February 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts February 2002 Current Issue
February 2002
Short Cuts:

More stress, less rest

Have you been lying in bed wide-eyed, watching the clock change to 4:00 a.m.? If so, you’re hardly alone, according to the National Sleep Foundation (www.sleepfoundation.org). In fact, stress is keeping half the country up at night.

A poll conducted Oct. 1 through Nov. 13 by the Washington, D.C.-based organization found that 44 percent of Americans had trouble falling asleep following Sept. 11, and 48 percent woke up frequently during the night. The great majority of the nearly 1,000 respondents 71 percent said anxiety was keeping them awake.

Both the inability to fall asleep and frequent waking in the night are symptoms of insomnia. Sleep experts recommend setting and sticking to a nighttime routine, including winding down in the last two hours before bed, and keeping your bedroom free of distractions such as television and work-related materials.

In addition, sources caution, over-the-counter sleep aids should be used only short-term, if at all, since their effects can diminish over time and they can become habit-forming.

• Martha Cooke

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