Sleep like your health depends on it, because it does

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI)- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans of all ages, genders and races are experiencing sleep deprivation. The CDC report shows significant percentages for unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the last month. Those rates range from 34 percent for those ages 35 to 44, to 45 percent of those 65+. The age range of 18 to 24 unintentionally falling asleep was 44 percent, similar to seniors.

This morning, Lisa Hart sat down and spoke with Dr. Joseph Ojile, CEO and medical director at the Clayton Sleep Institute. Dr. Ojile explained the reasons behind the sleep deprivation trend and how Americans can stay healthy by getting a full night's sleep.

Organizations like the NSF and the True Health Initiative are engaging healthcare providers, corporations, parents and teachers to develop a national effort to teach children good sleeping habits and motivating them through better performance, at both academics and sports.

The True Health Initiative establishes sleep as one of six fundamentals for a healthy lifestyle that will promote a healthy life.

Fast facts:

  • 38% of men and 37% of women unintentionally fell asleep at least once in the past month.
  • The same groups reported nodding or falling asleep while driving at rates ranging up to 7% for those 25-to-34 years old.
  • The CDC also reports that 30 percent of American adults (40.6 million) sleep six or fewer hours each day;a benchmark for sleep deprivation.
  • Multiple studies link insufficient sleep to depression, increased accident rates, high blood pressure and stroke, suppressed immune system, obesity and diabetes.
  •  According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll, 87 percent of US high school students get less than the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep and the amount of time teens sleep is steadily decreasing.

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