Home » Trending Health News » Sleep Deprivation “A Public Health Epidemic,” CDC Says

Sleep Deprivation “A Public Health Epidemic,” CDC Says

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that not getting enough sleep can have a serious impact on our health. That same report suggests that lack of sleep now constitutes “a public health epidemic.”

The CDC says that sleep deprivation can be tied to a number of serious health problems, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even heart attack and stroke. Because sleep deprivation shortens our attention span and reduces alertness, it can also lead to car crashes, industrial accidents, and other occupational hazards.

With that in mind, it’s very concerning that CDC data show that almost one in three American adults (28 per cent) say they’re sleeping less than six hours each night. CDC officials say that’s simply not enough, and insist that most adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

So, why is getting enough sleep so important?

Health experts like Timothy Morgenthaler, a consultant with the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, says that sleep brings about a number of critical physiological changes.

“One of the main hypotheses is that one primary function of sleep is to help eliminate metabolic waste products of the mental processes in your brain,” Morgenthaler says. “Sleep clears those waste products out and replenishes the energy inside brain cells.”

Given these findings, Morgenthaler says that “when we don’t get enough sleep, we actually injure brain cells.”

That’s why Michael Twery, Director of the National Centers for Sleep Disorders Research, says it’s important people with trouble sleeping consult a physician sooner than later. In fact, Twery suggests that people should treat feeling sleepy during the day like any other concerning health sign and talk to their doctor about the issue.


We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat

  • 7 Medical Causes of Night Sweats in Men and Women
    Have you ever awoken from a deep slumber, only to find that you're soaked in sweat? Whether your pillow is sopping wet or your sheets are drenched, sometimes there's no discernable...
    Trending Health News
  • 6 More Uncommon Causes of Night Sweats
    Ahhhhhh, you fall asleep in a perfectly temperate bedroom. The bedclothes and sheets are not too heavy or too light for the season.
    Trending Health News
  • The Dark Science Behind Nightmares
    You shoot awake jolted with fear and dripping with cold sweat—you just had a nightmare. You may be the frequent victim of scary dreams or hardly suffer them at all.
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Dreamy Benefits of Power Naps
    More and more studies have shown that power naps have many health benefits for adults. That's right, naps aren't just for kids and they aren't a sign of laziness.
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Tips to Help You Rise and Shine...Earlier
    Not many of us awake in the morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to tackle the day ahead.
    Trending Health News
  • 8 Spring Season Sleep Tips
    When we spring forward with our clocks—oftentimes our sleep schedules are uprooted. As we adjust to the new season, springtime has it’s own set of sleep disruptions, such as...
    Trending Health News
  • 12 Tips to Help You Sleep Through Hot Summer Nights
    If you don’t have the luxury of air conditioning, you may well toss and turn through the hot and humid nights of summer.
    Trending Health News
  • Bad Marriage? Expect a Bad Sleep, Too
    A new study shows that a bad marriage can have a hugely negative impact on one's sleep patterns.
    Trending Health News
  • Sleep Disorder Could Signal Onset of Serious Brain Disease
    Canadian health researchers say that a particular kind of sleep disorder could be a sign of brain disease and the onset of Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Little Known Facts About Yawning
    Have you ever wondered why you can’t resist a yawn when you see someone else yawn first?
    Trending Health News
  • The 9 Health Benefits That Occur During Sleep
    Did you know that most humans spend approximately one-third of their time sleeping? I know, with so much to do it hardly seems productive to devote that many hours to slumber.
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Common Medical Causes of Night Sweats
    Night sweats are a very common occurrence. Sweating during sleep refers to any type of excess sweating that makes you rise clammy and covered in perspiration.
    Trending Health News
  • Are These Foods Keeping you Awake At Night?
    Are you having issues with getting a good night’s sleep? If you’re struggling with getting a decent amount of zzzzs, you’re not alone. Roughly 70 million U.S.
    Trending Health News
  • Boo! New Study Reveals the Stuff of Nightmares
    The Université de Montréal recently carried out one of the most in-depth studies of nightmares ever recorded.
    Trending Health News
  • The 7 Dangerous Effects of Lack of Sleep!
    Are you one of those people who try to operate on as little sleep as possible? You’re not alone; most of us suffer from bouts of sleep deprivation.
    Trending Health News