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Thirty Percent of US Workers Don't Get Enough Sleep

Update Date: Apr 27, 2012 02:56 PM EDT

Nearly a third of American workers get less than six hours of sleep per night, a new CDC study reported. 

Because short sleep duration is linked with various adverse health effects such as cardiovascular disease or obesity, decreased workplace and public safety, and impaired job performance, targeted interventions are needed to increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep.

"There about 41 million workers who aren't getting the recommended amount of sleep," study author Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, a medical officer in the division of surveillance, hazard evaluations, and field studies at the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Washington, D.C, told HealthDay. "Not surprisingly, workers who work the night shift are more likely to not get enough sleep."

To assess the prevalence of short sleep duration among workers, CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The analysis compared sleep duration by age group, race/ethnicity, sex, marital status, education, and employment characteristics.  

Workers who usually worked the night shift were significantly more likely to report short sleep duration (44.0 percent) than those who worked the day shift (28.8 percent) or some other shift (31.6 percent), according to the survery.

Targeted interventions, such as evidence-based shift system designs that improve sleep opportunities and evidence-based training programs on sleep and working hours tailored for managers and employees, should be implemented to protect the health and safety of workers, their coworkers, and the public, CDC suggested. 

The study was published in the April 26 issue of its journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 

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