Work Steals Valuable Sleep Time
Flexible start times, less late-night TV would help solve America's problem, experts say.
By Kathleen Doheny, HealthDay News
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Chronic sleep loss is rampant in America, and work commitment is a big reason why, new research suggests.
"Work is the No. 1 sleep killer," said Dr. Mathias Basner, an assistant professor of sleep and chronobiology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
A time-use survey of nearly 125,000 Americans, ages 15 years and older, found that work is the main activity exchanged for sleep. Short sleepers -- those who slept six hours or less -- worked 1.55 more hours on weekdays and nearly two more hours on weekends and holidays than those who slept longer, the researchers found.
Short sleepers were also more likely to have longer commutes or more than one job. Adults with multiple jobs were 61 percent more likely to sleep six hours or less on weekdays, the researchers said.
This finding "is telling us something about a trend that is a bit worrisome," said Dr. Alon Avidan, director of the University of California, Los Angeles Sleep Disorders Center.
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to ill health, including blood sugar problems and weight gain, said Avidan, who wasn't involved in the study.
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