A new position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine emphasizes that sleep is a biological necessity, and insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders are detrimental for health, well-being, and public safety.
Published online in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the statement notes that sleep is vital for health and well-being in children, adolescents, and adults. While awareness of the value of sleep has risen in the last decade, there is a significant need for greater emphasis on sleep health in education, clinical practice, inpatient and long-term care, public health promotion, and the workplace.
“Healthy sleep is as important as proper nutrition and regular exercise for our health and well-being, and sleep is critical for performance and safety,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “It is the position of the AASM that sleep is essential to health, and we are urging educators, health care professionals, government agencies, and employers to prioritize the promotion of healthy sleep.”
The statement was written by the members of 2020 — 2021 AASM board of directors, comprising 11 sleep medicine physicians and a clinical psychologist. In recognition of sleep’s significant and multi-faceted connections to health and chronic disease, the authors outlined the following positions:
According to the authors, chronic insufficient sleep and untreated disorders are linked to increased health and safety risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, workplace accidents, and motor vehicle crashes. Data from surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau show that 34.1% of children, 74.6% of high school students, and 32.5% of adults in the U.S. fail to get a sufficient duration of sleep on a regular basis. Therefore, helping people get enough sleep is one of the goals of Healthy People 2030, which provides 10-year, measurable public health objectives for the U.S.
Story Source: Materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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