A Quartz report takes a comprehensive look at sleep deprivation and the accompanying research that shows we may be getting enough sleep after all.
According to a survey conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) between 2005 and 2007, more than 30% of adults slept less than six hours a night. The National Sleep Foundation’s own surveys reveal something similar: more than 20% of people in 2009 were sleeping less than six hours compared to only 12% in 1998. The CDC declared that insufficient sleep was becoming a public health epidemic.The CDC announcement came at a time when doctors across the US were increasingly prescribing sleeping aids and sleeping pills. The number of adults on sleeping pills has tripled in the last decade alone.However, a 2010 analysis, published in the journal Sleep, which used data from a different set of surveys conducted between 1975 and 2006, found very different results. It showed that the proportion of short-sleepers (those sleeping less than six hours) hadn’t changed much in the last 30 years. And, more surprising still, that proportion was only 9.3% in 2006.