This is the thing that keeps Americans from sleeping the most

Every physical and cognitive function is influenced by quality sleep. A healthy sleep regimen offers boosts to our immune system and improves memory.

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Eighty-three percent of respondents surveyed in a recent Well+Good study said that the lack of sufficient sleep takes away from their quality of life, particularly fitness goals. Seventy percent surveyed to be exact, said sleepless nights prohibit consistent exercise, and an additional 64% said that it affects the quality of their output at work.

For most, the median amount of time spent lying awake in bed is about six hours.  Although the recommended amount of sleep for an otherwise healthy 18 to 64-year-old is seven to nine hours, it should be noted that exactly “when” that window is achieved has no effect on sleep quality. There isn’t a categorical word on bedtimes, just on the amount of sleep obtained relative to age. “Honestly, I don’t really ever prescribe an ideal bedtime because there’s natural variations from one person to another,” licensed sleep expert, Shelby Harris PsyD explained to Well+Good.


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Seven to nine hours of sleep may seem high, but that’s only because six hours, has been the reported norm for adults for so long. Data uncovered by researchers at The University of California, San Fransisco,  motioned that a rare gene found in only about 3% of the population, allows these select few to function on as few as six hours of sleep per night. For the remaining 97% of us, this is far too little actually.

Every physical and cognitive function is influenced by quality sleep. A healthy sleep regimen offers boosts to our immune system, helps us regulate weight loss, and improves memory.

Identifying the cause

In Well+Good’s report, “general stress” was occasioned the most often (65%), as far as the reason for chronic insomnia is concerned, with “anxiety” and “work/school” following just a few percentages behind (60% and 55% respectively). A Bankrate survey from just last year, reports that 41% of Americans are kept up all night due to problems in their relationship, and 36% occasioned financial problems.

These commonly reported factors work in unison with predictors of insomnia that are not determined by mental health or external stressors. For instance, in the very same Well+Good study cited above, more than half of the respondent said that they might achieve more quality rest if their partner had a different bedtime.

In a new study, published by Mattress Firm of over 3,000 individuals, 30% of surveyees said that they had to have the TV on to fall asleep, even though independent research has rebuked this has an effective method of improving sleep hygiene. Another survey, claims that 72% of children ages 6 to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom. In addition to precluding quality rest, keeping electronic devices, namely cell phones, in the bed with you while you attempt to sleep, is studied to yield harmful hormonal effects.

The daily habits that heavily influence a healthy circadian rhythm often get taken for granted, like the things we eat for instance. As previously reported, nutrition plays an enormous role in governing our quality of sleep.  Dietician Alison Stowell is a prolific member of The American Dietetic Association. that recently spoke with Ladders, about the specific foods that contribute to higher quality sleep, like seafood, bananas, and chocolate just to name a few.

There’s a lot of studied sleep remedies for those that are not too keen on taking supplements or medication. Exercise is a recommendation that accompanies most health regiments. One Medical recommends at least thirty minutes of exercise for quality sleep most days of the week.

Intense to moderate physical activity causes an increase in body temperature. Once we’ve stopped exercising and drop back down to normal temperatures, the body is met with a calming effect that has been shown to promote sleep.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.