One-Third of Americans Lose Sleep Over Economy

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

at least once in the past year. Nearly one-third of drivers polled (28%) say that they have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving a vehicle.

Two out of every ten Americans sleep less than six hours a night. People sleeping too few hours report being too tired to work efficiently, to exercise or to eat healthy. Nearly 40% of these Americans sleeping too few hours have driven when drowsy at least once a month in the past year and nearly 90% report symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights a week in the past month.

“With the economy worsening, we are seeing patients in our clinic who have told us that they would not be returning for treatment because they or a family member have lost their jobs, and they are concerned about costs,” says Meir Kryger, MD, Director of Research and Education at Gaylord Sleep Services. “These patients may wind up far sicker. Sleep disorders are often associated with other chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, and they can add complexity and even accelerate each other if untreated.” 

As experts predict that the U.S. economic situation may get worse in 2009, the National Sleep Foundation encourages Americans to maintain good sleep, exercise and diet routines to help combat anxiety and improve health and productivity. People should speak with their doctor if they are experiencing sleep problems.

Visit the National Sleep Foundation’s new website, to see how your sleep compares to other Americans’ and learn tips to help you sleep.

Poll Methodology

The 2009 Sleep in America poll was conducted for the National Sleep Foundation by WB&A Market Research, using a random sample of 1,000 adults at least 18 years of age who were interviewed by telephone between September 22, 2008 and October 30, 2008. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 %

2009 Sleep in America Poll Taskforce

Amy Wolfson, PhD , Professor of Psychology, College of the Holy Cross

Michael V. Vitiello, PhD , Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington 

Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH , A ssistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Retired)

Janet Croft, PhD

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