FRIDAY, Sept. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of short sleep duration increased among working American adults from 2010 to 2018, according to a study published online Sept. 5 in the Journal of Community Health.

Jagdish Khubchandani, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and James H. Price, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Toledo in Ohio, used data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey to examine the prevalence and trends of short sleep duration by demographic and employment characteristics of working adults.

The researchers found that from 2010 to 2018, the prevalence of short sleep duration increased significantly (from 30.9 to 35.6 percent). The prevalence of short sleep duration varied significantly by demographic characteristics and occupational characteristics. The odds of short sleep duration were significantly higher in 2018 compared with 2010 despite adjustment for demographic characteristics (25 percent higher) and occupational characteristics (22 percent higher). The highest levels of short sleep duration in 2018 were found for protective service and military, health care support occupations, transport and material moving, and production occupation categories (50, 45, 41, and 41 percent, respectively).

“Employers that are willing to help employees develop adequate sleep times may increase the probability of workplace productivity, reduction in employee health care costs, and improving workplace safety and health,” the authors write. “Sleep hygiene education may be one method to help employees optimize their levels of sleep and reduce a significant form of preventable harm.”

The study was funded via a grant from Merck Research Laboratories.

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