If you are not getting enough sleep at night, you are not alone - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one-third of American adults don't. What's new is that, the report shows which states are more sleep-deprived than others.

The health agency analyzed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in order to identify the prevalence of healthy sleep duration in more than 440,000 adult respondents across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Problem

People who are 18 to 60 years old are recommended to sleep at least 7 hours every night. Lack of sleep has long been linked to a lot of health problems, including cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, frequent mental stress and premature death.

It also affects one's mood, productivity and concentration. Insufficient sleep alters one's cognitive performance, which may increase the likelihood of vehicular accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors and reduced work productivity.

What The Researchers Found

The report reveals that 65.2 percent of the participants across all states have a healthy sleep duration. More than one third of the respondents, however, reported not getting at least 7 hours of sleep each day. Among states, Hawaii reported the least healthy sleep duration with only 56.1 percent, while South Dakota had the most people (71.6 percent) who slept well.

What Should Be Done

The findings of the study suggest that there is a need for public awareness and education about healthy sleep. There should also be measures undertaken by companies on promoting healthy sleep duration among shift workers, specifically those belonging to the health sector.

CDC added that opportunities to promote sleep health should be implemented.

"These opportunities include sleep health education, reducing racial/ethnic and economic disparities, changes in work shift policies, and routine medical assessment of patients' sleep concerns in health care systems," the report said.

Here are some ways to maximize sleep.

1. Sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This will accustom the body to follow a consistent sleep-wake schedule to set the body's circadian clock.

2. Try not to oversleep on weekends or on nights you've stayed up late. Even a small discrepancy in the time of sleep disrupts the circadian rhythm. This is especially seen in shift workers who often sleep at different times a day.

3. Create a bedtime ritual. Perform this to tell your body that it's time to sleep. This may include taking a warm shower, listening to music or reading a book.

4. Do not watch TV nor use electronic devices before sleeping. The blue light emitted by these devices disrupts the body's sleep hormones.

Photo: Andrew Roberts | Flickr

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