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Why We Are Not Sleeping

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

American adults are the worse at sleeping.

We are probably also worse at other things too but apparently we are really bad at sleeping. Many of us are living in a state of such high perpetual exhaustion that is stealing precious joy, energy and time from our days. Perhaps we are worse at other things too, including driving, reasoning, reading and math skills because we are always tired?

When I ask my friends how they are doing, most of the time I hear in response they are tired. They are super busy and they are tired. I’m tired too, so we commensurate about our exhaustion by comparing the things that are taking up our time and leading to this tired state. We never really talk about if we are sleeping and what is causing our lack of sleep but describe all the things going on in our lives that are keeping us from resting.

According to the CDC the worse adult sleepers are in the southeastern part of the country. Another study says almost 40% of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep.

CDC sleep data:

Mercola Study:

With the popularity of activity monitors like Fitbit and Jawbone sleep reports are more readily available supporting the CDC and other studies to show adults simply are not sleeping.

The effects of poor sleep are well known and include terrible things like increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and if you’re lucky just exhaustion.

Knowing this why are we not sleeping more?

The Sheep Are Mocking Us

There are several causes for lack of sleep but the biggest is stress. Stress always exists for everyone but American adults are reported to be more stressed than other populations. The stress we carry includes concerns for our work, family, finances, politics, safety and society. Combined with a poor diet, lack of physical movement and no time for self-care all of this adds up to a rough night trying to sleep.

You can blame time spent on technology, the demands of time from American workplaces, society expectations and more for our exhaustion but I think the root of the problem goes deeper. I think the reason the magical counting sheep that lure us to sleep are mocking us when we try to sleep is because we have broken up the connection between our mind, body and spirit.

We are no longer connected to ourselves and even less connected with others. We are just pushing through the day trying to meet all our demands, cross off items from a never ending to-do list and meet expectations placed on us that we have let go of the basic need to keep ourselves together in mind, body and spirit.

Think about it.

The Day the Music Died

The average American adult does not exercise