How much shut-eye do folks in New Jersey get each night? The answer, for too many people, is: not enough.
The state is on the bottom half of those with the lowest percentage of adults reporting the proper amount of sleep, according to a survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To promote optimal health and well-being, at least 7 hours of sleep each night is recommended.
In Jersey, 62.8 percent of us clock at least seven hours of sleep — beneath the national average of 65.4%.
Estimates of healthy sleep duration ranged from 56.1% in Hawaii to 71.6% in South Dakota. Residents of states directly east of the Mississippi, from Michigan down to Alabama, chronically get too little sleep: it is also the region of the country that has highest levels of obesity and other chronic conditions.
While you might think sleep is the one thing everyone has equal access to, there are striking differences in sleep time based on life circumstances. The survey reveals that:
- Married people, as well as unmarried couples, get more sleep than people who are divorced, widowed or separated.
- Whites get more sleep than any other ethnic group.
- People with a college education get more sleep.
- While teenagers have a reputation as big sleepers, it’s actually the elderly who boast the highest percentage of those getting at least seven hours a night.
- The category with the lowest average: The unemployed. Just 51 percent of them report getting at least seven hours of sleep.
Insufficient sleep is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and mental distress. Also, it impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of vehicle and industrial accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity.
With more than one third of U.S. respondents sleeping less than 7 hours per day, there is a need for public awareness and public education about sleep health; worksite policies that ensure healthy sleep duration for shift workers (particularly for medical professionals, emergency response personnel, and transportation industry personnel); and opportunities for health care providers to discuss the importance of healthy sleep and address sleep problems with their patients.