Almost one-third of Missourians not getting enough sleep

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COLUMBIA - A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said almost one-third of Missouri adults aren't getting enough sleep.

The report, which is the first to document results of sleep deprivation for all 50 states, said 34 percent of Missourians don't get the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night.

Stephanie Stout said she has some degrees of sleep deprivation. She said her mattress is uncomfortable and causes her to wake up frequently, disrupting her sleep. She said this lack of sleep impacts her day.

"When you're really tired and you didn't get enough sleep, it's hard to think straight," Stout said. "My job requires a lot of concentration, and if you didn't get a lot of sleep it's hard to focus and work quickly and get my job done."

Not getting the recommended amount of sleep can come with side effects, including an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Dr. Joni Bramon in Columbia said not enough sleep can also make people more prone to infections and make it harder to fight infections.

"It's obvious when people are sleep deprived if their bodies aren't fighting illnesses as well, they're drowsy in the daytime," Dr. Bramon said. "They're just generally run down."

Stout said she experiences some side effects when she's sleep deprived.

"I've definitely felt terrible from not getting enough sleep," Stout said. "I'll get headaches, stomach doesn't feel very good, your body is really sore."

The CDC report also broke down the numbers by employment status. It revealed people who identify as "students" are the least likely to be sleep deprived, and those who identify as "unable to work" were the most likely. Dr. Bramon said this surprised her, but Stout said her previous experience as a student makes it easier to believe.

"When I was a student, I made sure I didn't have morning classes so I could sleep in," Stout said. 

Dr. Bramon said the best way to get better sleep is to establish a good "sleep hygiene" routine before bed. She recommended no heavy exercise before bed, no television in bed and removing technology from the routine.

"It's harder to establish quiet routines these days because of the technology," Dr. Bramon said. "We have active minds, so trying to let our minds be restful is challenging. Removing distractions from the bedroom is key."

Stout said she uses this advice to try to establish a better sleep routine.

"I've tried making sure I'm relaxed and not thinking about things that worry me before I go to sleep," Stout said, "It's helped."

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