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Thursday, November 02, 2017

70% of Americans Worry That Sleep Affects Their Health

As daylight savings time ends, NSC urges Americans to take advantage of the extra hour of sleep.

​Itasca, IL – A National Safety Council probability-based survey found 70% of Americans are concerned that their sleep habits impact their physical health, and 67% are worried about the effects on their mental wellbeing. Despite these concerns, only 43% say they "frequently" get enough sleep to feel at their best the next day, and 39% say they "rarely or never" worry about getting good sleep.

The findings are released just as daylight saving's time ends – an opportunity for Americans to gain an extra hour of sleep and focus on their health and safety. Research shows that heart attacks[i] and car crashes – both of which are more likely if we are tired – decrease in the days following the time change[ii]. On the negative side, a Carnegie Mellon 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 NSC. "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[iii], 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 percent 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.

About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

[i] According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information study
[ii] Sandhu A, Seth M, Gurm HS. Daylight savings time and myocardial infarction. Open Heart. 2014;1(1):e000019. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2013-000019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189320/
[iii] According to National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

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National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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