World Sleep Day

World Sleep Day

TYLER (CNN/KYTX) - March 14th is World Sleep Day! Chances are, you're probably not getting as much sleep as you should.  One group is hoping to give you a wake-up call this Friday. Experts say sleep is a much bigger deal than people may realize.

One East Texas man learned that the hard way after he fell asleep behind the wheel. He says he never realized how much sleep deprivation had to do with dangerous driving. Now, he's taking his rest more seriously and says he feels much better.

It was seven years ago when John Moore says he left work in the middle of the day because he couldn't keep his eyes open.

"At 3:30 in the afternoon, I fell asleep at the wheel. I ran off the road. And, when I woke up, I was in the ditch. Fortunately, I was able to get my vehicle back on the road and not hurt myself or anybody else, but it was very scary and, pardon the pun, a wake-up call."
Moore went to a sleep doctor and discovered he has severe sleep apnea. Now, he uses a CPAP machine at night and says he's getting much more rest.

"I was shocked." says Moore. "I didn't realize how bad I felt until I didn't feel bad anymore."

This World Sleep Day, experts are hoping you open your eyes to see how much shut-eye you may be missing out on and what that means for your health.

You've heard the standard advice, adults should aim for eight hours of sleep per night. But, when the National Sleep Foundation interviewed 1,000 people for a poll last year, 73% said they got less than eight hours a night during the workweek, with an average sleep time of six hours and 51 minutes.

So, what are we giving up with that sleep? As the World Association of Sleep Medicine points out, sleep tends to increase our mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, and health- including weight.

"I was severely sleep deprived and I was told I could have had a heart attack, that I could have died in my sleep, falling asleep at the wheel, I could have killed someone else or killed myself." says Moore.

Experts say we need to focus on three elements of good quality sleep: length, continuity, and how deep of a sleep we get.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 police reported crashes are caused by tired drivers.




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