By Wayne Caswell, Intelligent Sleep and founder of Modern Health Talk
This last Sunday, I watched “Sleepless in America,” a 2-hour documentary on the National Geographic channel, and I captured some of its powerful statistics and blended them with my own, forming the basis of today’s article. But first, here’s the 3-min trailer. Additional short video segments are included below, along with a related infographic, and if the full length video gets posted, I’ll include it too.
Sleepless in America – Full Version (1:28:15 min)
How much sleep do we Need?
- Every species studied to date (plant or animal) needs sleep.
- Human Infants need 16 hours/day
- Children ages 5-12 need 10-11 hours/night
- Teens need 8-10 hours
- Adults need 7-9 hours
- Seniors need 6-8 hours
How much sleep do we Get?
- 2 hours — Americans sleep this much less than we did
50150 years ago.
- 40% of all adults sleep less than 7 hours. (Actually most sleep less than 7 hrs Mon-Fri.)
- >40% of night shift workers sleep less than 6 hours.
- 30% of all adult workers get less than 6 hours. (CDC, 2012)
- 70% of adolescents are sleep deprived.
Short Sleep is a KILLER
- 20% more likely to Die in 20 years
- 27% higher risk of Obesity
- Hungrier: high-calorie, high-carb
- Increased appetite for fatty foods 33%
- 500 more calories/day consumed (like adding 1 cheese burger/day to your diet)
- 30-40% reduced Glucose Metabolism
- 62% higher risk of Breast Cancer
- 48% higher risk of Heart Disease
- 5 times higher risk of Diabetes
- >29M Americans have diabetes.
- >79M more have pre-diabetes.
- 3 times higher risk of catching a Cold due to Impaired Immunity
- 4 times higher risk of Stroke
- 5 times higher risk of developing Depression
- Brain Tissue loss and failure to clear out amyloid plaques & toxins associated with Alzheimer’s
Drowsy Driving is a KILLER
- 20% of Car Accidents (>100,000/year)
- 1,500 Deaths
- 71,000 Injuries
- $12.5 billion Monetary Loss
- 32% reduced Alertness with 1.5 less sleep
- Like driving Drunk (<5 hours sleep as bad as 5% blood-alcohol)
Benefits of Good Sleep (messages for women)
- Look Better: We all need our Beauty Sleep
- Overall Appearance: less attractive, sad looking
- Weight: Lose 14.3 lbs/yr with 1 hour more sleep
- Health: Live longer & better
- School: Develop higher IQ, get better grades
- Family: Improved relationships & sex
Benefits of Good Sleep (messages for men)
- Improved: attention, creativity, decision-making, focus, mood, reaction & recovery times, working memory, and more
- Resulting in: more raises & promotions, earning capacity, net worth
- 11% quicker recovery from Exhaustion (better workouts)
- 17% improved Reaction Times off the block (swimming)
- 3% improved Reaction Times (basketball)
- 0.1 second faster 40-yard dash (football)
- 42% boost in Hitting Accuracy (tennis)
- 3x fewer lapses in attention (baseball)
- Naps among military pilots improved performance of 34% and alertness 100% (NASA)
Other Sleep Stats
- Corporate productivity: $63 billion/year lost from sleep deprivation (Harvard Health News, 2011)
- Disasters: Experts now believe sleep deprivation played a role in:
- the Exxon Valdez oil spill,
- Staten Island Ferry crash, and
- Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown, among others.
- among other disasters.
- Mood & Emotion: 60% more reactive
- Medical errors: increase dramatically with long hours.
- Students: later start times result in higher test scores, less depression, and 70% fewer car crashes.
- Only about 50% of people who try a CPAP machine for apnea continue to use it regularly.
- 60M sleep medications were prescribed by US physicians in 2011.