A Third of Americans Don't Sleep 7 Hours
June 18, 2011
Insufficient sleep not only can affect your memory and daily performance, but studies have now shown that lack of sleep can impair your ability to drive an automobile.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that drowsiness, including nodding off while driving, is responsible for 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries each year.
When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 75,000 drivers in 12 states, results declared that 35 percent slept less than seven hours in a night, 48 percent snored, and nearly 38 percent had fallen asleep at least once during the day, while nearly 5 percent admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.
Results also proved drivers ages 25 to 35 are more prone to nodding off while driving and men are more prone to falling asleep while driving than women. According to ABC News, Dr. Allan Pack, director of the Center for Sleep at University of Pennsylvania reports:
"Most of us believe that there are a lot more fall asleep crashes than reported… [I]t's probably not reported accurately because a number of states don't even having a 'falling asleep while driving' tick in the box when reporting a car crash… [P]eople believe that if they cut back on their sleep there is no real consequence. Everyone knows the dangers of alcohol, but I don't think people understand the dangers of drowsy driving."
In related news, USA Today reports that people who are sleep-deprived eat close to 300 calories a day more than they do when they are well-rested. Ice cream is one of the most common foods people eat when tired.
So perhaps it's not surprising an additional study also showed that you can double your chances of reaching your target weight if you get the proper amount of sleep each night -- between six and eight hours. According to the Telegraph, the study found that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds were more likely to reach their goal if they had lower stress levels and got the right amount of sleep.