Lack of sleep – a silent epidemic?
People today are working more and resting less. In the last 2 decades we have added about 158 hours-nearly a full month- to our annual work and commuting schedules. When there aren’t enough hours in the day for all that we want to do, we steal from the night. We have cut our average sleep time by about 20%. This leads to sleep deprivation, sleep specialists call this “a silent epidemic” of daytime drowsiness.
Many people don’t make the connection between the amount of sleep they get at night and how drowsy they feel during the day. When they start yawning or nodding off they blame the heavy meal they just ate, the stuffy room they are working in or the boring movie they were watching – these things don’t cause sleepiness but simply unmask it. Daytime drowsiness isn’t the only price people pay for their rest-less lives. Weariness breeds irritability, depression and generally undermines creativity and coping skills.