A new survey has revealed that just 5% of Americans regularly get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, in what could represent a significant health issue for a large proportion of the population. The findings could indicate a prominent level of sleep deprivation, which has many negative effects ranging from poor productivity, sluggishness and low energy, through to serious health and wellbeing issues.
One common after-effect of sleep deprivation is a lowering of reaction times, which frequently translates to ‘drowsy driving’. This highly dangerous practice has been likened to drunk driving, and the abilities of sleep deprived drivers have been scientifically compared to those under the influence of alcohol. It was found that after seventeen hours of wakefulness reaction times and basic driving skills are typically the same as with a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.05, while a full twenty-four hours of being awake takes the effect to that of 0.10 - which is past the legal limit.
While sleep duration is certainly a major element in overall sleep hygiene, the quality of sleep is perhaps a more significant factor. By maximising the time that you do get to spend in bed with sleep – rather than lying awake or experiencing disturbances – you’re helping to ensure that you’ll get the rejuvenating rest needed to stay alert and productive during the day, as well as healthy ongoing.
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