Health Care

Extra Hour of Sleep Is Good for Your Health

ITASCA, Ill. — A National Safety Council probability-based survey finds 70% of Americans are concerned that their sleep habits impact their physical health, and 67% are worried about the effects on their mental well-being.

The findings are released just as daylight saving time ends this weekend — an opportunity for Americans to gain an extra hour of sleep and focus on their health and safety. Research shows that heart attacks and car crashes — both of which are more likely if we are tired — decrease in the days following the time change, reports the National Safety Council. On the negative side, a Carnegie Mellon University study shows pedestrians are three times more likely to be killed after the time change — presumably because it gets darker earlier.

“When we are tired, we can be deadly,” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager of the fatigue initiative at the National Safety Council. “Take advantage of the extra hour of sleep, reset your body clock and commit to a healthier sleep cycle so you can feel your best.”

Chronic sleep deprivation impacts nearly every aspect of a person’s overall health and can lead to depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. More than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or insomnia. The National Sleep Foundation recommends American adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every day; however, 30% are sleeping six or fewer hours each day, according to CDC.

The NSC probability-based survey – portions of which were released in a report in July – also found:

  • 59% of respondents are worried about how sleep affects their family life.
  • 63% are concerned about how sleep impacts their job performance.
  • 49% believe their sleep quality was “good” in the last seven days; 11% characterized it as “poor.”
  • 30% say work-related stress contributes to their lack of sleep or ability to stay asleep.
  • 59% say they are not able to perform their job as well when they are tired.

More information about fatigue is available at nsc.org/fatigue.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.