Your sleep habits can save your life.
This sounds like a dramatic statement, but it’s true. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adult drivers in the U.S. (about 168 million people) have driven while feeling drowsy in the last year. A third of adult drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel — resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries.
If you drive, and you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re putting your life and the lives of others at risk. You might as well drink a few cocktails and get in the car. Several studies show sleepiness impairs driving skill just as much as being drunk. Drowsy driving impacts coordination, judgement, and reaction time.
Sleep deprivation even played a role in some of the worst disasters in recent history: the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.
Poor sleep habits also have a profound impact on your physical health and emotional well-being. An ongoing sleep deficiency raises your risk for some serious chronic health problems.
A wide range of studies reveal a link between insufficient sleep and conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. Sleep disorders contribute to depression and anxiety, impact your sex life, lower testosterone in men, and double your risk of death from all causes. About 90% of people with insomnia have some other health condition.
Improving your sleep habits is one of the most beneficial endeavors you can pursue, as good sleep is the foundation for a healthy, happy life. If you aren’t sleeping well, it’s past time to take control of this problem and turn it around.