Studies show that African-Americans are not getting enough sleep — a health issue that has an adverse impact on our health.
Consistent lack of sleep can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. Regardless of income levels, sleep deprivation is taking its toll on the Black community.
Amongst African-Americans in management positions, 42 percent get less than seven hours of sleep a night and for those in support staff positions, 37 percent get less than seven hours of sleep.
The Urban Housecall Doctors — Dr. Karla Robinson and Dr. Robert C. Robinson III — joined guest host Jeff Johnson Thursday on NewsOne Now to discuss the importance of a good night’s sleep in staying healthy and feeling rested.
Dr. Robert told Johnson, “So many of us devalue sleep, don’t recognize the importance of sleep, the physiological benefits of sleep … so many of us are sleep deprived and it spans all socioeconomic [levels].”
Johnson asked the Urban Housecall Doctors to explain the lack of sleep in the Black community and what factors keep us from obtaining the recommended eight hours of sleep needed each night to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Karla explained, “We’re grinding, we have to work twice as hard.”
“You know the old adage — be twice as good to be considered on the playing field. So I think our work ethic does come into play. Stress levels — that comes into play as well. It’s stressful to be Black in America.”
Johnson suggested that African-Americans watch more television as another factor in the lack of sleep in our community.
“There are single mothers that are trying to be both momma and daddy, cousin, grandma, and so by the time you go to work, come home, do homework, get the kids in the bed and then have any time for yourself, it’s already midnight,” he added. “But we are also over indexing on content, which is also keeping us up at night.”
Dr. Robert then reiterated that African-Americans do not appreciate the true value of sleep. “We don’t understand the restorative benefits of sleep and that’s what we really want to emphasize today is that there are actual physical, mental benefits to resting your body.”
According to Dr. Robert, sleep decreases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes — all of which African-Americans are predisposed to.
Dr. Robert went on to say that individuals who are not getting enough sleep at night are “inclined to be overweight or obese” as a result of the lack of sleep because “you are not allowing your body the amount of proper rest that it needs in a 24-hour time span.”
“Once you get into a sleep deficit situation, it’s nearly impossible to make that up.”
Watch NewsOne Now guest host Jeff Johnson and the Urban Housecall Doctors discuss the harmful impact sleep deprivation is having on the African-American community in the video clip above.
For more information about the Urban Housecall Doctors and for health tips, visit www.UrbanHousecall.com and make sure you get those hours of sleep in starting tonight.
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