There is a mental and physical health epidemic in America that is impacting more than 86.3 million adults each and every night. It’s sleep deprivation, and while it may seem harmless it could be affecting your physical health, your mental health, and America’s bottom line.
In a recently conducted survey, it turns out that 34 percent of American adults do not get the proper amount of sleep per night. What is the proper amount of sleep you ask? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic an adult (17 years of age or older) should get anywhere between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Over one-third of American adults aren’t reaching that number.
Aside from the obvious drawbacks like being groggy in the morning, or possibly being stuck in a bad mood. There are some potentially very serious physical pitfalls you could be walking into if you do not get the recommended amount of shut-eye each night.
Right off the bat if you don’t get enough sleep your body won’t produce the right amount of a hormone called leptin which is the chemical that tells your body when you have had enough food. Not only that, but your body will also produce a higher level of a biochemical called ghrelin which, you guessed it, stimulates your body’s appetite. It is no shocker why people who get six hours or less of sleep a night are more likely to have a higher BMI.
This isn’t even mentioning the fact that you also raise your chance of getting heart disease. Yes, the same heart disease that kills over 610,000 Americans per year. That accounts for one in every fourth US deaths. The reason this happens is that sleep deprivation can lead to higher blood pressure and chemicals that produce arterial inflammation, both of which have been directly linked to heart disease.
Remember that bad mood that you get in when you don’t catch enough Zs? Unfortunately, it may be more than just a bad mood. Insomnia has been known to cause mood swings, and people with chronic sleep issues are ten-times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression and 17-times more likely to have clinical anxiety. Getting sleep is good for your mental health, simple as that.
One of the biggest impacts that the sleep deprivation epidemic has in America is in the country’s pocketbook. The estimated annual cost of insufficient sleep to the United States in GDP (Gross Domestic Products) is 411 billion dollars. One more time – 411 billion dollars!
How does sleep deprivation cost America such a staggering amount of money every year, you may be asking? Well in a recent study done, it shows that sleeplessness costs America over 1.23 million work days per-year.
One or two days of sub-optimal work, or no work at all, doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but when you take into account the population of the United States and the rapid growth of the sleep epidemic it shows how much of a financial impact these days can make.
Just for reference, NASA spent a total of just over 200 billion dollars on the entire lifetime of the
Space Shuttle program from 1981 to 2011. You could roughly fund the Space Shuttle program twice, with just one year of what sleep deprivation costs the United States.
If you are curious about what the other side effects of sleep deprivation can be, or if you are looking for helpful tips on how to get a full night’s rest then you need to check out the infographic put out by SupplementCritique.com, and remember, early bedtimes tonight!