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Study Finds Racial Differences When It Comes to Getting Enough Sleep

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In the dark of night Asians, African Americans, Hispanics and Whites all have something in common: We can't sleep, but for different reasons.

According to the National Sleep Foundations Sleep in America poll, Asians report getting the best sleep and use sleep aids the least. Blacks-African Americans have the highest rate of sleep apnea. Hispanics are most likely to be kept awake by financial and personal concerns while Whites have the highest rate of insomnia.

Taylor Alexander has a lot on her plate, she's a new mom, goes to school, works and said she can't sleep.

"That's when I started feeling kind of groggy during the day, not being able to focus during work or during school. I started getting really bad headaches and it's been a pain not getting enough sleep at night," Said Taylor.

Dr. Raj Kakar is the medical director at the Dallas Center for Sleep Disorders. He said the racial study enlightening.

Generally we are a sleep deprived society, most of us are getting less sleep than we need and most studies have shown that the average adult needs about seven and a half to eight hours a night," Said Dr. Kakar.

The lack of sleep is causing a laundry list of health problems, everything from obesity and diabetes to anxiety and depression. While those conditions are color blind, Dr. Kakar says the study will add some hue to a patients sleep history.

"I think it does help to some extent, it just lets us know that there may be certain factors that might be more of a concern in certain ethnic backgrounds," Says DR. Kakar.

Taylor said she gets about five or six hours of sleep a night and goes to bed at about ten and then tosses and turns until midnight. Like many Americans tonight, her day is far from over.

"I guess your mind is full of stuff so you can't really go to sleep at night," Said Taylor.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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