How the World Forgot to Sleep

Men’s Health investigates the real cost of lost shut-eye and asks whether we can relearn how to rest easy.

Two-thirds of adults in developed nations are now falling short of the recommended eight hours a night. But while there has been a global rise in sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, this is less a medical issue than a social one. Even those with the capacity to sleep well aren’t doing enough of it.

In Japan, where the epidemic is at its most extreme, the average time spent asleep is just six hours and 22 minutes. There are even phrases in the language for falling asleep in public (inemuri) and dying from the exhaustion of overwork (karōshi).

The link between poor sleep and illness is far from casual. In one study, adults over the age of 45 who slept for less than six hours a night were 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime than those who slept seven or eight hours.

from Sleep Review

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