lack of sleep can have effects like depression, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. In this same article, CDC also goes on to say that lack of sleep is an epidemic sweeping our nation.

Among these dangers to the non-sleepers themselves, higher rates of car crashes, industrial accidents, and other occupational hazards can all be linked in some way to a lack of proper rest.

Despite the dangers associated with not sleeping, the statistics and current state of sleeping disorders in America suggests we’re still not taking the proper steps to fix the problem. Disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, night terrors, and shift work sleep disorder are becoming more prevalent in American society, and the good news is that more people are becoming aware of them and how they can affect their own lives.

Sleep in America Poll 2014

Every year, the National Sleep Foundation conducts a poll called the “Sleep in America Poll.” In it, they ask a group of people to answer questions about their sleep habits in order to better understand how sleep, or lack thereof, is affecting Americans. This year, the NSF surveyed 1,103 adults who are parents to children between the ages of 6 and 17 in order to understand how the modern family sleeps. While the overall results may not be entirely shocking, the specifics may be.

First of all, the NSF asked parents if they considered sleep to be important for them and their kids. Over 90% agreed that sleep was important for both them and their children. The parents were then asked to estimate how many hours of sleep their children were getting every night. Only 45% of the children received 9 hours of sleep.

With the advent of mobile technology, electronics have become a staple in Americans’ lives. The NSF determined that 89% of adults and 75% of children have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms when they go to bed. Even further, 68% of adults and 51% of children have two or more devices in their bedrooms. A marked decrease in the amount of sleep can be seen when these electronics are left turned on overnight. The presence of lights and noises from these devices can cause a lot of disturbance during sleep, which leads to children and adults alike not getting enough through the night.

Sleep Disorders

While not getting enough sleep during the night can be a type of disorder in and of itself, there are actual diseases that plague Americans all over the country. Some of the more common of these diseases include insomnia, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder.

Insomnia

  • This disorder is actually considered to be a symptom more than a disorder, and it is often the result of a different disorder such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
  • It can also be caused by depression, pain, medications, or poor sleep habits.
  • It occurs when someone has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up not feeling refreshed at all.
  • According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 48% of Americans report occasional insomnia. Around 22% of Americans experience insomnia on a chronic basis. Of those who report insomnia, people who are divorced or widowed often experience it more.
  • Sleep Apnea

  • This disorder refers to instances when a person regularly experiences interrupted breathing during sleep. This happens when the muscles in the throat don’t keep the airway open.
  • The National Sleep Foundation estimates that around 18 million adults in America suffer from sleep apnea. It is harder to estimate in children due to monitoring problems, but the range is between 2% minimum to 20% maximum.
  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder

  • This disorder is seen exclusively in people that often work shifts outside of the normal 9 to 5 work day.
  • The disorder is characterized by excessive drowsiness and insomnia.
  • People that typically suffer from this kind of sleep problem are more prone to accidents in the workplace or while driving, which can both be very dangerous to all involved.
  • Getting More Sleep

    Because of the problems associated with lack of sleep, more Americans should try to get more rest every night. Unfortunately, most Americans are instead trying to fit more hours into the day in order to get everything done. A lot of people don’t even know how much sleep they should be getting on a nightly basis.

    The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, while teenagers should get 9-10 hours, and children should get at least 10 hours of sleep. In order to make sure you get the recommended hours of sleep, you should practice good sleep hygiene. This term refers to the habits you create at bedtime.

    Things such as setting a consistent schedule, avoiding large meals and caffeine, and turning off your electronics can all be good habits that promote healthy sleep routines. When you take the time to promote good sleep hygiene, you will notice the difference when you wake up to take on the world every new day.