The facts outlined below are from National Geographic’s Documentary “Sleepless in America”

  • Sleep is not elective nor is an option, Sleep is required. If you want to survive Sleep is right up there with Food, Air and Water
  • If you sleep less than 6 hours a night you are sleep deprived
  • 40% of Adult Americans and 70% of adolescences are sleep deprived
  • 15 Million Americans work the night shift-40% of them get less than 6 hours of sleep per day
  • 30% of all working people in the U.S. sleep less than 6 hours a night
  • Every species known to man sleeps
  • On average Americans sleep two hours less a night than the average American did 50 years ago
  • The average American sleeps less than 7 hours a night Monday through Friday
  • The consequences of sleep deprivation are: degraded learning and memory, mood disorder, impaired cognitive functioning and reaction times
  • Individuals are terrible at recognizing their own impairment from sleep deprivation
  • Short Sleepers eat 500 calories or more per day than normal sleepers-Short Sleepers are more likely to eat more fatty foods and carbs
  • Sleep boosts the immune system
  • Amyliod Beta is a protein produced all the time in the brain which is flushed out of the brain when you sleep. There is a correlation between the level of Amyliod Beta in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Recent research shows that an individual receiving cognitive behavioral treatment for sleep while taking an anti-depressant doubles their chance of overcoming depression
  • 70 Million Americans suffer from Insomnia
  • The chances of having insomnia increase with age
  • Taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep is clinically significant
  • 20% of the U.S. population take sleep aids to help them sleep
  • In 2011, U.S. physicians wrote 60 million prescriptions for sleep medications
  • The most common prescription sleep medications are sedative hypnotics such as Ambien and Lunesta and their generic counterparts Zolpidem and Escopiclone
  • Sedation inhibits parts of the brain. These drugs are associated with sedation the next day. Such medications are for short term use not use over the long term.

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Related Resources

Educational Video: Sleepless in America

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