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Sleep Deprivation Common Among Americans

In a new survey released on Monday, the National Sleep Foundation found that most Americans are sleep-deprived. The survey was conducted to help determine the sleeping habits of Americans, and found that ethnic groups varied in their habits.

The poll found that most Americans have trouble sleeping. Around 20 percent of Hispanics and blacks said they lost sleep every night over economic, health or personal issues. Nearly four in 10 Hispanics (38 percent) and a third of African-Americans reported losing sleep a few nights a week over any of those concerns. Whites and Asians reported less trouble with sleep, with only about 25 percent complaining of trouble sleeping.

All ethnic groups surveyed said they had missed work or family functions because they were just too tired (19-24 percent). Among couples living together, all ethnic groups also frequently reported being too tired for sex, nearly 25 percent of the time.

“If you are having trouble sleeping, and you sleep with your spouse, your child, your pet or all three, remember that may be contributing to sleep disturbances that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep,” said Sonia Ancoli-Israel, chair of the NSF task force that conducted the poll.

The poll found that African-Americans led the groups in prayer, watching television, and sex before hitting the hay. Three-quarters of African-Americans said they watched television in the hour before going to bed, and 71 percent said they prayed. One in ten said they had sex every night.

Eighty-five percent of Asians said they had a good night’s sleep at least a few nights or more a week, and most of them did it without sleep aids.

Only five percent of Asians said they used a sleep medication at least a few nights a week compared with 13 percent of whites, nine percent of blacks and eight percent of Hispanics.

Hispanics are the most likely to say they are kept awake by financial, employment, personal relationship or health-related concerns, the study shows.

Caucasians were the most likely to report sleeping with their pets: 14 percent of whites said they usually slept with Fido or Fluffy compared with just two percent of respondents from the other ethnic groups.

Asians were the most likely to report sleeping in the same room with their children: 28 percent of Asians said they did compared to 22 percent of Hispanics, 15 percent of blacks and eight percent of whites.

Only 18 percent of Asians, one third of whites and just under half of Hispanics said they prayed before going to bed.

The 2010 Sleep in America poll was released Monday by the National Sleep Foundation and surveyed 1,007 adults ages 25 to 60.

Source: National Sleep Foundation

Sleep Deprivation Common Among Americans

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APA Reference
News Editor, P. (2018). Sleep Deprivation Common Among Americans. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 9 Mar 2010)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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