If you feel tired and struggle to make it through the work day, you might not be getting enough rest. Healthy adults require seven to nine hours of sleep a day. However, a recent survey found that almost one third of US workers get six hours or less. In this podcast, Dr. Sara Luckhaupt discusses the importance of getting enough sleep. Created: 5/3/2012 by MMWR.
Date Released: 5/3/2012. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Hit the Sack
Short Sleep Duration Among Workers — United States, 2010
Recorded: May 1, 2012; posted: May 3, 2012
[Announcer] This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I'm your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
If you feel tired and struggle to make it through the work day, you might not be getting enough rest.
Dr. Sara Luckhaupt is a researcher with CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. She's joining us today by telephone to discuss the importance of getting enough sleep. Welcome to the show, Sara.
[Dr. Luckhaupt] Thank you for having me, and thank you for your interest in the study.
[Dr. Gaynes] Sara, how many people in the US suffer from insufficient sleep?
[Dr. Luckhaupt] Well, according to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, about 65 million adults in the US get less than the recommended amount of sleep, and this includes approximately 41 million workers, which were the focus of the study.
[Dr. Gaynes] Well, how much sleep does a healthy adult need each day?
[Dr. Luckhaupt] Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, they recommend that most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per 24 hours.
[Dr. Gaynes] Well, how does lack of sleep affect a person at work?
[Dr. Luckhaupt] There are many potential negative consequences of not getting enough sleep, and these include an increased risk of workplace injuries, and it is estimated that up to 20 percent of vehicle crashes may actually be related to drowsy driving. And, even more commonly, insufficient sleep may lead to poor job performance and decreased productivity on the job.
[Dr. Gaynes] What health problems can be linked to insufficient rest?
[Dr. Luckhaupt] Well, in studies, short sleep duration has also been linked to chronic health problems that include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression.
[Dr. Gaynes] Sara, can you give our listeners some strategies for getting more rest?
[Dr. Luckhaupt] Well, to the extent possible, both employers and employees should try to schedule work shifts to maximize opportunities for workers to get enough sleep. And if you're still having trouble getting enough sleep, despite adequate opportunities to rest, there are things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene. And these include things like going to bed at the same time each night, or day, in the case of night shift workers, and getting up at the same time. And then also, not exercising or eating a big meal right before trying to sleep.
[Dr. Gaynes] Where can listeners get more information about getting enough sleep?
[Dr. Luckhaupt] The CDC has a webpage about sleep and this can be found at www.cdc.gov/sleep.
[Dr. Gaynes] Thanks, Sara. I've been talking today with CDC's Dr. Sara Luckhaupt about the importance of getting enough sleep.
If lack of sleep is impacting your work life, ask your health care provider for ways to improve your sleep habits.
Until next time, be well. This is Dr. Robert Gaynes for A Cup of Health with CDC.
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.