It’s easy to believe that a lot of New Jerseyans have trouble sleeping; there’s a lot to keep us awake at night. And with daylight savings time beginning at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, that’s another precious hour we’ll lose.
In fact, the lack of zzz’s is a significant problem for about 2 million Garden State residents. According to a scientific statewide poll, conducted by the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, 30 percent — or 2 million — of the state’s almost seven million adults report having had trouble sleeping at some point in the week before they were interviewed. Another 31 percent say they are dissatisfied with the quality of their sleep; that includes 16 percent (roughly 1 million people) who are “very” dissatisfied.
Among the problems with sleep listed by 36 percent of people were not having enough time to sleep, trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping with a snoring partner or too much other noise. Speaking of snoring, women were more likely to report snoring by their partner or other noise as a big or small problem than men (35 percent compared to 20 percent).
Sleep deprivation is a serious issue. “Studies have made clear that sleep is vital to our health and well-being,” said Joel Cantor, director of the center. “People who routinely do not get enough sleep are at an increased risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, accidents, and other health problems. Insufficient sleep can also lead to reduced productivity at work or school and a lower ability to fight off infections such as colds.”