Study: African Americans aren’t getting enough sleep

Only 54 percent of “non-Hispanic blacks” report sleeping at least seven hours each night – the duration recommended by health experts.

HealthySleepDuration (1)Nearly half of all African Americans aren’t getting enough sleep at night. That’s just one of the findings in a study released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, only 54 percent of “non-Hispanic blacks” report sleeping at least seven hours each night – the duration recommended by health experts. The CDC report was based on self-reporting by residents in all 50 state and the District of Columbia.

Blacks were not alone in being sleep deprived. In fact, more than a third of Americans said they are not getting enough sleep (7 hours) on a regular basis.

Healthy sleep duration was highest among Asians (63 percent), Hispanics (66 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (67 percent).

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

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Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health, said: “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”

Among the study’s key findings:

• Adults in the Southeastern and Appalachian Mountains are getting less sleep than other Americans. Those regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.

• Unemployed residents got fewer hours of healthy sleep than those who reported having jobs, and people with college degrees slept best of all.

• The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among married people (67 percent) compared with those never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).

For more information on CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, please visit www.cdc.gov/sleep.

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