Lack of sleep takes a toll at work, while driving: study
BOSTON (Reuters) - Less than seven hours of sleep each night is leading to a host of sleep-related problems including drowsy driving and difficulty concentrating at work, according to two new studies released on Thursday.
Roughly one-third of adults in 12 states reported getting less than seven hours of sleep each night with about the same number saying they've unintentionally dozed off during the day, according to one of the studies on sleep-related behavior from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Perhaps the most surprising finding is that one in 20 adults reports having nodded off at least once while driving.
Drowsy driving has been linked to more than 1,500 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States, government statistics show.
Lack of sleep has also been linked to chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers said.
Fitting in the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night is critical.
"In addition to eating right and exercise, sleep is also very important, but tends to fall to the bottom of everyone's priorities," said Anne Wheaton, CDC researcher.
Wheaton was lead author on the second study, which centered on lack of sleep and daily routines. Her findings showed people who sleep less than seven hours were more likely to report trouble concentrating, remembering things and performing at work.
Catching up on sleep in one shot, however, might not be the answer.
Researchers said long duration sleep -- over nine hours -- could lead to other problems.
(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)
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