How ingrained is sleep medicine in today’s society? Alongside the salacious super market tabloids at many checkout counters, shoppers can find a 98-page, ad-free special issue of National Geographic devoted entirely to sleep. Produced by the iconic magazine from its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the issue features numerous staff-written (unbylined) articles that make the convincing case for better sleep.
The headline is SLEEP, Your Brain, Body, and a Better Night’s Rest, and it’s a testament to consumer awareness about a topic that often yielded little attention just a decade ago. The subhead outlines three goals of the issue: 1) Learn the science of sleep; 2) Discover how sleep affects health; and 3) Ten tips for better sleep.
The table of contents is divided into four chapters: 1) What is sleep; 2) The rhythms of sleep; 3) Sleep and health; and 4) Sleep and society. While most of the content will be well known to Sleep Diagnosis & Therapy readers, the mere existence of the glossy tome bodes well for an industry that is banking on discovering those legions of undiagnosed sleep apnea sufferers.
The first page aims to dispel the still persistent notion among many that sleep is a mere indulgence. “It [sleep] gets in the way of so many chores, so many pleasures: work and exercise, socializing and binge-watching,” goes the unbylined introductory article. “Surely it doesn’t hurt to cut back on shut-eye to live life to the fullest? It does hurt. Sleep, we are learning, is an active and vital state that builds and nourishes mental and physical health.”
The $15 National Geographic special issue of SLEEP – Your Brain, Body, and a Better Night’s Rest is scheduled to remain on newsstands until Oct. 30, 2020.