Giving our bodies enough time to rest and recover is key for maintaining good health. In this podcast, Dr. Anne Wheaton discusses the importance of getting enough sleep. Created: 2/18/2016 by MMWR.
Date Released: 2/18/2016. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Get Enough Sleep
Prevalence of Healthy Sleep Duration among Adults — United State, 2014
Recorded: February 16, 2016; posted: February 19, 2016
[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.
Giving our bodies enough time to rest and recover is key for maintaining good health.
Dr. Anne Wheaton is a researcher with CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She’s joining us today to discuss the importance of getting enough sleep. Welcome to the show, Anne.
[Dr. Wheaton] Thank you for having me.
[Dr. Gaynes] Anne, let’s start with how much sleep does an adult need to maintain good health?
[Dr. Wheaton] Adults should aim to get seven or more hours of sleep per night on a regular basis.
[Dr. Gaynes] Are Americans getting enough sleep and does that vary by region of the country?
[Dr. Wheaton] About one third of U.S. adults report that they typically get less than seven hours of sleep per day. And our study was the first to estimate healthy sleep duration at the state level and we did find some variation. We found that adults in the southeastern United States and along the Appalachian mountains were more likely to report insufficient sleep and previous studies have shown that these same regions also have a high prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions. Adults in the Great Plains states, on the other hand, were less likely to report getting are less than the recommended amount of sleep.
[Dr. Gaynes] What are the health problems associated with too little sleep?
[Dr. Wheaton] You might be surprised. It’s not just a matter of feeling sleepy during the day. Long term insufficient sleep is associated with lots of chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, and poor mental health.
[Dr. Gaynes] Anne, you mentioned the long term effects of insufficient sleep, what impact can a lack of sleep have on our daily lives?
[Dr. Wheaton] Even one night of not getting enough sleep can have consequences. It can affect your mood or your productivity at work and it can also increase your risk of being involved in a drowsy driving crash.
[Dr. Gaynes] What are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep?
[Dr. Wheaton] First, make getting enough sleep a priority and set aside enough time to get the sleep you need. So, you need to keep to a consistent sleep schedule so that you go to the bed at the same time each night and you get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends. And set the stage for good sleep by making sure you bedroom is dark, quiet, and not too hot or too cold. Turn off or remove televisions, computers, mobile devices, and other distracting or light emitting electronic devices from the bedroom. And finally, avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtimes. People may think that alcohol will actually help their sleep, and although it may help you fall asleep, your sleep won’t be very good quality and you may end up waling up during the night.
[Dr. Gaynes] Where can listeners get more information about getting enough sleep?
I’ve been talking today with CDC’s Dr. Anne Wheaton about the importance of sufficient rest. Too little sleep is associated with a variety of health problems and can also impact our mental alertness. Make sleep a priority and stick to a consistent schedule, even on the weekends. If you’re having trouble getting adequate sleep, talk with your health-care provider.
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.