5 Scary Facts About Sleep Deprivation

National Geographic’s new documentary, Sleepless in America, is clearly designed to scare you into getting more sleep. According to the film (created with National Institutes of Health and The Public Good Projects), Americans today sleep an average of two hours less per night than we did 50 years ago. And the consequences—disease, obesity, memory loss—are sobering. Don’t let upcoming studio March madness keep you from getting a healthy amount of shut-eye. Still skeptical? Check out these statistics from the documentary:

1. Forty percent of American adults are sleep-deprived. Experts recommend eight hours.

2. When you lose sleep, your decision-making, reaction time, memory and communication go down by 20 to 50 percent.

3. Sleeping less than seven hours a night? You may be at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.

4. Sleep-deprived people consume 500 more calories a day than their well-rested peers.

5. Think you’ll catch up on sleep over the weekend? Wrong. Overworked people don’t have time to accomplish what they need to do during the week—so they stay up even later on weekends to make it happen.

 

Photo courtesy of newphotoservice/http://www.istockphoto.com

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