CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - New research shows South Carolinians aren't getting enough sleep.
The study, just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the first to document sleep time reported by Americans across the country. It found more than a third of American adults aren't regularly getting the recommended seven hours of shut-eye. That means one in three Americans is sleep deprived.
Here in South Carolina the numbers are even higher; only 61.5 percent of adults said they get the recommended healthy rest.
Geographically, people who live in the Great Plains states are doing the best job of getting enough sleep, while people who live in the Southeast and
states that boarder the Appalachian Mountains, are not.
The Southeast and Appalachian regions have high rates of chronic health problems according to the CDC. Experts say sleeping less than seven hours per day puts you at risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and mental distress. And lack of sleep, they say, can increase the chance of car accidents, workplace accidents and medical errors.
Researchers suggest people learn better sleep habits, and employers consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
They also say employers should help shift workers learn how to improve their sleep.
The study found multi-racial people, Non-Hispanic black, American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders reported less sleep time compared to the rest of the U.S. population.
People who said they were unemployed also said they regularly slept less than the recommended seven hours. Researchers say healthy sleep was highest among people with a college degree or higher, and those who were married, compared to those who were not.
The authors suggest health care providers routinely ask their patients about sleep patterns, and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and
excessive daytime sleepiness.
"As a nation we are not getting enough sleep," said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC's Division of Population Health.