America needs more sleep, study finds

March 3, 2011 2:30:43 PM PST
According to a new report out from the CDC, Americans continue to find sleeping a major problem in their lives.

More than a third of us report getting less than 7 hours of sleep on average and there are other startling findings.

Some 15-hundred deaths each year are directly related to a sleepy or sleeping driver, as are some forty thousand crashes.

Many of us are diving drowsy, according to today's report.

Five percent of the people surveyed said they'd fallen asleep or nodded off while driving during the previous month.

"If a person is driving, worse thing that can happen is a motor vehicle accident," Dr. Charles Dae of Cleveland Clinic said.

The survey was done in 12 states with nearly 75-thousand adults.

Over a third (35.3%) say they get less than seven hours of sleep a day.

Nearly 40 percent (37.9%) reported that they had unintentionally fallen asleep at least once during their previous month.

That bane of every sleep partner -- snoring -- was reported by nearly half of those surveyed.

"We do need to make sleep a priority in our lives," Dr. Dae said.

But sleep impairment is also a factor in the development of chronic diseases, work mistakes and relationship difficulties.

The CDC says a multi-pronged approach is need, including public education about sleep, trained experts to deal with it and societal factors including work policies also need to be considered.