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Question: Is Insufficient Sleep a Public Health Epidemic?


Answer: Yes. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced that insufficient sleep is a public health “epidemic” and that they will increase their surveillance of sleep-related behaviors in Americans.

In the announcement, the CDC highlighted that insufficient sleep is linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and medical and other occupational errors.

Additionally, in a survey of over 74,000 adult respondents, the CDC found that:

  • 35.3% were not getting enough sleep (defined as less than 7 hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period),
  • 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month,
  • 4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month. 

According to CIRCADIAN's database of shiftworkers, the number of people working the night shift that are not getting enough sleep jumps to over 50%.

So what can you do to help shiftworkers get better sleep?

A good starting point is to provide training and education to your workforce on managing shiftwork and getting better sleep.  Some options we offer, include:

Retrieved on 4/4/2014 from:

Next Steps: 

Have a Question? Need Help?

For over 30 years, CIRCADIAN has been helping shiftwork operations around the world.  Feel free to contact us by clicking here.

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