Watch CBSN Live

Curing Sleepless Nights

A new study finds that more than half of all Americans aren't getting enough sleep. Andrew Colten reports for CBS This Morning, and passes along some tips for a good night's rest.

Who can't relate to a night of tossing and turning, hoping to fall asleep, fearing another day with too little rest to go on? A new study by the National Sleep Foundation in Washington says it's happening to a majority of us: 62 percent of American adults aren't getting the six hours of sleep that they need.

According to Dr. Richard Castriota, of the Sleep Center at Houston's Hermann Hospital, studies on sleep have shown that "in general, for most people, if you get less than six hours sleep over a long period of time you suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation."

At Hermann Hospital, patients wait for the sandman under the eye of a camera. Their every motion is recorded and analyzed as doctors try to figure out what's wrong.

The Sleep Foundation says bad sleeping habits can sometimes be easily changed. They say:

  • Don't smoke.
  • Don't drink beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol within a few hours of going to sleep.
  • Don't get on the 'net and surf until all hours of the morning.
  • The study says stress can keep you up. So, try to deal with your problems well before bedtime.
Leslie Guidry, 25, wishes that was her problem. She's on medication after 24 years of sleepless nights. Now, she says, "I actually wake up more refreshed though it's hard to get up in the morning," she says. "But the next day I feel refreshed."

Sleep problems can usually be cured but most people never seek medical help. So, if the above tips don't work, doctors say that instead of tossing and turning, make an appointment with a physician and you can get help to get a good night's sleep.

©1999 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

View CBS News In