Wednesday, May 14, 2008


A recent report published by the National Center of Health Statistics examines sleep patterns in the United States and the association between sleep and other health indicators. Interestingly, most (63%) people get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, but this leaves a substantial minority (about 38%) getting less sleep than recommended and a small proportion (9%) sleeping 9+ hours a night. Those getting 7-8 hours of sleep have the lowest rates of smoking, inactivity, and obesity.

Of course, it’s hard to say that sleeping too little or too much makes you obese. It might be that being obese makes it harder to sleep. Or it could be that other health conditions both interfere with sleep and exercise. Nonetheless, other research suggests that people who don’t get enough sleep eat more during the day.

Bottom line: A growing number of studies suggest that getting enough sleep is an important part of maintaining good health.

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