Come back, Mister Sandman


Melissa Stagnaro

Among the random press releases I received last week was one which gave me pause. Rather than heralding an upcoming event, this one announced the results of a sleep study commissioned by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Issuance of the report, entitled, “The Facts About the Lack of Sleep Among Upstate New York Adults,” was timely, what with the clocks scheduled to “fall back” over the weekend.

Now, I’m sure it isn’t news that most of us are sleep deprived. According the study’s findings, Southern Tier residents get an average of 7.1 hours of “shut-eye” per night. That’s slightly higher than those in other regions, but still on the very low end of what’s considered optimal – 7 to 8 hours.

I feel lucky if I get 6.

But what surprised me most was the study’s claim that 50 years ago, Americans were devoting 1.5 to 2 hours more to sleep than we do today.

No wonder they refer to them as “the good old days”!

It was a different world back then, of course. Back when there were only a handful of network television stations, none of which broadcast 24-hours a day. Long before cable channels came into being, or the internet was born. Well before the information age, or the rise of digital technology.

Would I trade all that for an extra hour or two of sleep at night?

Thinking about how lovely it felt to sleep in for an extra hour yesterday -
I’d definitely consider it.

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