A new study by New York University's Sleep Disorders Center confirms commuters aren't getting enough sleep as a result of their daily travel. Researchers found those with a longer commute are losing more sleep, reports CBS News Health Correspondent Emily Senay on CBS This Morning.
Questionnaires were given to 20,000 riders on the largest commuter railroad in the United States -- the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Those with commutes of more than 75 minutes lost about two hours of sleep a week, which they failed to make up on the weekends, according to the findings.
More than 50 percent of the respondents complained of sleep problems, like difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. A total of 70 percent of them napped on the train, and approximately 8 percent actually had symptoms of sleep disorders, like snoring or sleep apnea, which were going untreated.
The study's author, Dr. Joyce Walsleben, worries that commuters may be blaming sleep problems on the commute when they actually have sleep disorders that are being ignored.
Many people fail to make up for lost sleep on weekends because family events are a higher priority, she says. Commuters should realize inadequate sleep patterns are unhealthy. Additionally, a long commute with a drink triples the bad health effects.
Commuters should make sleep a higher priority, she suggests. She also advises commuters to consider the drastic step of changing jobs if they have health problems.