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5 Health Risks of Too Little Sleep

Traffic Safety
Sleepless nights breed decreased reaction times–making driving (among other things) dangerous. A surprising National Sleep Foundation survey indicates that nearly 100 million sleepy Americans hop into vehicles each day. And each year, more than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes resulting in 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries are directly linked to drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. The US Congress is considering a bill that may put a stop to drowsy drivers. “Someone who gets behind the wheel drowsy, to me, carries the same risk as someone who gets behind the wheel drunk and should face the same criminal consequences,” says US Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), sponsor of “Maggie’s Law” (HR968). The bill, which is named in memory of Maggie McDonnell, a college student who was killed by a sleep-deprived truck driver, would create traffic safety programs to be aimed at drowsy drivers.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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7:14PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Thank you for the information.

11:35AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Thank you for the article.

10:43AM PDT on May 29, 2011


5:26PM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

Thank You!

9:57PM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

Thanks for the information...however, I think it is general. I also read that sleep requirement is different for different age groups. Perhaps more research needs to be done in this area.

8:48PM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

good to know...thanks!

1:40PM PST on Mar 6, 2011

What if you would love to sleep more but society thinks that getting tons of stuff done is more important than keeping yourself healthy? I'd love to sleep more. I'm exhausted. But I'm an engineering student at an Ivy league university. Sometimes we just aren't given the option to sleep.

I feel like we may want to change society's perceptions on sleep and what should be expected of people, before we start trying to "scare" people into sleeping more.

On that note, colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes here I come!

6:15PM PST on Mar 5, 2011

thanks for sharing.

1:35PM PST on Mar 5, 2011

Wow! I had know idea sleep was so serious to cancer.

8:48AM PST on Mar 5, 2011

Some natural remedies that work, from my personal experience:
white noise machine or fan
Herbs such as Gaia Herbs Valerian and Sleep Formula, also Jarrow Stress Tame
Supplements such as L-Tryptophan, 5htp, and GABA (these helped me when the herbs alone weren't enough
Ginseng (during the day to prevent adrenal depletion)

If you're sleep problems are ongoing, don't wait, get help for yourself as it can become a vicious cycle condition if you don't. Have your neurotransmitters and/or hormones tested (NeuroScience is a reputable lab) as imbalances often play a major role. These imbalances can then be treated with the natural methods (especially the GABA, tryptophan, melatonin) mentioned above. If you're currently suffering, don't despair you can begin sleeping well again.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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