Sleepless in America: The Hazards of Being Tired
The poet William Wordsworth penned, “Rest and be thankful!” But most of us have to choose between the two. While the majority of adults attempt to get eight hours of sleep per night, the average U.S. adult gets just under seven hours of beauty rest. That’s a full two weeks of precious sleep lost per year. And instead of the bed, sometimes the tired masses take to the roads: two in three adults report driving drowsy in the past year, and 20% of car accidents occur because of drowsy driving, resulting in one million tiredness related car accidents per year.
And it’s no better in the office. No fewer than 30% of workers will fall asleep at their desks this month. Will you be one of them? And if you’ve noticed your lunches getting larger, it might also be due to lack of sleep. Sleeping six hours per night, instead of the recommended eight hours, can cause you to feel more hungry. And getting better sleep could help out your pocketbook, too — the average U.S. worker spends approximately $20 per week on coffee. If hunger, expensive coffees, car wrecks, and workplace embarrassment weren’t enough, the computer, phone, and television screens that you look at daily are forcing you to simulate wakefulness. Just because you’re in front of a glowing rectangle doesn’t mean that your body and mind are sharp. Try mindfully retraining your habits, and unplugging several hours before bed time. Sweet dreams!