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Sleep deprivation: A growing problem in the United States

Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals work almost around the clock. The shifts they have are long and arduous; many stay at the hospital or clinics for 12 or more hours a day. With extreme conditions for these workers, as well as on-call hours outside the hospital walls, it's no wonder that sleep deprivation can be a concern. Unfortunately, being sleep deprived can cause major errors to take place when they otherwise would not.

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem for Americans; studies have shown that around a third or more of people in the U.S. are working jobs and living their daily lives without enough sleep. Why is this happening, and what kind of effect can it have?

Unfortunately, the cause seems to be that people aren't making sleep a priority. The problem with this is that sleep affects your health and safety directly; as you get less sleep, you probably notice that you make more minor errors and feel generally worse than usual. Missing out on sleep can lead to high blood pressure and metabolic diseases, and it can also lead to serious harm in accidents.

Sleep is incredibly important for medical professionals, those in the transportation industry, and emergency responders. If these individuals don't get enough, diagnosis errors, medical malpractice concerns, and car accidents can all crop up. A study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that people over age 65 are the most likely to sleep the most, along with those who are college educated or higher. Interestlingly around 11.8 percent of the population averages less than five hours of sleep a night.

Source: Microcap Magazine, "Recent Studies Proved That More Than One Third Of Americans Are Sleep Deprived," Robert V. Boyd, Feb. 20, 2016

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