Dec 29, 2014
By: Michael Twery, Ph.D., Director, National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Why is sleep important to you? An estimated 35 percent of U.S. adults report less than seven hours of sleep during a typical 24 hour period. Sleepiness resulting from insufficient sleep, irregular sleep schedules, or poor quality sleep is a cause of motor vehicle crashes, occupational errors with hazardous outcomes, and difficulty performing daily tasks. Sleep and wakefulness disorders affect an estimated 15-20 percent of US adults who are more likely to suffer from chronic disorders including depression, substance abuse, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and all-cause mortality. Resilience to stress, emotional regulation, and inter-personal relationships are impaired by sleep deficiency. Recent findings suggest that investing in sleep health contributes to maintaining brain health, and ultimately protecting cognitive functions necessary for aging-in-place. Recognizing and addressing sleep health issues presents opportunities for enhancing public health, and improving the well-being of all people.