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Published on Jun 10, 2011
The United States is facing a national sleep deficit - and it's getting worse.
The Center for Disease Control calls insufficient sleep an epidemic that's affecting our health, safety, mood and efficiency. It has links to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, anger and more. Most adults need 7 1/2 to 8 hours sleep each night and teens need 9 hours.
But two-thirds of Americans who responded to a survey earlier this year by the National Sleep Foundation said their sleep needs are not being met; 43% say they "rarely or never get a good night's sleep on weeknights." Why? Among the causes: the pervasive use of communications technology in the hour before bed, alcohol use and the lack of regularity in sleep schedules.
What can be done? In June, ideastream in collaboration with The Plain Dealer will launch Sleep: A Wake-Up Call, a multiple media exploration of sleep, and why many of us don't get enough of it. This special coverage will examine everything from shift-work to sleep walking, snoring to cat-naps, dreaming to insomnia. We'll also journey into the brain and body to understand what exactly happens in and to our bodies when we are sleeping.