Public Health

Sleep Scarce In U.S., But Asians Get The Most

This morning you might be among the millions feeling just a little bit sleepier than usual after staying up late to watch the Oscars. But too little sleep is a nagging problem for many Americans, who often don't get the seven to eight hours a night recommended by experts.

Asians may sleep best, but everybody could use a little more shuteye.

Asians may sleep best, but everybody could use a little more shuteye. (iStockphoto.com) hide caption

itoggle caption (iStockphoto.com)

Now, just in time for Daylight Savings Time this coming Sunday, the National Sleep Foundation is out with a survey that shows some interesting differences in the sleep habits among ethnic groups.

First, a few similarities. About one-quarter of people, regardless of race, said their work schedules didn't let them get enough sleep. About 20 percent of people said they missed a family, work or social activity in the past month because they were sleepy or had a sleep problem. And around 20 percent (slightly less for Asians) said sleepiness had affected their sexual relationships.

So what are the differences?

Asians apparently sleep best, with 84 percent saying they get a good night's sleep at least a few nights a week. Only 66 percent of Blacks said the same.

On workdays, Whites and Asians got about seven hours of sleep, compared with six for blacks and 6 1/2 for Hispanics. When the weekend rolled around, everyone slept in about an hour longer, but Hispanics slept about an 1 1/2 hours longer.

What keeps folks awake at night? For Blacks, Whites and Hispanics, the most common worry that disturbed sleep at least a few nights a week was personal finances—reported by around 20 percent. For Asians, finance troubles were in second place—at 9 percent—behind concerns about personal relationships at 12 percent.

You can find an overview of the results here and here's a detailed report with enough numbers and charts to make you nod off.

The group behind the survey gets money from a variety of sources, including companies that make sleep-related products, but the support is unrestricted. The polls, like this one, are developed by independent experts. Hat tip to Booster Shots over at the Los Angeles Times.

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