Sleep and Sleep Disorders
Sleep and Sleep Disorders: A Public Health Challenge
While we often consider sleep to be a â€œpassiveâ€ activity, sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of health promotion and chronic disease prevention in the public health community.
Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditionsâ€”such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depressionâ€”which threaten our nationâ€™s health. Notably, insufficient sleep is associated with the onset of these diseases and also poses important implications for their management and outcome. Moreover, insufficient sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents, causing substantial injury and disability each year. In short, drowsy driving can be as dangerousâ€”and preventableâ€”as driving while intoxicated.
Notably, more than one-quarter of the U.S. population report occasionally not getting enough sleep, while nearly 10% experience chronic insomnia. However, new methods for assessing and treating sleep disorders bring hope to the millions suffering from insufficient sleep. Fundamental to the success of all of these efforts is the recognition that sufficient sleep is not a luxuryâ€”it is a necessityâ€”and should be thought of as a â€œvital signâ€ of good health.
1. Reite M, Ruddy J, Nagel K. Concise guide to evaluation and management of sleep disorders (3rd ed). American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., 2002
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Page last reviewed: September 10, 2007
Page last modified: September 25, 2008
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Adult and Community Health (DACH)
4770 Buford Hwy, NE
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717