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Survey: 4 in 10 upstate NY adults don't get enough sleep, moving clocks back won't help

Michael Mandiberg


This weekend was the transition back to Eastern Standard Time. Moving the clock back for an extra hour of sleep is a good thing, right?

Not necessarily.

"Getting an extra hour of sleep, that is great, initially," said Dr. Gregory Carnevale, "But our body actually thinks we're an hour behind, and it leads us to think we're not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep, and we feel jet-lagged as a result of it."

Carnevale, vice president and chief medical officer at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, said the health insurer surveyed over 2,000 upstate New York adults and found that four in 10 don't get enough sleep.

The age group least likely to get seven hours or more of sleep a night is 35- to 44-year-olds, and women are much more likely than men to be sleep-deprived.

"Unfortunately," Carnevale said, "it could be that caregiving falls on females more than males, and there are some hormonal things that go on, in terms of being a female versus a male that interfere with sleep."

More than half of adults who took the survey said they feel tired during the day.

Excellus cites data from the National Safety Council indicating that worker fatigue costs employers $136 billion a year in lost productivity.

In 2017, drowsy driving was a factor in an estimated 91,000 vehicle crashes nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Excellus recommends several habits to promote sound sleep:

  • A dark, cool bedroom.
  • No large meals, caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol before bed.
  • A consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime routine.
Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester, where she was recognized for her work by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the New York State Humane Society. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York to Miami, Florida.