By K. Anoa Monsho
Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, Black people in America are 58% more likely to get less sleep each night than they need to maintain optimum health as compared to white people. On the other end of the sleep spectrum, Black people are 62% more likely than white people to sleep more than 9 hours a night. Both sleeping too little and sleeping too much can cause health problems. The sweet spot for most adults is 7 to 9 hours a night.
Quality sleep is a basic human need, as important as food and water and researchers say that the physical consequences of not getting enough quality sleep range from increased levels of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure and obesity. Lack of sleep has also been linked to a higher chance of non-alcohol-related car accidents, falls and even plane and train crashes, among other catastrophic workplace accidents.
Not enough or poor quality sleep also leads to mental health impacts including depression, increased anxiety, and inappropriate or negative responses to stress. Lack of sleep influences the ability to perceive the world accurately and can lead to increased violent behavior and suicide. Not getting enough sleep impairs cognition, the ability to focus, and concentration and can lead to a higher risk of dementia.