Understanding Sleep Health

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julie flygare project sleep health sleep disorders sleepinessMany people view sleep as a waste of time disrupting our ambitious daytime activities.  Yet sleep is absolutely critical for our health, safety and success.

Are we getting enough sleep?

Nearly 70 percent of adults report insufficient sleep or rest at least once a month and 11 percent report insufficient sleep every day of the month.

Despite the physiological need, nearly 70 percent of high school adolescents sleep less than the recommended 8-9 hours a night. An insufficient amount of sleep in this age group is associated with suicide risk, obesity, depression, mood problems, low grades, and delinquent behavior.

Sleep loss causes issues with memory, attention, mood regulation, complex thought, motor responses to stimuli, and performance at work or school. Sleep loss may also disrupt thermoregulation and increase the risk of various physical and mental disorders. Short and long sleep duration is associated with up to a two-fold increased risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, incident cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, substance abuse, and increased death rates in multiple studies.

In addition, an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents each year are believed to be the result of drivers’ drowsiness or fatigue behind the wheel.