Many Adults Lack Shut-Eye

Published Online: Saturday, October 1, 2005

A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 54% of Americans have at least 1 symptom of insomnia a few nights a week or more. Of the 1500 individuals surveyed, more than a third reported waking up feeling unrefreshed, and 32% reported waking up frequently during the night.

Lack of sleep can cause health and safety consequences, according to the poll. For example, 1 in 4 are at risk for sleep apnea; 60% of licensed drivers reported feeling drowsy over the past year; and 4% had an accident or near miss on the road due to drowsiness behind the wheel. Sleep experts said that occasional episodes of acute insomnia are normal. When the episodes are chronic, they become a serious problem. Individuals experiencing insomnia 3 or more days a week for >2 to 4 weeks should see a physician. It may be a risk factor for other illnesses.

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