If you're sleepy, read on
June 3, 1997
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT)
From Correspondent Dan Ronan
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Many people say it happens about an hour
after lunch: a feeling of fatigue that can almost be
"It's the 2 o'clock slump -- I think we're all familiar with
that," said one young woman. "Don't get enough sleep, you eat
the wrong lunch, you don't get enough exercise.
"Or you don't find something exciting enough to do in the
afternoon," she added with a bright-eyed smile.
A new survey by the National Sleep Foundation concludes that
63 million adults, about one-third of the U.S. population,
have trouble staying awake during the day. Six percent of
those surveyed classify their problem as severe.
"We feel that television, the Internet probably now, social
activities are tending to cut into people's time available
for sleep," said the foundation's Dr. Michael Thorphy. "Also,
work habits -- people tend to be working longer hours now
than they used to."
Of those who have problems staying awake, 23 percent say
sleeplessness interferes with their social life; 16 percent
say sleep problems interfere with family activities; and 12
percent say it affects their driving.
And sleep depravation can have dangerous consequences. The
report says many people are driving their cars when they're
exhausted, causing about 100,000 accidents a year, about
1,500 of them fatal.
"There have been times driving I have personally felt -- you
can feel a little tired," a young man admitted. "I pull over
and get a Mountain Dew, or something with high caffeine, high
sugar content, and keep going."
To fight daytime sleepiness, 70 percent of those questioned
say they drink coffee or caffeinated products; another 19
percent say they take naps.
"If I can slip away for 5-10 minutes and just rest, relax,"
said a man in a coat and tie. "That's about the only thing
you can do during a work day. Or leave work early, go
straight home and take a snooze."
How much sleep is enough varies from person to person,
although six to eight hours are still considered about right
for most people. One of the best indicators is how long it
takes to get up in the morning.
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