National Geographic Tackles Massive American Sleep Problem


Endangered animals, fossils, and sleep disorders? Iconic National Geographic Channel (IGC) recently partnered with The Public Good Projects and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to draw attention to the science of sleep.


An article from covered details of the partnership while reporting that millions of Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder, with more than two-thirds of American men and just under half of women wishing they slept more.


“In modern society, Americans are staying awake later and getting up earlier than ever before, depriving their bodies of the fundamental need for sleep,” writes Sarah Bibel. “A growing body of evidence reveals this pervasive lack of sleep as a public health issue, increasing the rates of serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression. Scientists are beginning to find answers to the eternal question of why we sleep.”


A new program called Sleepless in America spotlights the nation’s sleep-loss epidemic, “revealing the serious consequences of not sleeping enough and explaining how we became a society that fails to prioritize sleep. The film examines the scope of the epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of sleeping too little, taking viewers to our nation’s leading researchers, including:


  • Dr. David Gozal at the University of Chicago, who recently published groundbreaking research showing that poor sleep may double the speed of cancer growth; and
  • Dr. Jeffrey Iliff of Oregon Health and Science University, whose research has drawn new connections between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s disease, to reveal what science has discovered about the effects of poor sleep and what people can do to sleep better.


“We knew we found the perfect partner in John Hoffman and The Public Good Projects. John has a proven track record in shedding a light on the most complex health issues affecting Americans today,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Channels. “Sleep deprivation is becoming widespread and is being more recognized as a growing epidemic in the U.S. By partnering with the National Institutes of Health, one of the world’s leading medical research centers, together we are bringing issues of importance to the public agenda.”

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