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One in Ten Americans Are Chronically Sleep Deprived

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the good-thing-no-one-reading-this-works-a-high-stress-job dept.

Medicine 329

WirePosted writes "A CDC research study released this past week indicates that the physical and mental health of many Americans is being adversely affected by a lack of sleep. According to the study, a part of the organization's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, one in ten US citizens are consistently failing to get enough sleep every night. Almost 40% of the people surveyed didn't get enough sleep for more than a week every month. The article notes that this trend can have far-ranging implications for health beyond simple fatigue."

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329 comments

Cue the 3AM jokes... (4, Interesting)

adam (1231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622002)

Oh, the delicious amusement that struck me at seeing this article about sleep deprivation appear at 3:30AM (Pacific time zone, United States).

In all seriousness, despite being a major geek (I'm posted to slashdot at 3am on a Sunday, that should be geek-cred enough!), I decided to get rid of my HDTV (and in fact, stop watching TV alltogether) as an experiment. Although I miss The Daily Show, Colbert, and a few others, I've found I actually prefer not having it.. and as a rather shocking side effect, I actually keep better hours now. Suddenly I realized that the insomnia I've had since I was 13 or so, is at least in large part, related to certain stimuli. TV being one of them. As you can probably tell by the fact that I'm awake at 3:30AM on a Sunday, the Internet is an even bigger culprit.. and I'm in the process of working out how I can dial back its hold on me.

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (4, Funny)

flajann (658201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622026)

Well, now you can retreat to the recesses of a cave and be sure to get all the nocturnal winks one desires -- and needs.

I defenestrated the TV long ago. These days, it's my ongoing nasty divorce situation keeping me up at night, and there is nothing much I can do about that. Defenestrating the wife is a difficult thing to do. :-)

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (4, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622042)

Defenestrating the wife is a difficult thing to do. :-)

And something that should be done before filing for divorce, in order to not rise suspicion.

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622414)

Uhm, I think "defenestrating the wife" just means you no longer have to peer at the fat, lazy, disgusting nag she turned into after the vows were exchanged (while you yearn for the hot women who haven't yet "hooked" a man, only to end up marrying them and repeating a vicious cycle).

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622626)

Isn't women's rights great.

Re:Cue the 3AM Defenestration jokes... (2, Insightful)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622214)

I considered getting rid of my TV because I was staying up late watching the late night shows after a few solid hours of prime time TV watching...but technology saved me.

I bought a DVR for my computer and recorded shows onto my computer and put them on my mp3 player to watch while commuting and at work when I was bored. Time shifting shows allows me to get the sleep I need.

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622668)

Well if you happen to live on the 1st floor defenestrating your wife isn't such a bad thing, kinda funny, she would be mad at you, madder still if you had like a bush outside your window. now if you live on the 3rd+ floor .. well I then wonder if you filmed the defenestrated your tv, cause its always fun to watch that.

no i didn't have to look up the definition of that one. its my favorite medieval political maneuver!

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (5, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622040)

Well, it's 2:30PM here in Iraq and I'm wide awake. While not sleep deprived myself, many of my coworkers here and at my last unit work 16-20 hour days for months on end. I think some of them think they're being hard (and some get paid for evey hour worked), but their lack of sleep is counter-productive. Many will fall asleep in the middle of a conversation with you. I also have to wonder about brain damage as another side effect. The people who have been doing it the most look like they've been lobotimized even right after they've woken up. It's the same sort of look in someone's face who's wasted their mind on alcohol; they look like they were bright once but have killed too many brain cells. The effects I've seen of long-term sleep deprivation here are enough to make me get 8 to 9 hours sleep every night.

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622084)

I can testify to exactly that- it's 6:48 and I didn't sleep tonight (was watching Battlestar Galactica on the Internet, theres a perfect storm situation for you GP poster) and I have mono, the sleepy kind. Anyway looking in the mirror I have that lobotomized look- I feel it too, but it's not so bad once you're actually there! And of course a good 24 hours sleep (not kidding) will erase it, it's not bad enough that even sleep doesn't cure me.

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622184)

That's fine. But what about brain damage as another side effect of sleep deprivation? I'm sure it would be counter-productive especially if you're working in a war zone.

More than 7 hours needed? Slashdot editors? (-1, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622194)

"I also have to wonder about brain damage as another side effect."

Killing other people definitely damages a person mentally, and is definitely likely to cause the person to have trouble sleeping.

I've never known anyone who slept only 7 hours a day who seemed as alert and calm as people who sleep 9 hours a day. I think the problem is worse than they say.

Why did Slashdot editor Zonk link to that story about the CDC? I found this in about a minute: National Sleep Awareness Week, March 3--9, 2008 [cdc.gov]. Quote from the CDC: "The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults sleep 7--9 hours daily."

Do Slashdot editors lose any sleep over poorly written, edited, and considered stories?

The story linked by Slashdot is from an automatic news release publisher in Australia [itwire.com]. At the bottom of every page it says "powered by computer". Why not link to the source? Why link to a company that says, "Get stories like this delivered daily - FREE - subscribe now When you subscribe get a 12 months license for LiveProject Valued at $99 USD"?

See the links to the left and right of this story: Sleep and Sleep Disorders: A Public Health Challenge [cdc.gov].

Do people in the U.S. lose sleep over the fact that they are forced to pay to kill Iraqis? Will people in the U.S. lose sleep when they realize that the huge rise in prices, which has already started, is mostly timed for the end of Dick Cheney's and George W. Bush's terms in office? Whether or not they lose sleep, killing Iraqis definitely lowers the quality of life in the United States.

Re:More than 7 hours needed? Slashdot editors? (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622256)

Wow, way to turn an article about sleep deprivation into a political diatribe. First of all, neither I nor any of my coworkers kill anyone. We are intelligence analysts, providing strategic guidance to GEN Petraeus. Second, I resent the implication that killing people leads to damaging a person mentally. Just because you disaprove of it doesn't mean it's on par with brain damage to those who choose to serve our country. Third, you obviously have NO concept of what is going in here so try to keep your uninformed opinions to yourself in the future.

Re:More than 7 hours needed? Slashdot editors? (1)

lt.com.riker (946759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622322)

I don't think he was referring to it, but by mental damage someone else could have been referring to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Re:More than 7 hours needed? Slashdot editors? (1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622324)

We are intelligence analysts, providing strategic guidance to GEN Petraeus.
I wish someone would provide strategic guidance to the General's boss.

Second, I resent the implication that killing people leads to damaging a person mentally.
You might want to ask some of the rapidly growing number of young people who are coming back with PTSD. You won't be able to ask the increasing number of military suicides.

Actually, I think there's a pretty good case to be made that killing people does lead to mental damage.

Anyway, keep your head down and come back safe, oodaloop. With luck, after next January, you may be able to come home for good.

Re:More than 7 hours needed? Slashdot editors? (5, Funny)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622334)

Third, you obviously have NO concept of what is going in here so try to keep your uninformed opinions to yourself in the future.
You must be new here...

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (5, Interesting)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622348)

Lack of sleep causes a lot of crap problems for people. I work for a company specializing in sleep therapy consumer devices and we see all kinds of problems that sleep depravation causes. One of the most interesting problems is that with a consistent sleep depravation, people will perceive that they get used to it and their ability to react goes back to normal. However, the real effect is that it keeps getting worse. If you want to have a healthy and productive work force, it is essential that they get sufficient sleep (generally about 7-8 hours a day). It is also essential that those who work night shifts are exposed to bright light throughout their work day to fool their circadian rhythm.

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622394)

Being in the business, I would have thought you'd know that it's spelled "deprivation".

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (2, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622114)

You think you're a tough guy? I'm posting at 4am!

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622266)

You think you're tough?! A few weeks ago I took 4 (four!) tests at college spread out over 2 weeks, WITHOUT sleep!

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (2, Funny)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622298)

You think you're a tough guy? I'm posting at 4am!

I think you are doing an honorable job making sure that nobody posts anything wrong on slashdot without being immediately corrected or 1up'd

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (2, Funny)

cybereal (621599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622130)

Oh, the delicious amusement that struck me at seeing this article about sleep deprivation appear at 3:30AM (Pacific time zone, United States).
 
Clearly you mean 6:30am, a perfectly valid time for new news, lest ye be disrespecting the Eastern Standard Tribe...

WILL WORK FOR SLEEP ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622134)

I'd pay some dam't good money for some normal sleep

Obviously I goddamn up -

And that's after taken sleeping pil - LUNESTA,"anti-anxuety" meds, muscle rexaler, narcotics for chronic pain & a small "smoke' before bed. (wonder why anon post)

And that gets me only about 2 hrs sleep at a time -

ARRGH !

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (3, Informative)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622224)

Dude, my experience is even more eerily on-topic. I just got back from a sleep lab where I had a CPAP [wikipedia.org] titration at a sleep lab to treat Sleep Apnea [wikipedia.org], pull up slashdot, and here this is.

If you feel chronically tired, are a little overweight and don't get a lot of exercise (queue predictable slashdot demographics joke) and you are told you snore by a significant other (queue another predictable slashdot demographics joke), you should look into it. All reports are that using the CPAP vastly improves quality of life. Plus, you can make believe you are a jet fighter pilot!

Re:Cue the 3AM jokes... (4, Funny)

cart_man4524 (623980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622260)

After reading this post, me and my lady friend started talking well into the wee hours of the morning. I finally decided that she was right, that I did need more sleep. So i took out her neatly placed batteries, and deflated her. Now I can get more sleep.

curbing internet usage (1)

kitgerrits (1034262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622294)

It's actually meant as a tool to tie down users or children, but maybe using a proxy with a time-based ruleset can server as a 'hint. You can even instruct it to only block slashdot.org between midnight and 7am.

early to bed early to rise (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622622)

That old saying means a lot more to me in my late 40's than it did in my teens. teens to 20's...2-3am, up around 7:30 to work by 8ish. late 20's to late 30's....midnight to 1am, up around 7ish to work by 8 late 30's to mid 40's....11pm to midnight, up around 7ish to work by 8 Now, in bed 9:30 to 10:30pm, up at 6am to work by 7am. The older you get, it (should be) natural to get more sleep to be able to fully function. Caffine cannot make up for lack of sleep. Your brain and body need a good 7-8 hours of sleep.

News just in: (5, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622004)

People not getting to bed early enough; film at 11.

It's funny cuz it's truuue... (4, Interesting)

gozu (541069) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622144)

Joking aside, workaholism leads to lack of sleep which may lead to chronic fatigue and depression.

Perhaps that is part of the reason why we americans do not rate very highly on the global happiness scale.

Think about it.

Re:It's funny cuz it's truuue... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622286)

>Perhaps that is part of the reason why we americans do not rate very highly on the global happiness scale. Really? You all look happy (or is the grin genetic?) and are always saying how great it is to be American. Seriously, is this true? I'd always assumed American's to be a fairly happy if slightly crazy bunch on the whole. Certainly all the ones I know are frighteningly chipper and full of energy. Tires me out just talking to them.

Re:News just in: (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622398)

People not getting to bed early enough; film at 11, ending at 2:30am, with an alarm set for 7:20 the next day.

Re: Alarm for 7:20 (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622426)


Hehe, that would get me fired since I'm supposed to start at 7:00. But wait ! That would give me more time to sleep... but nothing to eat.

Re:News just in: (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622458)

First, sleep is overrated. Those are pointless hours of your life that are only necessary because of the weak composition of the human body. I can't imagine anyone would not prefer to keep all those hours for various other enjoyments or projects if they could.

Second, it's a necessity of modern society *unless* people don't give a shit about doing anything for themselves. If you spend twelve hours at the office and three hours a day communiting, that's 15 hours. Throw in an hour getting ready and *maybe* having a bite for breakfast and that's 16 hours a day before you've even tackled having your dinner. Then throw in three or four hours a day on your own personal projects -- whether they're writing your own software, learning a language, reading books, painting, building something.. whatever... you are only left with maybe four hours to sleep (if you are out like a light the moment your head hits the pillow, of course).

Instead of trying to help people get more sleep or better sleep, we need to be focusing resoruces on discovering ways that we can help people survive on as little sleep as possible. If we could cut down our sleeping by 50% that's an extra decade of living within our grasp.

Help! (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622552)

*slurp* What are these? What is this "bed" you speak of? What is this "sleep" everyone here keeps talking about? *slurp* And you do this when? At night? *slurp* Shouldn't you guys be doing something productive?

*slurp*

Mmmmmm....coffee!

*slurp*

No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622018)

It's 4:30am and I'm still up. Fuck my ass with a water sprinkler!

Reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622020)

Thats cause everyone is busy working so that our overlords can get yet another private jet.

Hm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622038)

Sure, funny, whatever. There's always more to do at night than you have time for.

Re:Hm (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622258)

Sure, funny, whatever. There's always more to do than you have time for.
Fixed that for you.

As a college student.... (1)

Goobergunch (876745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622060)

I find my sleep schedule rather varied, to say the least. For instance, I'm planning on going to sleep after I post this comment (3:43 PST) and waking up at 10:20 PST, for a bit under 7 hours of sleep. However, since my first class is significantly earlier on Tuesday than on Monday, I'll be getting much less sleep tomorrow night, even though I'll probably get to bed earlier. Having variable wake-up times makes holding a regular sleep schedule far more difficult.

And then there are the glorious weekends when I sleep from 5 AM to 3 PM. 10 hours of sleep when most people in the "real world" are awake can be fun.

Re:As a college student.... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622096)

How is only 10 hours glorious? You don't know glorious sleep until you get mono.. no joke, I was asleep from friday night to sunday morning. Not like out cold, but like I'd wake up, look at my watch, roll over and fall asleep. But that is some spectacular sleep.

Re:As a college student.... (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622166)

Last time I got 8 hours of sleep I was three and mom was late with my triple shot of expresso in a sippy cup. She didn't make that mistake again. Talk about cranky babies.

Re:As a college student.... (1)

MT628496 (959515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622316)

If it's a problem, don't vary your sleep schedule. I'm a college student and I always sleep from 10 - 6. Every single night. I treat sleep in the exact same way I do a class. There's no skipping it. This means that I need to do what it takes to get my work done by 10. Of course, this means that some days, or even weeks, I don't have much of a social life, but I'm a computer science major anyway so there's not much to lose there. :D

In all seriousness, I've found that once I started doing that, things became much easier and I was actually able to get my 8 hours every night and still get all of my work done. I highly recommend trying it for a week. If you don't like it, then fine. But, I think you'll notice a difference as I did.

Or, you could always go the 28 hour day [xkcd.com] route.

Re:As a college student.... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622486)

Sleeping on a schedule seems like kind of a waste.

I treat sleeping like I treat eating or going to the bathroom. When I'm hungry, I eat. When I need to take a dump, I take a dump. When I can't keep my eyes open, I sleep. I might not be exhausted until 6am one day. It might be noon the next day (I mostly spend my "office hours" overnight). In one or two weeks i could find myself mostly sleeping at night to mostly sleeping during the day. And back again. It just depends. And the best thing of all? By sleeping only when I can't stay awake anymore, I'm out the instant I hop in bed.

I for one (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622066)

I for one welcome our... *blink* our sleep-depri... *yawn* sleep-deprived overl... *bigyawn* overlor... *snore*

Great.... (4, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622098)

Now I'm going to be up all night worrying about if I get enough sleep or not.

Re:Great.... (1)

gusmao (712388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622270)

Actually, I have a chronicle lack of sleep myself, but I don't sleepy during the days and don't think that it can impair your productivity in the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....

Stimuli (4, Insightful)

Ammin (1012579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622122)

150 channels, billions of internet pages, consoles, text messages, MMOs. Gone are the days when there was nothing to watch at 11:00 but the local news, leaving sex and reading (both good for sleep) as one's final options for the night. TFA mentions shift work, which seems rather off the mark, as much "shift work" went overseas to China with our industrial base.

Our sleep deprivation, I would hazard to guess, is mostly voluntary (or semi-voluntary.) And overall it's not such a bad thing -- our time is short, and who can blame us for resenting the hours lost to sleep?

(And it's 5:00 a.m. and I really wish I could sleep. Stupid new Wii and its evil bowling . . . .)

Re:Stimuli (2, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622452)

Gone are the days when there was nothing to watch at 11:00 but the local news...

Yeah, now with the amount of trash on TV (even with Sky) then there is nothing to watch from 7pm but the news, and even that repeats every half-hour!

On a more related note, who are most likely to be sleep deprived if it is only one in ten - the lowest earners, who need to work every hour they can to survive, or the highest earners, who feel they have to work more than their contract to keep their job?

Personally, I get about seven or eight hours every night and I still sometimes feel sleep deprived!

What's enough? (3, Interesting)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622124)

The article states that

The National Sleep Foundation reports that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night to be adequately rested,
Maggie Thatcher was notorious for existing on three to four hours a night and she wasn't exactly an underachiever. Much as I loath and detest her I'd be proud to have her level of achievement.

Re:What's enough? (3, Informative)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622202)

Not all people are Maggie Thatcher clones.

(Which is probably just as well.)

Re:What's enough? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622220)

There are some people who are so tired all the time because they can't get proper (even 6 hours) sleep at night and really suffer during the days.
There are couple of people who don't need much sleep at all (1-2 hours per day) and their only problem is to figure out something to do during the nights.
Then there are these normal people who will survive couple of sleepless nights every now and then but will require at least that 6 hours per night in the long run. Preferably even couple of hours more depending on the person.

So.. the answer is that it depends.. but for everyone the rule is that you shouldn't need to feel very tired after you have got your sleep. The time you spend sleeping should be long enough to reach the deepest levels to properly fulfill its purpose.

Re:What's enough? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622278)

Maggie Thatcher was notorious for existing on three to four hours a night and she wasn't exactly an underachiever. Much as I loath and detest her I'd be proud to have her level of achievement.

Wasn't Thatcher against a welfare state and labor unions and for privatization ? I wonder if there's a connection between that and being chronically sleep-deprived ?

Re:What's enough? (1)

coofercat (719737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622508)

Margaret Thatcher slowly went mad on her 4 hours a night. Suggesting the Poll Tax was a "fair" system ought to be evidence enough. Just go and read some of the ramblings she's come out with since if you fancy a laugh. Once insanity arrived, then even the notion of needing sleep probably took a back seat.

She's my favourite example when telling people I'd love to be able to get 10 hours every weeknight, and perhaps 12 on weekends. All these people walking around with 6-8 hours per night are risking their mental health! I of course, am perfectly sane.

One could go on to cite America as further example of lack-of-sleep related insanity. However, one notes that the president of that country seemed to do little else but sleep or play golf early in his tenure, and still went on to start dubious wars.

(I feel some troll-related anti-karma coming my way - quick! hide under the covers!)

Re:What's enough? (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622560)

Maggie Thatcher was notorious for existing on three to four hours a night.
She may have managed on little sleep, and she may even have achieved a lot. But who knows what she lost in the process? Although it may be productive in a certain sense to work without stop, humans need to take time out to do other things. Sleep isn't actually idle time either; not only does the brain seem to require this time to 'reorganize' in, but many good, creative ideas are conceived during sleep.

Taking time out to do 'nothing' can enhance your productivity. If all you are doing is routine tasks - stamping papers or debugging program code - then perhaps you can go on for days on end, I know I have. But it kills your creativity - when I encounter a difficult problem, the best way to solve it, in my experience, is to stop thinking about it, do something else and let the task run in the background. Albert Einstein famously drove himself to desperation trying to find a way to integrate gravity in the relativity theory; when at last he gave up, he suddenly had the solution. IOW, stop trying too hard.

OK, but 1 child in 4 is malnourished, or too fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622126)



Okay, but 1 in 4 children is malnourished, too fat, too stupid, or just plain too ugly (I'm talking American children, not those freakishly ugly Russian/Romanian children). OH! WHAT!

I'd go to bed sooner... (1)

Machine9 (627913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622164)

...but my warlock alt needs to be level 70 in time for the next arena season! And then I need gear...and practice... and to level up tailoring. And I never did finish levelling cooking on my warrior. oh dear oh dear.

I'm a law school student (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622170)

/me looks at watch. Realizes he just spent the last 15 hours straight working on one assignment... may get an hour's sleep if he's lucky.

Yup. I'd believe it...

Recommended Reading (4, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622178)

He's also written several other books having to do with sleep and circadian rhythm.

Among the anecdotes in the book are an account of a coast-to-coast airplane crew who put the plane on autopilot then all fell asleep. The plane, loaded with passengers, overshot the destination and was a hundred miles out to sea before air traffic control was able to wake them over the radio.

Also, the author was paid a visit by a Secret Service agent - the people who guard the life of the US President. It seems they were expected to stay on the same shift, in local time, no matter where in the world the President went. That is, if they work 9 to 5 Washington time, then fly to Iraq, say - where the president has visited a couple times - they are expected to then work 9 to 5 Iraqi time, without taking any time to get used to the time zone change. The agent who consulted the author felt that their constant exhaustion that resulted put the President's life at risk.

My own experience includes, at my very first salaried programming job, where I wasn't paid very much and didn't get overtime pay, I was regularly expected to work twenty-hour days and once worked a twenty-nine hour day.

When I was self-employed as a software consultant, quite often I'd work twenty hour days trying to make a milestone so I could get paid. Several times, when times were really hard, I worked forty-hour "days".

Employers of salaried employees seem to feel quite justified in requiring their employees to work without enough sleep. I'd like to see legislation passed that forbids this. Even if your paid work isn't safety-critical, going without sleep needlessly puts lives at risk when you drive your car home. People are killed all the time when drivers fall asleep at the wheel.

Not all managers are assholes (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622342)

I've *made* employees go home and sleep during busy projects. Not only don't I want to risk their health, but why would I want half asleep zombies working for me? Balancing personal and professional life can be delicate these days, but a good manager knows how to keep his people productive and as happy as possible.

I agree that there needs to be something done. I am loathe to have the Government get involved in our lives anymore than they already are, but you may be right that there needs to be some kind of regulation as to how long you can work an employee, be they salaried or not.

Re:Not all managers are assholes (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622640)

Exactly, what kind of crazy employer would make office employees work such long hours they can't get 7 hours sleep?

Say an hour commuting, 3 hours for dinner etc, 1 hour breakfast etc. that means they're working 12+ hours a day. If the workload requires that, you need to hire more people.

(As an aside, the law in the UK is no more than 48 hours a week on average, with some exceptions. Seems to work pretty well)

Re:Recommended Reading (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622472)

Employers of salaried employees seem to feel quite justified in requiring their employees to work without enough sleep. I'd like to see legislation passed that forbids this.
You mean this isn't already forbidden in the US? It certainly is in most of Europe - that, at least, is one good thing the communists (in the labour unions) did for us.

How? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622210)

6 hours a night? 2 nights in a row of that I'm completely useless at work the next day and most likely have a bad headache all day. How do people cope?

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622300)

6 hours a night? 2 nights in a row of that I'm completely useless at work the next day and most likely have a bad headache all day. How do people cope?
I pity your employer—I can only imagine what they have to endure with an employee that consistently needs rest and needs 8 hours of sleep like a little baby.

TAG IT: POLITICS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622234)

That's what this is about, not so medicine and science.

Military (1)

PatTheGreat (956344) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622250)

I think those one in ten Americans are all in the military.

Join the military, see the world. Because you'll never sleep again.

Oh dear, I'm deprived too! (1)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622282)

They suggest that 7 hours is the minimum in TFA, and I get 5.5 hours on weekdays if I'm lucky. If I tried to move up to the minimum of seven that they recommend, I'd have to face a packed to the gunwales train here in Japan. Indeed, surveys show that almost half of all Japanese get less than six hours shut-eye [whatjapanthinks.com] per night, but if you add back in snoozing on the train (or at meetings, a not uncommon sight) perhaps they manage to break the seven hour barrier?

Re:Oh dear, I'm deprived too! (3, Insightful)

Heian-794 (834234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622532)

Very informative data! I live in Japan and know that people don't sleep much here, but still, less than five percent of the people sleep for eight hours or more!

In Japan, sleep deprivation is practically the national pastime -- may office workers, myself included for several years, can't sleep eight hours per day even if they climb into the futon the moment they get home from work. When you've got an hour-long commute and a 14-hour work day, this is what happens. Japanese husbands are often called inconsiderate pigs who only say three words to their wives when they get home: furo (bath), meshi (food), and neru (sleep). The problem is not that they're rude -- they're so exhausted that that's all they have the energy to say!

My co-workers think I'm hopelessly lazy for wanting to sleep eight hours or more every day to keep my brain sharp -- they suggested sleeping in the nine minutes between getting on the train and changing lines!

Yes, you're expected to be able to sleep in any position, in any environment. I supposed people with their level of chronic sleep deprivation can indeed fall asleep anywhere.

Fortunately in my own situation, I got placed on the overnight shift. Now I have to endure sleeping in daylight, but at least I get eight hours or more every day!

Sleep needs to be respected. You wouldn't try to live on 300 calories a day, would you? Even prisoners aren't treated that badly. So why are companies permitted to do comparable things to people's sleep?

majority of population spiritually bankrupt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622304)

as well as 401K(aput). let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Thats because we don't get... (4, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622310)

... month long vacations like in some european countries.
And to think how the dollar is falling against the euro.... go figure...

Re:Thats because we don't get... (3, Informative)

delt0r (999393) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622416)

Who only gets one month? I get 6 weeks and you can back it up 3 years! One of the reasons I live in the EU now. The lifestyle is great.

Getting enough sleep is easy (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622328)

For me, anyway. Perhaps it's my military experience, where I learned that a good nights sleep, indoor plumbing, and a hot meal, are among life's greater pleasures.

Go to bed at 10PM, asleep almost immediately. Often wake up before the alarm goes off at 6AM. Alarm is set to a local PBS station (WETA), so I wake up to classical music rather than a loud screech.

Undoubtedly this affects the sex as well (4, Funny)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622346)

As Americans don't even rate in the Top Ten Worldwide for frequency, according to the folks at Durex [durex.com] (and they should know!).

Re:Undoubtedly this affects the sex as well (4, Funny)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622430)

Dude this is /. Not getting sex has more to do with the difficulty in finding a woman willing to dress up like Lt. Ohura and yell "Take me captain" repeatedly while laying on the floor of the home-made transporter room that used to be the basement.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622360)

Huh? Sorry i was sleeping

Damned if you do (1)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622362)

And damned if you don't. I was just reading about a new study that found people who slept more than 6 or 7 hours a night were likely to die younger. I believe it was a BBC story, but I'm having trouble digging it up on google. Here are a couple of older studies though.

http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2002/C/20025782.html [scienceblog.com]
http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2002/02_08_Kripke.html [ucsd.edu]

I have trouble sleeping more than 7 hours. During the week I get 6 hours a night on average. I spent several years in the navy getting 4 or less but I functioned well and survived.

Go to sleep when you're tired. Get up when you wake up. That's probably the amount your body needs.

Kids and trying to catch up, keep me awake (4, Insightful)

sckeener (137243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622390)

Staying awake with the kids is my number one issue....basically I have to stay awake longer than them and basically get up with them.

Of course there are activities that I want to do that I can't when the kids are awake...so I end up staying awake longer just to do them....heck...last night I stayed up to watch the first volume of Death Note on DVD. I can't exactly let my 7 or 4 year olds see something that is rated for >=14yr olds.

Wash, rise, repeat....= lack of sleep.

Re:Kids and trying to catch up, keep me awake (4, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622500)

Staying awake with the kids is my number one issue....basically I have to stay awake longer than them and basically get up with them.

This gets exacerbated if one of your kids is a real early bird (would like to get up at 5:30 am), and the other one is a night owl (goes to sleep at 11 pm, but wakes up at 9 am).

Re:Kids and trying to catch up, keep me awake (0, Flamebait)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622510)

Well, the first solution would be not to screw up your life by having kids... obviously. But the second solution would be to do like most families did when I was a kid (though not mine) and put the kids to bed by about 8pm.

Also, I don't know what Death Note is, but your kids are going to be fine regardless of what they watch. I watched Nightmare on Elmstreet and Poltergeist at four years old and I haven't killed anyone.

Re:Kids and trying to catch up, keep me awake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622624)

Also, I don't know what Death Note is, but your kids are going to be fine regardless of what they watch. I watched Nightmare on Elmstreet and Poltergeist at four years old and I haven't killed anyone....yet.

It's even worse for some of us... (4, Interesting)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622562)

In this day and age it seems as if most people exist on six hours a night, with eight being a luxury, and greater than that considered lazy. Unfortunately for me, I have narcolepsy [wikipedia.org] (though fortunately the kind sans cataplexy [wikipedia.org]). Six hours of sleep for me is no more than a tease, and more often I'd be better off just trying to stay up. Eight hours for me is how I'd imagine six hours would feel for someone normal: enough to make you feel as if you had slept, without being refreshing in any meaningful way. My body simply does not function well on less than ten hours sleep. On the weekends I've slept as much as sixteen hours a day (depending how much sleep I got during the weekdays). This would not be so bad if it were not for all the horrible life effects that sleeping as much as this has. I essentially can not have what normal people consider a social life. My wife feels like she hardly sees me. A friend of mine will ask me to go play some pool or something and I never end up going because I get ribbed for being an "old man" for NEEDING to go to bed by 10 or 11 PM on a WEEKEND. Anything greater would throw off my sleep schedule for the following week. I did find some nice medicine [wikipedia.org] that helped GREATLY (only needed the normal 7-8 hours a night like anyone else!) but is unfortunately not covered by my insurance, and is thus out of my financial reach. (As an aside, you think software patents are bad? You should see the harm caused by some pharmacological patents. See that article for some detail). The alternative medication, that is covered, amounts to little more than legal meth [wikipedia.org] which turns me into a zombie who doesn't need his sleep as much, but am otherwise intolerable. So be happy with your 6-8 hours, it could be worse.

Sleep deprivation affects our performance. (1)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622618)

Whew. What a timely article. This past weekend was extremely hard on me and I have found out that serious sleep deprivation affects my ability to play, think, and create. This past Thursday night we retired to bed at 11:50 a.m, and had to wake up at 4:00 a.m.. Took my wife to the airport, went to my business and then got home around 1:30 or 2:00. On a normal day I would probably get a nap in, but in this case my best friends from our university days were coming down for a weekend of music making. So the rest of the day on Friday was spent getting the house ready, stocking up on beer, setting the board up, etc..


They arrived at around 7:30 from Nashville, and Johnson City and we started jamming, and it was awesome. The Grateful Dead in their prime had nothing on us Friday night. (Seriously, well maybe a little bit, but not much).. Just free form music and it was sublime! At this point my mind still had energy reserves.. We went out into space for 4 or 5 hours. I went to bed at 1:20 a.m, and then had to get up at 4:00 am.. The next day (Saturday) was terrible! I cut my finger that morning from not having a clear head, and was a zombie. Just plain physically exhausted and at a bluegrass show we went to I could hardly even play. It was like my brain was in neutral (some would say it always is anyway), my finger hurt more than it should have also. But yep, there was something like a 1000% decrease in my performance from Friday to Saturday, and I feel it was a lack of sleep. After the bluegrass show we switched gears and went to another studio to play with a drummer and an energy drink helped and it was kinda fun, but after that, at around 11:30 Saturday night I crashed hard.. So I just went to bed, but the sleep wasn't productive.

Now it is Monday, and I still feel like a zombie, but somewhat more alert. I think that sleep is much more important than we all give it credit for. Two or three days/nights on 2 or 3 hours of sleep each night are painful to say the least. It was worth it, but a wall outlet or charging unit is needed for my body and mind.

I would consider a clone of me as well. :)

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