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What the CDC Has to Say About Sleep

by BetterSleep
Apr 25 • 5 min read

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has previously declared sleep disorders as a public health epidemic. Based on everything the United States’ public health agency has to say, getting a good sleep every night is important for your mental and physical health. Moreover, there are studies and data to back that up, as well as the importance of getting the right amount of hours spent sleeping per night. But what else can the CDC offer you as far as how to improve your duration and quality of sleep?

Here are some CDC-certified facts about sleep, and how you can start sleeping better.

Sleep deprivation affects a LOT of people.

The CDC considers a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night as being an acceptable length for adults aged 18 to 60. Anything less than that can cause problems, ones as serious as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental conditions such as depression. In fact, the CDC has listed sleep deprivation as a disorder affecting more than one in three Americans. Good sleep habits and good overall health go hand in hand—and getting insufficient sleep can become even more of a risk if you drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, are overweight, or don’t get enough exercise.

Studies have been done about how long you should sleep for.

As mentioned earlier, “short sleep” is described as any sleep duration lower than seven hours each night. The CDC’s most recent estimates of sleep duration for adults in the United States were published in 2016, discussing a study conducted two years prior. In it, certain states such as Hawaii, Georgia, and many states on the East Coast saw between 38% and 44.1% of adults who reported not getting enough sleep at night.

Meanwhile, these percentages were considerably less in states like Minnesota, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon). Only 26.3% of these studies’ participants who were aged 65 and older reported sleeping less than seven hours nightly, much lower than the 35.6% reported by those aged 55 to 64. State-by-state breakdowns of sleep duration percentages can also be found.

How does the CDC promote healthy sleep?
The CDC’s website offers a variety of pointers for improving your quality of sleep, including how to optimize your sleep hygiene, how much sleep you need daily depending on your age group, and what to bring up with your doctor if you’re having trouble going to sleep. You can also learn about some of the most common sleep disorders (such as insomnia and narcolepsy), and how sleep has a strong correlation with developing certain chronic diseases. The CDC also offers some tips about developing better pre-bedtime habits, such as avoiding caffeine and tobacco, keeping electronics away from your sleeping area, and going to bed and waking up at the same times each day.

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