A new survey says that we’re tired more than 40% of each week and the only thing we do to fix the problem is to try to wake up.
The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) annual Sleep in America poll shows Americans feel sleepy on average three times a week, with 62% trying to “shake it off” as their primary response.
“I have patients in my office every day who can’t understand why they are always so sleepy” said Dr. Paul Doghramji, a family physician. “It’s concerning to see so many sleepy Americans with no plan other than to shake it off.”
Those who feel sleepy five to seven days a week report especially high rates of irritability (52 percent), headaches (40 percent), and feeling unwell (34 percent).
The Sleep in America poll found when people feel sleepy, more Americans say it’s generally because they’re not sleeping well enough (55 percent) as opposed to not having enough time to sleep (44 percent).
“These data suggest that people continue to avoid sleepiness as a symptom, but disregarding persistent sleepiness is ill advised” said Dr. Patrick Strollo, Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science, University of Pittsburgh. “Sleepiness isn’t normal. If you experience routine sleepiness you should address it.”
The NSF recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults aged 18-64 and 7-8 hours for older adults aged 65 and over. Characteristics of a good night’s sleep include waking up feeling refreshed, alert, and able to be fully productive throughout your waking hours.
There are simple and effective sleep tips to help you get a good night’s sleep. Sticking to a sleep schedule, even on weekends, and practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual are great first steps. The easiest way to get started is to start tracking your sleep. There are many devices and apps available to help you sleep better.