Tuesday, March 09, 2010
7570: Sleep On This.
From USA TODAY…
Americans of all races don’t get enough sleep
By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY
All Americans are struggling to get more snooze time, but a report out today shows that race and cultural differences play a role in sleep-related habits.
Today, the National Sleep Foundation releases its annual “Sleep in America Poll,” which reveals how much sleep Americans are getting, what their bedtime habits are, and who’s seeing the doctor and taking medications when sleep is elusive. This year, for the first time, the report explored differences in the sleep habits of different ethnic groups: Asians, African Americans, Hispanics and whites.
“We expected culture would have an effect, but the differences between cultures are probably bigger than the genetics of people,” says Thomas Balkin, chairman of the foundation’s board.
Overall, no one’s getting enough sleep, he says. Fewer than half — only about four in 10 — of respondents from each ethnic group say they get a good night’s sleep on most nights.
That African Americans report the least amount of sleep and that they report needing less sleep each night to perform best during the day bears more research, Balkin says. He points out that inadequate sleep is starting to be associated with obesity, heart disease and diabetes, diseases that are more prevalent among African Americans.
Though praying is more common among African Americans and sex is more likely among blacks and Hispanics before bedtime, watching television rates tops as the favorite pre-sleep activity for all groups.
“I don’t find these sorts of cultural background breakdowns nearly as interesting as the fact that we all appear to be in the same sleep-deprived boat,” says otolaryngologist and sleep expert Craig Schwimmer, medical director of The Snoring Center in Dallas.
”We’re really good about bedtime rituals for our kids — a bath, a story, a kiss — but not for ourselves.”
Treat sleep problems like other health concerns, says Michael Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.
”Many put up with them until they have a motor vehicle accident or are close to losing their jobs,” he says.