The National Sleep Foundation finds that our busy American culture homogenizes sleeping tendencies across cultures, resulting in all ethnicities sacrificing some of their Z’s. “The National Sleep Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes sleep health, released its annual “Sleep in America” poll this month and for the first time examined how ethnic groups differ in their sleep habits. The poll of some 1,000 Americans ages 25 to 60, who were asked to identify as white, black, Hispanic or Asian, was meant to examine how cultural differences push the physiological boundaries of how much sleep we need. NSF Board Chairman Thomas Balkin cited one overarching similarity among the ethnic groups: A fifth to a quarter of the respondents across the board said they missed work or family functions, or went without sex, because they were too sleepy. ‘This reflects the power and influence of the larger U.S. culture,’ said Balkin, chief of the department of behavioral biology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. ‘Regardless of ethnic backgrounds, we’re not getting enough sleep.’ Despite that common experience, some differences emerged from the survey.”
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