Tired? Study Says Americans Need More Sleep

A new CDC study finds 70 percent of adults don't get enough rest.

ByABC News
February 26, 2009, 3:27 PM

Feb. 28, 2008 -- Caffeine is a staple in office break rooms across the country, pepping up adults who slog through their days feeling drowsy and tired.

Perhaps we all just need a little bit more sleep?

A new study released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that adults are not getting enough rest each night.

Of those questioned, 70 percent said they had not gotten enough rest or sleep every day of the past month.

The study, which surveyed adults in Delaware, Hawaii, New York and Rhode Island, found that a lack of sleep is a particular problem for younger adults.

Of those between 18 and 34, 13.3 percent lacked enough sleep every day, compared to 7.3 percent of adults over 55.

The study did not find much difference between races or genders.

The National Sleep Foundation says that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Many are not getting that.

Nationwide, adults that averaged six hours or less of sleep a night increased in all age in groups from 1985 to 2006, according to a National Health Interview Study.

For example, in 1985, about 20 percent of men and women ages 45-64 reported sleeping an average of six hours or less. By 2006 that number had jumped to 30 percent.

The CDC says an estimated 50-70 million people suffer from constant sleep loss or sleep disorders. People often do not understand that lack of sleep can cause health problems.

But there is some good, if unsurprising, news: Retirement is apparently good for your sleep habits.

The CDC found that those who are no longer working were twice as likely to report that they got a full night's sleep.

Those who are unable to work at all perhaps because of medical or mental issues were the most likely to indicate 30 days of inadequate rest.

Sleep patterns can be influenced by what kinds of jobs people have, and even where they live.

The study found those who lived in Hawaii apparently got more sleep than their counterparts in the other three states studied.