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Americans Get More Sleep Than You Think

We may be running around too much and working too hard, but at least Americans are getting plenty of sleep. A new study, entitled "Not So Deprived: Sleep in America," indicates that US sleepers are getting about eight hours of shuteye a night, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary.


The recent research, from the University of Maryland, goes against the annual data released by the National Sleep Foundation (which, by the way, is partly funded by manufacturers of sleeping pills). In fact, the country as a whole may be getting more rest than it did 40 years ago. For the details, read more.

According to the LiveScience story:

"Lots of people might feel like they're on a 24/7 treadmill," said study leader John P. Robinson, a UM sociologist. "But the picture of the typical American as sleep-starved is not consistent with what they report in their time diaries."

The average amount of sleeping time for adults increased about 3 hours per week in the past decade, up from 56 hours (8 hours/night) to 59 hours (8.4 hour/night), said Robinson.

Meanwhile, the Sleep Foundation found that Americans get an average of six hours and 40 minutes of sleep a night, and it contends that the study may be overestimating the amount of sleep people are getting. The eight-hours-a-night figure actually sounds more accurate to me, but it all depends on whose data you believe. What do you think? How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

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