- National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)
- National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Sleep Health Workgroup Objectives (4)
About the Workgroup
Approach and Rationale
Sleep is key to optimal health and well-being across the lifespan. In the United States, 30 to 40 percent of adults and 40 to 70 percent of adolescents report sleep deficiencies every year.1 Sleep deficiency is epidemic among people with chronic diseases and low socioeconomic status (SES) populations.2
Chronic sleep deprivation and irregular sleep schedules are linked to many negative health outcomes including risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia, cancer, and death.3 Poor sleep also lowers quality of life and poses a substantial threat to individual health, safety, and performance.4
Core objectives selected by the SH Workgroup aim to improve sleep in adolescents and adults, increase the proportion of people with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that seek treatment, and decrease the number of accidents due to drowsy driving. Increasing public awareness of how sleep deficiency compromises health, relationships, and careers will be key to reducing sleep-related risks in communities and workplaces. Promoting self-management skills and medical management of sleep disorders will improve public health, safety, and productivity in every community.
Understanding Sleep Health
Sleep is a basic biological function essential for overall health, well-being, and safety. National data suggests that the burden of sleep deficiency disproportionately affects minority and low SES populations.2 Women and minorities are under-diagnosed and at higher risk of common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Everyone can benefit from a regular sleep schedule allowing for 7 to 8 hours in a safe sleep environment — and from strategies to manage and prevent sleep disorders.
Emerging Issues in Sleep Health
Mounting evidence links sleep health to the overall health, quality of life, and productivity of communities. It affects all levels and sectors of society, including families, work forces, first responders, and people with chronic diseases. Sleep deficiency contributes to health disparities and negative health outcomes such as dementia, substance use, depression, and suicide. Self-management approaches — and policies that promote awareness of the role of sleep in fundamental societal outcomes — present new opportunities to advance public health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (May 2017). Data and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
Gardner, M.A., Williams, N.J., Knutson, K.L., Roberts, D., Jean-Louis G. (Feb. 2016). Sleep disparity, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic position. Sleep Medicine, 18, 7-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.01.020
Buysse, D.J. (Jan. 2014). Sleep Health: Can We Define It? Does It Matter? Sleep, 37(1), 9-17. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.3298
Consensus Conference Panel et al. (Aug. 2015). Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion. Sleep, 38(8), 1161-1183. DOI: 10.5665/sleep.4886