The Hazards of Sleeplessness and Insomnia on Health

by Dr Sam Girgis on July 20, 2012

The following is an interesting graphic that depicts the hazards of sleeplessness and insomnia on health:

 

 

In summary:

The average US adult needs 8 hours of sleep per night, but gets 6 hours and 55 minutes of sleep per night. That’s 393 hours, over 2 weeks of sleep hours lost each year. 2/3rd of the nation does not feel well rested. That’s 210 million people whose sleepiness is a hazard. On the road, driving on less than 5 hours of sleep is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05. 2 in 3 adults report driving drowsy in the past year. 1 in 3 has actually nodded off behind the wheel. 1 in 5 car accidents are a result of drowsy driving. That’s 1 million accidents a year for a total of $60 billion in damages. In the office, 3 in 10 people will fall asleep at their desks this month. Sleepy workers cost businesses an estimated $136 billion a year. More than the state GDPs of Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire combined. Meanwhile, in the bedroom, since a man’s testosterone drops 1-2% every year, lack of sleep lowers testosterone levels an average of 10-15%. Not sleeping is like aging his sex life 10 to 15 years. Lack of sleep takes a toll on general health: Sleeping an average of less than 6 hours increases lifetime heart attack risk by 50%. People over 45: Sleeping 6 hours per night instead of 8 increases stroke risk by 4 times. Lack of sleep also affects appetite-stimulating hormones: Sleeping 6 hours instead of 8 can cause you to feel up to 25% hungrier, leading to consumption of 350-500 more calories. Sleeping less than 6 hours could add the equivalent of 1 cheeseburger a day to your diet. To stay awake, the average US worker spends $20 per week on coffee. Simply being well rested could save you $1,040 a year, enough for a 52 inch flat screen TV. Get some sleep: Stop using electronic devices 45 minutes before bedtime – screen light stimulates wakefulness. Turn off your cell – people lose an average of 45 minutes of sleep per week to cell phone use. Have a routine: Your habits can teach your body to know when it’s bedtime. Sweet Dreams.

 

Reference:

Sleepless in America: The Hazards of Being Tired

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