Sleepless in America

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

March 14, 2007

“It's true. My daughter has two small kids, and they don't sleep through the night so I know she doesn't get a good eight hours, or even six hours of sleep,” said Linda Harris.

“I don't remember what it's like to get eight hours of sleep,” said mother of two Sharon Stone.

These women aren't alone.

The most recent Sleep in America study shows that more than 60% of American women say they only get a good night's sleep a few nights a week.

An even bigger percentage, say they frequently experience a sleep problem.

“It’s a combination of one not getting enough sleep, things that disrupt sleep like the children, and well as doing things to stay more awake that can also disrupt sleep,” said Dr. Steven Koenig, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia.

“I usually get up between 6:00 and 7:00 and usually get to sleep around 11:30. I'm just used to it now. If i don't get five hours of sleep in a row, then I’m just a wreck all the next day,” said Stone.

Dr. Koenig says that not only can a lack of rest impair your physical judgment, but it can also harm your mental state as well.

“There is an association between not getting enough sleep and anxiety, more excessive worry, depression, and so on and so forth,” said Koenig.

“Without a lot of sleep you can be kind of irritable and you lose patience, and that’s not good when you have kids because they require a lot of patience,” said Harris.

Experts say it all comes down to taking care of yourself, your family and your body.

“The bottom line is that not getting enough sleep can just impair the quality of life of the individual,” said Koenig.

Doctors also say that your body has natural rhythm, so to try and get into a regular sleep routine.

That means going to sleep and getting up around the same time everyday; also exercise regularly, and don’t drink caffeine within three hours of going bed.

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