Many not sleeping enough – or well enough – and that's a killer

By Lucy Craft

/ CBS News

Why chronic sleep deficit is a killer

Tokyo — Many of us are in the habit of burning the candle at both ends during the week and crashing on the weekend, but experts are issuing increasingly dire warnings about the dangers of "sleep deficit" — a chronic shortage of rest that is wreaking havoc on our brains and bodies.

While Japan ranked dead last among 100 countries in hours slept, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says one-third of Americans are not getting the recommended minimum of seven hours a night.

CBS News' Lucy Craft reports that in Japan, it has become socially acceptable to grab 40 winks just about anywhere, be it on a train, over coffee, even in parliament — as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe himself has been caught doing on occasion. One expat,

Snoozing in public is so common, it even has a name; "inemuri," or sleeping on duty. Jonathan William Mattice, who lived in Tokyo for years, has dedicated a Facebook page, "Nobody Sleeps Like The Japanese Do," to showcasing some of the more extreme examples.

But among a growing number of Japanese, the alarm has gone off about the wisdom of sacrificing sleep to work more.

Poor sleep may affect heart health

Stanford University professor Seiji Nishino, who runs the school's Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology Lab, says chronic sleep deprivation afflicts Americans and Japanese alike.

We're staying up "too late," he warns, "and that's not only for adults, also for the kids. Same tendency."

Worried about the impact of sleeplessness on productivity, a few Japanese companies are now encouraging employees to take power naps — on the job. At least one firm pays its workers to get enough sleep at night, and Japanese cities now feature "napping cafes" for those who need a rest stop but can't get back to the comfort of their beds.

In the U.S., the CDC says our irregular, 24-7, constantly connected lifestyles put us at risk for obesity, cancer, dementia and a shortened lifespan, not to mention hampering job performance.

Seattle high schools find later start time improves academic performance

Author of a comic book of sleep tips, Nishino advises CEOs and sumo wrestlers alike to slow down and unplug — well before hitting the hay.0

He and other sleep researchers say, even if you get seven to eight hours, quantity does not always equal quality.

"Most people are concerned with length of sleep, but quality is also important," Nishino says. Quality shut-eye starts with a regular pre-sleep routine, like an evening stroll or reading a book, and most definitely not checking email one last time.

Sleep, Nishino warns, can be our best friend — or our worst enemy.

First published on January 24, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Under Armour is developing spacesuits for Virgin Galactic

This comes as the race to make commercial space travel a reality is intensifying

updated 1M ago

Furloughed worker: "I have $1.06 in my bank account"

According to a career survey, almost 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck

updated 30M ago

Senate to vote on bills to fund government, though unlikely to pass

Competing bills being taken up in the Senate today are unlikely to end the government shutdown impasse

1H ago

"Sheer terror": Family says Nest camera warned of N. Korea missile attack

They're demanding tech companies take stronger action to protect consumers after their home security system was hijacked

1H ago

Family behind OxyContin maker fueled opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says

In a lawsuit, the state targets eight members of the Sackler family, alleging they are "personally responsible" for deceptively selling OxyContin

updated 37M ago

U.S. backing of Venezuelan opposition comes with risks

President Nicolas Maduro shunned by White House and U.S. allies, but some major world powers still have his back

updated 44M ago

Senate to vote on bills to fund government, though unlikely to pass

Competing bills being taken up in the Senate today are unlikely to end the government shutdown impasse

1H ago

GOP leaders consider resolutions supporting Trump in 2020

A resolution passed by an RNC panel this week stated GOP's "unequivocal support" of Trump, a step that a president's own party has never taken

8H ago

Trump agrees to postpone State of the Union address

Hours after Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn't allow the resolution authorizing the address onto the House floor, the president agreed to put if off

3H ago

Lara Trump: Shutdown is "a little bit of pain," but future generations will "thank" workers

"Listen, it's not fair to you and we all get that," she said during an interview with digital news network Bold TV

9H ago

Many not sleeping enough – or well enough – and that's a killer

An estimated one-third of Americans suffer chronic "sleep deficit," but it's become such a problem in Japan that some companies are taking action

updated 7M ago

U.S. backing of Venezuelan opposition comes with risks

President Nicolas Maduro shunned by White House and U.S. allies, but some major world powers still have his back

updated 44M ago

Long-time Scottish political leader arrested amid sex harassment probe

Police won't confirm charges against Alex Salmond, who led Scotland's independence push and its semi-autonomous government for 7 years

2H ago

U.S.-born journalist for Iranian network released from federal custody

Marzieh Hashemi — an American-born journalist working in Iran — has been released from U.S. custody after testifying before a grand jury in Washington

12H ago

Mariano Rivera is Hall of Fame bound after amazing journey to MLB

Rivera, 49, is the first unanimous selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and will be enshrined this summer

14H ago

"The Wizard of Oz" returning to theaters for 80th anniversary

You can see the beloved 1939 film in theaters starting this weekend

6H ago

Carrie Underwood welcomes baby No. 2

The country singer and her former hockey player husband welcomed baby number two on Monday

16H ago

Connie Britton on the "ambitious storytelling in "SMILF"

The Showtime comedy series follows a single mom struggling to give her son a better life

19H ago

Alec Baldwin will take anger management class after guilty plea

He agreed to complete a one-day anger management class to resolve the criminal case

21H ago

James Gandolfini's son to play young Tony Soprano in upcoming movie

"It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano," 19-year-old Michael Gandolfini said

Jan 22

Under Armour is developing spacesuits for Virgin Galactic

This comes as the race to make commercial space travel a reality is intensifying

updated 1M ago

"Sheer terror": Family says Nest camera warned of N. Korea missile attack

They're demanding tech companies take stronger action to protect consumers after their home security system was hijacked

1H ago

Quarter of U.S. jobs could be jeopardized by AI, research shows

The most at-risk positions include cooks, waiters and others in food services, short-haul truckers and clerical workers, think tank's report says

3H ago

PG&E bankruptcy shows we don't know how to pay for climate change

As weather gets more extreme, corporations, citizens and politicians fight over who should pay for the damages

15H ago

Amazon's delivery robot "Scout" resembles a water cooler on wheels

Half a dozen of the self-driving devices are making the rounds in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington

16H ago

Many not sleeping enough – or well enough – and that's a killer

An estimated one-third of Americans suffer chronic "sleep deficit," but it's become such a problem in Japan that some companies are taking action

updated 7M ago

Family behind OxyContin maker fueled opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says

In a lawsuit, the state targets eight members of the Sackler family, alleging they are "personally responsible" for deceptively selling OxyContin

updated 37M ago

Gold Medal flour recalled over salmonella fears

General Mills says only five-pound bags with use-by dates of April 20 are affected and no related confirmed illnesses have been reported

4H ago

Formerly conjoined twins thriving after rare, complex surgery

The girls are among the youngest twins joined at the head​ to be successfully separated

14H ago

Emergency declared over measles in anti-vax hotspot

23 cases of measles have been confirmed and health officials are investigating two more suspected cases in Clark County, Washington

14H ago

Under Armour is developing spacesuits for Virgin Galactic

This comes as the race to make commercial space travel a reality is intensifying

updated 1M ago

Government shutdown: "Pain will intensify" to wider economy

Consumer spending, critical to economic growth, is likely to take a hit and may heighten risks of a slowdown

updated 21M ago

In New England, home prices fall as seas rise

Higher tides linked to climate change are lowering property values, hurting communities and homeowners

updated 13M ago

Financial tips for surviving the government shutdown

On Friday, nearly 800,000 federal workers will miss their second paycheck since the partial government shutdown started

updated 6M ago

Quarter of U.S. jobs could be jeopardized by AI, research shows

The most at-risk positions include cooks, waiters and others in food services, short-haul truckers and clerical workers, think tank's report says

3H ago

Jennie-O to donate $25,000 reward money to Jayme Closs

The FBI and Jennie-O contributed a total of $50,000 for information on Closs' whereabouts; she had been kidnapped for nearly three months

7H ago

5 people killed in Florida bank shooting; suspect in custody

Zephen Xaver, 21, has been taken into custody Wednesday after SWAT team entered SunTrust Bank branch in Sebring, Florida

5H ago

Nurse arrested in case of incapacitated woman who gave birth

Investigators arrested 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland on a charge of sexual assault

15H ago

Main doctor named of incapacitated woman who was raped, gave birth: Report

Doctor suspended; the woman had a baby after being sexually assaulted at Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix

15H ago

4 arrested in plot to attack Muslim community in New York

Investigators said the suspects were targeting Islamberg, a community that's been targeted in the past

Jan 22