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Many Sleep-Deprived Americans Blame Stress

Sleeping Problems Affect Millions, and Health, Job Performance, and Relationships Often Suffer, Study Finds

By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Laura J. Martin, MD

Nov. 12, 2010 -- Millions of Americans say they're not getting enough sleep and that the lack of shut-eye affects their personal relationships, job performance, and mental and physical health, according to a new study.

A global survey of more than 30,000 people in 23 countries commissioned by the Philips Center for Health and Well-Being shows that people in the U.S. have one of the highest rates of sleep deprivation. The survey finds that 37% of Americans feel they don't get enough sleep. Only France at 45% and Taiwan at 50% had higher incidences of sleep deprivation.

What's Keeping Us From Sleeping?

So what's the problem?

  • 49% of Americans who don't get enough sleep blame stress and worry.
  • 38% say they are poor sleepers.
  • 36% say they go to sleep late at night and get up very early.

And Americans realize that not getting enough sleep affects their lives.

  • 57% say sleep deprivation is a factor in their level of physical health.
  • 48% say lack of sleep affects their mental health.
  • 46% say it affects their home life.
  • 43% say it affects performance on the job.
  • 41% report that it affects their relationships with others.
  • 34% say it affects their level of community involvement.

Among key findings globally:

Americans, like people in most countries, report that they are dissatisfied with the amount of stress in their lives. In a question on stress in general, 66% of Americans said they worried about having enough money to pay bills. Other stressors:

  • The economy, cited by 74% of Americans.
  • 67% reported feeling stress over health care costs.
  • 48% said job loss had left them stressed.
  • 49% felt stressed about getting enough sleep.
  • 32% mentioned their boss as a major stressor.

Philips says its global survey is intended to raise discussion levels about sleep, stress, and other issues that affect health and well-being. Royal Philips Electronics is a health-care company with more than 118,000 employees in more than 60 countries.

SOURCES:

News release, Ketchum, for Philips.

Philips Health and Well-Being Index: “A Global Perspective.”

© 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.



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