An "Epidemic" Of Sleeplessness

It hurts your health. Here's how to catch up

Ever space out during a meeting, jerk awake while at your computer, or snooze through part of a TV show? Millions of Americans do, and that's cause for concern. A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit research group in Washington, found that two-thirds of the U.S. population gets less than the recommended hours of sleep at night. That means sleeplessness is of "epidemic proportions in this country," says Dr. William Dement, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Stanford University School of Medicine.

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