LANSING — State Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) sponsored House Resolution 40 today declaring March 17 as World Sleep Day in Michigan, to encourage people to understand the importance of sleep to our safety and health.

“We’ve all talked about how we need to get more sleep, or how we don’t need much sleep, but going without enough sleep puts our health at risk and can even be dangerous when we get behind the wheel of our cars,” said Yanez. “We are hurting ourselves and those around us when don’t get the proper amount of sleep.”

The National Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2013 that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths, although they also believed the number of deaths were vastly underreported. Sleep deprivation also hinders productivity. It is estimated that American companies lost $63.2 billion every year due to lost productivity. Young children who don’t get enough sleep can exhibit behavioral problems, and sleep-deprived teenagers can see their grades drop. Researchers have also linked chronic sleep deprivation to accelerated aging of the brain, and increased risk for heart attacks and strokes as well as other serious health conditions.

“Generally, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day,” said Yanez. “Most of us lead fast-paced lives, but we have to realize that for the good of ourselves, our families and our careers we need to slow down and take care of ourselves. Getting a good night’s sleep is not a sign of weakness or laziness: it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone who depends on us.”

The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following amounts of sleep every night for different age groups:

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours each day

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours each day

Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours each day

School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours each day

Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours each day

Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours each day

Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours each day

Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours each day