Jinny Hopp, former Human Development Specialist, Jasper County, University of Missouri Extension
Research in the area of sleep has determined that as many as two-thirds of Americans lack enough sleep. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that 43 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep during the week. More than 60 percent say they experience a sleep problem (such as snoring, waking in the night or waking up too early) every night or almost every night. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has called insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic.”
Contrary to common belief, sleep is not a time when the mind and body shuts down. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration and strengthening occurs.” Sleep serves critical functions and it is necessary for optimal health and well-being.