Desperately seeking sleep

Americans have made everything else a priority, except for sleep.

Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every 24 hours, teens need eight to nine hours. Yet, most of us get about six and a half hours of sleep—creating a sleep deprived culture.

Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Associates partner, neurologist and sleep disorders specialist Dr. Gerard Meskill, said sleep is not a luxury or expendable.

Chronic sleep deprivation can increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, affects mood increases and the likelihood of having anxiety and depression, creates more dangerous drivers and decreases work performance.

In essence, the lack of sleep effects quality of life and everything we do leading us to more caffeine products and stimulants.

"People get diagnosed with ADHD. Sometimes it's not ADHD, sometimes it is very simply the fact that they can't concentrate, they can't stay on task, on focus, because their brain is chronically tired," said Meskill.

He said sleep is the first thing on the chopping block and we need to change that way of thinking.

"The attitude typically is to just keep pushing it off, pushing it off, pushing it off in terms of sleep. But, people need to prioritize their health and sleep is part of their health," said Meskill.

If you're tired, you're either not getting enough sleep, or enough quality sleep, or both.

He said we should set boundaries for when to go to sleep and when to wake up.

Sleepy at work

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