If sleep is my recess from a busy shift at work, insomnia is the playground mafioso, sauntering over to my place of business, demanding precious hours of sleep like it is some chump-change that I can spare.
According to Dr. William Dement of Stanford University, for most Americans, sleep debt occurs so gradually that people often attribute their fatigue to other things such as stress or illness. The travel industry has taken notice, and the newest emerging trend for 2012 is sleep vacations.
Between classes, work, responsibilities and social activities, it's hard for students in college to get the recommend eight hours of sleep each night; and even harder if you have noisy, night-owl roommates.
In our modern society of too-late work hours and too much time in front of computer screens, we are listening to our social clocks more than our physiological clocks, causing a greater sleep gap, known as social jetlag.
Just as the country gears up for a summer trip, the National Sleep Foundation released the 2012 Sleep in America poll, its first survey of transportation professionals sleep habits and work performance. The results are not reassuring.
Close the computer at 6 p.m., decline that extra bit of overtime, don't bring work home on the weekends: It's up to each of us to find ways to set reasonable limits so that work life doesn't rob us of the sleep we need.