I'm sorry, but the National Sleep Foundation is going to need to find a sexier face to put on their website before people start taking them seriously - if sleeping more makes me look like this I'm out!
I am a firm believer in the value of (a) sleep, and (b) napping. From a very early age my father modeled to me the importance of taking a nap with my mother's total and complete support. In fact, they would trade off - dad would nap during one part of the day, and mom would nap at other times. I can remember taking a nap between games under the bleachers during a high-school basketball tournament; it was napping that got me through college; it will be napping that will get me through fatherhood. Simply put, I would not be where I am today without naps.
So I decided to check out the world wide web and see what information I could find about napping before I "lay me down to sleep". For starters, did you know there is a National Napping Day? Absolutely - it will be celebrated on April 3rd, 2006. Go to Napping.com for more information.
If you need something a little more substantial - i.e. you're sleep deprived and you need something to kick-start your road to sleep recovery - why don't you start things off by celebrating National Sleep Awareness Week March 27th-April 2nd? Curious how your sleep habits line up with the rest of America? Well, the 2005 Sleep in America poll finds two groups of "good sleepers" comprising a little less than half of those polled (48%); they are called "Healthy, Lively Larks" and "Sleep Savvy Seniors." Three groups comprising 52% of the population have sleep habits that are not too good; they are "Dragging Duos," "Overworked, Overweight and Over-Caffeinated" and "Sleepless and Missin' the Kissin'." Here is a profile of each group:
Healthy, Lively Larks (27%) — This group is the least likely to be affected by sleep problems – their own or those of a spouse/partner. A majority (75%) say they usually get a good night's sleep. They are in good health; two-thirds say they get more sleep than they need, and most never/rarely feel tired/fatigued. The youngest of the groups (average age 44.5 years), most are married/partnered and working full time at regular day shifts. They consider themselves "morning people" ("larks") and are less likely than other groups to have a diagnosed medical condition.
Sleep Savvy Seniors (21%) – The oldest of the five groups (average age 60), about half are 65 or older. This group gets the most sleep of any cluster, averaging 7.3 hours/night compared to 6.8 overall. A majority of these SSSers (74%) say they get a good night's sleep on most nights, nearly half (46%) take two or more naps during the week, and most never/rarely feel tired/fatigued (69%). Although many have been diagnosed with at least one medical condition, they do not feel they have a sleep problem, and are less likely than other groups to be at risk for any sleep disorder. People in this group are the most likely to be retired (51%) and least likely to be employed (30%); two-thirds are female.
Dragging Duos (20%) – More than the other groups, the Dragging Duos are most likely to be partnered (80%) and employed (76 %), working more than 40 hours a week (55%), with 30% doing job-related work within an hour of going to bed. Early risers, they are nearly twice as likely as the other groups to get less sleep than they say they need to function at their best (41% vs. 23%) and more than one-third say they feel tired/fatigued at least three days each week. Most report that their partner has at least one symptom of insomnia (92%). Their partner's sleep disorders, or their own, have caused some problems in their relationship, and about one-fourth say their intimate relationship has been affected because of sleepiness.
Overworked, Overweight, and Over-Caffeinated (17%) – These are evening people or "owls" who are employed, have the longest work week (47 hours compared to 42 hours overall) though they are least likely to work regular day shifts. They sleep less than other groups (5.2 hrs/night) but nap more, with two-thirds taking two or more naps each week. They feel they need fewer hours of sleep each night to function at their best (5.2 hours) and nearly half say they get more sleep than they need. Members of this group drink more caffeine than other groups (4.0 cups/cans vs. 2.8 overall). Seven in 10 frequently experience a symptom of insomnia, and a smaller proportion report that they frequently get a good night's sleep The OOOCs have a higher representation of males, about one-half of the group isn't partnered, and the same amount would be classified as "obese."
Sleepless and Missin' the Kissin' (15%) – This group has the largest proportion of "owls" (59%) and people who think they have a sleep problem (58%) or a symptom of insomnia (90%); they are the least likely to say they frequently get a good night's sleep. Nearly half feel they are getting less sleep than they need, and the same number say they usually feel tired/fatigued. They are more likely than other groups to say their (or their partner's) sleep disorders have caused significant or moderate problems with their relationship (25% vs. 8% overall), and 2 out of 5 say their intimate relationships have been affected because of sleepiness. The majority of SAMTKs have been diagnosed with a medical condition (84%) and they are more likely than other groups to use sleep aids. One-half of this group are employed, and there is a high representation of females.
Sleepy yet? I know I am...