One in three Americans does not get enough sleep on a regular basis, raising their risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, U.S. health authorities said Thursday. Sleep experts at St. Joseph’s Sleep Laboratories agree; Central New Yorkers are not getting enough shut-eye.

According to the report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy sleep is defined as at least seven hours per day for adults aged 18-60. Locally, many adults are averaging far less – about five to six hours of sleep per night.

“Meeting the recommended amount of sleep is crucial to a person’s health and well being. When the required hours of sleep are not achieved, there are many health and lifestyle risk that will result,” said Neil Widrick, RRT, RPSGT, RPFT, Manager, St. Joseph’s Sleep Laboratories.

The study found that sleep patterns varied nationwide by location and ethnicity, as well is employment and marital status. Whites were most likely to get enough sleep; 67% of non-Hispanic whites reporting "healthy sleep duration," compared to just 54% of African-Americans. 66% of Hispanics and 63% of Asians reported getting enough sleep per night.

Stephen Swierczek, BS, RRT, RPSGT, RST, director of Respiratory Care and Sleep Laboratories at St. Joseph’s Health, says it’s essential that people establish consistent bedtime routines. “Going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can all help people get the healthy sleep they need."

People should also create a comfortable sleep environment including temperature control, Swierczek says. “These steps will improve sleep hygiene to avoid other related health risks.”

St. Joseph’s Health has two Sleep Labs; they are located in Liverpool and Fayetteville. They are fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the national accrediting body for sleep disorders centers and laboratories for sleep-related breathing disorders. St. Joseph’s affiliate, Franciscan Health Support, supports patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea with the latest CPAP equipment and supplies. Franciscan Health Support’s team of Registered Respiratory Therapists works with each patient to help them get a better night’s sleep. More information on the St. Joseph’s Health Sleep Laboratories is available at http://www.sjhsyr.org/sleeplab.