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Our Better Health

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015     Stuart Quan, MD, Contributing Editor

Bill Clinton (ex-President). Tracy Morgan (comedian). Cindy Lynn Baldwin (motor vehicle driver). What do these seemingly unrelated individuals have in common? The answer is that each either suffered from sleep deprivation or was victimized by someone who was sleep-deprived.
There is no doubt that all of us have gotten too little sleep at some point in our lives. For some of us, it is an isolated occurrence precipitated by a specific event, such as a death in the family or an upcoming stressful meeting. However, there is increasing evidence that America is becoming a country of chronically sleep-deficient citizens.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of adults sleeping fewer than 6 hours per night has increased by 31% since 1985. There are likely a number of explanations for this. They include…

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