The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says insufficient sleep is a public epidemic with roughly 20% of Americans possibly suffering from excessive sleepiness.
As quoted in Fox News NY and elsewhere, Dr. David Rapapport, director of NYU’s Sleep Medicine Program, says sleep deprivation carries a steep price when it comes to our brain function, our waist lines and so much more. “Sleep affects everything, it affects every system in the body, every organ in the body,” he says. “There are these studies that are now appearing that suggest that sleep behavior influences your tendency towards dementia.”
As for the digital age, it has done little to help with slumber. “We are walking around with all of these electronic devices getting all this extra bright light exposure that we did not evolve with,” says Anne Mooney, assistant professor of Medicine in an article by Stacy Delikat. “That blue glow coming from our phones and tablets is tricking our brains. It has significant impact on our brain’s melatonin secretion patterns, which then regulate our circadian rhythms and our ability to fall asleep.”
In recognition of the importance of sleep to the nation’s health, CDC surveillance of sleep-related behaviors has increased in recent years. Additionally, the Institute of Medicine encouraged collaboration between CDC and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research to support development and expansion of adequate surveillance of the U.S. population’s sleep patterns and associated outcomes.