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by Janel Foster, staff writer


One-third of Americans are losing sleep over the state of the U.S. economy, according to a new poll by the National Sleep Foundation. The poll also revealed that the number of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night has jumped from 13 percent to 20 percent. This is a disturbing trend, according to Assistant U.S. Surgeon General Woodie Kessel, M.D.
“ Getting enough sleep everyday is as important to your health as eating right and being physically active,” Kessel said.
David Cloud, CEO of the NSF, believes that financial instability is exacerbating this trend. “It’s easy to understand why so many people are concerned over the economy and jobs, but sacrificing sleep is the wrong solution,” Cloud said.
“ Sleep is essential for productivity, alertness, and is a vital sign for one’s overall health,” he added.
The findings of the poll confirm that those in good health are twice as likely to work efficiently, exercise, or eat healthy than those in poor health because they are getting enough sleep.
Many college students embody this type of busy, unhealthy lifestyle. While juggling classes, homework, a job, and a busy social life, it is easy to let healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, become less of a priority, especially during midterms and final exams.
HPU political science major Nicola Jeakins, 21, said that “Sleep is very important, but I don’t always get as much as I should. Some nights it’s because I’m out late, and other times I will be thinking about things that are stressing me out, so I can’t sleep.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 70 million people in America are affected by either chronic or intermittent sleep disorders. Tips to get a good night’s sleep include:
1. Try to have a standard bedtime routine. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet and that your pillows, sleep surface, and coverings provide you comfort.
2. Avoid foods and drinks high in caffeine (coffee, colas, or tea) for at least eight hours prior to bedtime, and avoid alcohol for a few hours before bedtime.
3. Use your bedroom only for sleep, not work; this will strengthen the association between bed and sleep. It is best to remove work materials, computers, and televisions from the sleep environment.
For more tips, or information about sleep, sleep disorders, or more findings of the NSF Sleep in America poll, visit their Web site at www.sleepfoundation.org.



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