src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1221358201701323&ev=PageView&noscript=1"

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, Receives National Sleep Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Washington, DC (May 1, 2023): National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announced today that Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, has received its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the organization’s highest honor, recognizing an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the field of sleep health. The award celebrates the recipient’s connection to NSF’s non-profit, public health mission through their extensive professional contributions to the field and to the work of the organization.

“NSF is honored to present Dr. Hirshkowitz with our Lifetime Achievement Award. His work as a scientist and his keen understanding of how to objectively measure and describe sleep, especially through polysomnography and evolving sleep monitoring technologies, has been pivotal in the field. Beyond the importance of his research, he is a noted educator and mentor who has made a significant impact on scores of active professionals in sleep disorders research, sleep medicine, and our broader work in public sleep health at NSF,” said Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, Board Chair of the National Sleep Foundation.

Dr. Hirshkowitz is a retired consulting professor at Stanford University School of Public Health and full professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Medicine. He was the founder and director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at the Michael E. DeBakey Houston Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and training director of the Baylor Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program. His research focused on sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, fatigue management, and workplace safety. He was a member of NSF’s Consensus Panels that produced NSF’s landmark 2015 Sleep Duration Guidelines, Sleep Quality Recommendations, and Sleep Satisfaction Tool. Dr. Hirshkowitz also actively represented NSF in its collaboration with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to develop definitions and sleep measurement and performance standards for consumer wearables and other devices.

Dr. Hirshkowitz served on numerous national and international committees, NIH scientific review panels, and advisory boards, including having served on the Board of the National Sleep Foundation (2009-2017) and as its Chair from 2016-2017. He has authored hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and served on the editorial board of multiple journals including Sleep Health, Sleep Medicine, and Sleep Research.

To learn more about the National Sleep Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, visit the NSF website.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

National Sleep Foundation Collaborates to Help Advance Sleep Health in South Korea and Beyond

 

Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2023): Today, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announced a collaboration with ASLEEP, Inc. to identify opportunities that can advance sleep health through increased awareness and education. ASLEEP, Inc. is based in Seoul, South Korea.

For over 30 years, NSF has educated the public about the importance of sleep to health and well-being. NSF has published evidence-based and consensus-driven guidelines, positions and policy statements on sleep health, standards for consumer devices measuring sleep co-developed with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), as well as produced easy-to-use educational tools and tips to help improve public sleep health. NSF’s ongoing work also encourages and celebrates efforts by which sleep science and insight are incorporated into accessible SleepTech® products and services.

While based in the United States, NSF’s research and education has been used in multiple global markets to help increase understanding about the importance of sleep health, and NSF’s peer-reviewed Journal, Sleep Health®, also features an increased number of manuscript submissions on population sleep health research from outside the United States.

“The National Sleep Foundation is here to help anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self®,” says NSF CEO John Lopos, “so we are especially encouraged to have the opportunity to collaborate further with ASLEEP, Inc. and play a part in helping the Korean public improve their sleep. We also continue to advocate for important innovations in SleepTech® and its potential and promise to advance sleep health wherever it is used.”

ASLEEP, Inc., a 4-year-old sleep tech company focused on AI and sleep breathing sound data, is being featured in the economic delegation during this week’s US-Korea Summit in Washington, DC. They have established subject matter expertise in breathing sounds during sleep. The two organizations previously collaborated on research in the U.S. and Korea about sleep behaviors and the public’s use and attitudes towards sleep technology, the results of which were presented in March at the Sleep.Tech.Life. 2023 conference, hosted by ASLEEP in Seoul, South Korea.

“We are pleased to affirm our commitment to help with awareness and education about sleep health by collaborating with the National Sleep Foundation,” said Dong Heon Lee, CEO of ASLEEP, Inc. “ASLEEP, Inc. is sharing our vision with key stakeholders in Korea across industry, government, and clinical institutions, but we also are a technology innovator that is committed to developing novel and accessible sleep solutions to be used by people everywhere.”

For more information on NSF and its mission to advance sleep health, visit: www.theNSF.org.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Congressional Resolution 232 Supports the Designation of Sleep Awareness Week

 

Washington, DC (March 15, 2023): Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, introduced House Resolution 232 in the U.S. House of Representatives with cosigners Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Rep. Shontel Brown of Ohio,  Rep. Madeline Dean of Pennsylvania, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, and Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama. The resolution recognizes the importance of sleep health and supports the designation of ‘‘Sleep Awareness Week.’’  

Each year, National Sleep Foundation (NSF) independently produces Sleep Awareness Week®  as the premier campaign for sleep health. During Sleep Awareness Week, NSF highlights evidence and consensus-based best practices for sleep health that include expert guidance and practical tips to help people get enough of the quality sleep they need. During the week, NSF also releases results from its annual Sleep in America® Poll , which reflects the public’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors about a sleep-related topic.

“The National Sleep Foundation applauds Congress for recognizing Sleep Awareness Week and the importance of sleep health to all Americans,” said John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “This is the 25th year NSF has celebrated Sleep Awareness Week,” added Lopos. “We are committed to helping anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self®.”

“We neglect sleep at the expense of our mental and physical health, well-being and resilience,” said Rep. Raskin. “As research continues to show the importance of sleep to our quality of life, let’s raise public consciousness about this priority. I appreciate the National Sleep Foundation’s advocacy on this imperative.”

For more information about the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week® campaign and activities, visit: www.theNSF.org/sleep-awareness-week.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

Media Contact
Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

NSF Poll Highlights Strong Link Between Sleep and Depressive Symptoms in US Population

The National Sleep Foundation Marks the 25th Anniversary of Sleep Awareness Week® by releasing important new public health findings from its annual Sleep in America® Poll

 

Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2023) – To kick off the 25th anniversary of its Sleep Awareness Week® which runs March 12-18, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has released new findings from their annual Sleep in America® Poll. This year focused on exploring the important connection between sleep health and mental health in the general US adult population. The Poll found that adults with good sleep were also likely to be free of significant depressive symptoms. In fact, over 90% of adults with very good sleep health also reported an absence of elevated depressive symptoms.

Additional key results from the research show:

“In the day-to-day execution of our sleep health mission, we give lots of simple, evidence-based and consensus-driven tips and tools to help people get enough of the quality sleep they need. For this year’s Poll, we were compelled to look again at the connection between sleep health and mental health conditions like depression.” said John Lopos, National Sleep Foundation CEO.

Sleep health is critical to our overall health and well-being. This year’s Sleep in America Poll findings come at a crucial time when the United States continues to address a national mental health crisis. Other leading public health organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize mental health as a critical issue facing our nation today.

An annual survey, the Sleep in America Poll is one of the longest-running records capturing U.S. perceptions, attitudes, and trends in sleep health. For the first time, this year’s research combined a variety of sleep health tools, including NSF’s validated Sleep Health Index® and Sleep Satisfaction Tool®, and its Best Slept Self® Questionnaire, to assess the nation’s sleep, and the PHQ-9 to evaluate depressive symptoms.

“One unique aspect of this year’s research was how we combined NSF’s multiple validated measures of the population’s sleep health with an established measure of depressive symptoms to examine the link between sleep health and depressive symptoms in the general population,” said Joseph Dzierzewski, PhD, Vice President of Research and Scientific Affairs at the National Sleep Foundation. “As a licensed clinician, I’d say there’s never been a more important time to think about the strong connection between our sleep and mental health. Being your Best Slept Self® can have meaning beyond sleep.”

Sleep Awareness Week 2023 is sponsored through unrestricted funding and support from Primasun, Avadel, Eisai, Inc., Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Apnimed, Asleep, AYO, Harmony Biosciences, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals US Inc., NLS Pharmaceutics Ltd., Purecare, Samsung Health, Wayfair, and Higi. Additional collaborators include National PTA, Mental Health America, National Organizations for Youth Safety, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Research Society, and Drowsy Driving Prevention Project who help to promote NSF’s sleep health messages.

For more sleep health information and to learn ways to help be your Best Slept Self®, visit www.theNSF.org.

If you’re still not getting the sleep you need after taking some basic steps, or if you have lasting symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider. That’s especially true if you are having challenges with your mood or feelings of depression. You are not alone. For anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, please seek care. Contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. TheNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

About the Sleep in America® Poll

The Sleep in America Poll is the National Sleep Foundation’s premier annual review of current sleep topics. The Poll was first conducted in 1991 and has been produced since 2018 by Langer Research Associates. The full Sleep in America Poll findings, including methodology, can be found at theNSF.org/sleep-in-america-polls/.

Hint: There’s a BIG connection between sleep and emotional well-being

Sleep is a critical part of your overall health. And the quality and quantity of your sleep are deeply connected to your mental and emotional well-being.

During sleep, the body and mind go through various restorative processes, including repairing and rejuvenating cells, consolidating memories, processing emotions, and cleansing toxins from the brain. Good sleep can help you regulate your emotions better as well as improve cognitive skills like learning and attention.

Our sleep and our minds are interlinked.

When we don’t get enough of the quality sleep we need for our bodies to function at its best, it can affect our mental health, too. Poor sleep can make it harder to cope with daily stress. We may be more impacted by minor negative things and less likely to notice the positive parts of our day.

Think about the last time you didn’t sleep your best. Did you feel irritable or short-tempered? It’s likely that you had trouble dealing with emotions that arose from minor challenges. Maybe you noticed that it was easier to slip into feelings of stress, worry or anxiety. And, getting too little or poor-quality sleep, for even a few nights a week, is associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel: when we sleep well, we are recharged and ready to face the day. Following good sleep, we tend to cope better, process information in a more balanced fashion, and have a brighter outlook on life.

2023 Sleep in America® Poll Findings

For our 2023 Sleep in America® Poll, we wanted to learn more about how the nation’s sleep and mental health are linked. The results made it clear that American adults with healthier sleep habits are less likely to experience significant depressive symptoms. Read on to see our findings.

Mental Health Can Affect Your Sleep Health, Too

Just as sleep can affect our mental well-being, those dealing with mental health issues often experience problems with their sleep. In fact, the two often go hand in hand; depression can lead to sleep problems, and sleep problems can worsen depressive symptoms.

Experiencing depression can result in us sleeping poorly, spending more time lying awake in bed for longer hours, being less physically active and getting less exposure to bright daylight–all of which can result in disrupted sleep.

By understanding the connection between sleep and mental health, you can start taking steps to improve your sleep health and your emotional well-being.

The good news: Being Your Best Slept Self® Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Experiencing Elevated Depressive Symptoms

The association between sleep and mental health is clear. By getting the deep, restorative sleep you need, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing poor emotional well-being. So, your sleep should be an important part of your approach to mental wellness.

Think about the last time you woke up after a great night of sleep—you might have noticed your mood was also quite positive. By practicing healthy sleep habits and making it a goal to be your Best Slept Self®, you can experience that recharged feeling more often, which can also help give your mental health a boost.

Your Best Slept Self®: Small Steps Toward a Big Difference

Your Best Slept Self is a renewed you after taking small steps each day and night that make a big difference in your sleep health. Practice these steps that are linked to both good sleep and mental health.

Light

Spend time in bright light during the day, natural light, or equivalent brightness. Get a healthy amount of exposure to bright light during the morning.

Exercise

Exercise regularly for a deeper sleep. Aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Mealtimes

Eat your meals at consistent times day after day.

Avoid…

Things to stay away from before bedtime include heavy meals, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.

Wind-down

Use a consistent routine with a relaxing wind-down to help get the sleep you need each night (7–9 hours for most adults, with the same sleep and wake times).

Environment

Put your devices away an hour before bed and sleep in a quiet, cool, dark environment.

See How Being Your Best Slept Self® Can Help

By making sleep a priority and by practicing the steps to be your Best Slept Self, you can help promote optimal brain health, emotional well-being, and your overall health.

In our 2023 Sleep in America Poll, we saw clear associations between the healthy sleep habits outlined by the NSF’s Best Slept Self behaviors and mental health.

We saw that Americans who practice healthy sleep behaviors both night and day are sleeping better than those who don’t. And we also learned more about the link between these healthy sleep behaviors and mental health.

Best Slept Self in Practice

Almost 3 out of 4 adults who practice high levels of healthy sleep behaviors like NSF’s Best Slept Self recommendations also enjoy above-average sleep health.

Best Slept Self and Depressive Symptoms

Over 90% of Americans who earned an ‘A’ for their engagement in healthy sleep behaviors have no significant depressive symptoms.

If you’re not getting the sleep you need, it could negatively affect your mental health.

If you are still struggling with your sleep or mental health, it might be time to talk to a doctor.

Sleep health is critical for our mental and physical well-being, so it’s important to make sleep a priority. If you have specific symptoms or continue to be concerned about not getting the sleep you need after taking some basic steps, it’s a good idea to seek professional help from a clinician.

That’s especially true if you are experiencing changes in your mood or feelings of depression. These feelings can be common among people suffering from poor sleep health, and you’re not alone. By seeking help, you are taking another step to improving your sleep health, your mental well-being, and your overall health.


For anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

National Sleep Foundation Announces 2023 Dates for the 25th Anniversary of Sleep Awareness Week®

 

Washington, D.C. (January 19, 2022): National Sleep Foundation has announced Sleep Awareness Week® 2023 will take place from March 12-18, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its annual campaign. Sleep Awareness Week serves as a call to action for the public to recognize their sleep as a crucial part of health and well-being.

Each year, National Sleep Foundation (NSF) independently produces Sleep Awareness Week as the premier awareness and education campaign for sleep health. During Sleep Awareness Week, NSF highlights evidence and consensus-based best practices for sleep health that include expert guidance and practical tips to help people get enough of the quality sleep they need. Campaign materials can be found at the NSF website.

Sleep Awareness Week begins on March 12 at the start of Daylight Saving Time when most of the public faces the disruption of the clock change and loses an hour of sleep. During the week, NSF also releases results of its hallmark Sleep in America® Poll. Over the past 25 years, more than 20 polls have been fielded on topics ranging from aging, exercise, and bedroom setup to help the public understand key attitudes, behaviors, and experiences with sleep health.

“Sleep Awareness Week is a time of year when everyone is reminded about the importance of our sleep and how it affects the way we feel and perform each day,” said Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD, Chair of the NSF Board of Directors. “If we want to be healthy and at our best, one of the first places to focus is on our sleep. That’s been our consistent message since we first started Sleep Awareness Week,” continued Oyegbile-Chidi.

Since the inception of Sleep Awareness week, NSF has continued to elevate the importance of sleep health among the public by reaching millions of people in the US and abroad, including having generated billions of media impressions. “We are incredibly proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sleep Awareness Week. This is a cornerstone campaign, that’s a focal point to our mission,” said John Lopos, NSF’s CEO. “More importantly, we’re thankful for and want to recognize our colleagues and collaborators who continue to join and support our work educating the public. NSF is about helping anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self®,” added Lopos.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. TheNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

AYO and Sunrise Win National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 SleepTech® Award

 

Washington, D.C. (December 21, 2022): The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) named AYO, and Sunrise as winners of the 2022 SleepTech® Award. NSF’s SleepTech Award recognizes the year’s most innovative efforts in advancing sleep technology, and is a feature of NSF’s ongoing work to encourage and celebrate efforts by which sleep science and insight are rapidly incorporated into accessible health products and services.

The SleepTech award is given in two categories: Sleep Health and Wellness, which includes products and services consumers can use as part of their daily routine for sleep and health; and Sleep Disorders and Conditions, which includes solutions that seek to improve the patient experience for diagnosis and treatment.

Novalogy’s AYO is the winner in the Sleep Health and Wellness category. As described by Novology, AYO is the world’s first circadian health wearable that focuses on circadian rhythm and combines chronobiology research and light therapy.

Sunrise, the winner in the Sleep Disorders and Conditions category, describes their product as a disposable, diagnostic home-based solution consisting of a single sensor that sits on the patient’s chin, a smartphone application, and cloud platform healthcare professionals can use to manage sleep studies that aid physicians in diagnosing sleep disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea. Sunrise is FDA De Novo granted.

“We congratulate Novalogy and Sunrise for winning our 2022 SleepTech Award. Both organizations are incorporating sleep science and insight into developing products that can help consumers and patients get the sleep they need to be healthy,” said John Lopos, CEO of NSF.

“We are truly grateful to the National Sleep Foundation for the recognition of our efforts in advancing consumer sleep and health technology, with the goal of better sleep and a healthier life for millions of people around the world – a mission that’s close to our heart at Novalogy.  After years of development, it’s truly gratifying to unveil AYO,” said Branislav Nikolic, CEO and Founder, Novalogy Inc.

“We are honored and proud to receive the National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 SleepTech® Award for our sleep diagnostic aid solution. Sleep apnea remains a largely undiagnosed condition that affects nearly a billion people worldwide, and has a profound impact on health and society. We believe Sunrise technology can play an increasing role in diagnosing the millions who remain undiagnosed.” said Laurent Martinot, CEO and co-founder, Sunrise.

The NSF would also like to acknowledge two SleepTech Award finalists in each category: Innogized Technologies, and Adaptive Sound Technologies in the Sleep Health and Wellness Category and Signifier Medical Technologies, and AR Medical Technologies in the Sleep Disorders and Conditions category.

For over 30 years, NSF has educated the public about the importance of sleep health to overall health and well-being. NSF has published consensus papers, guidelines, and standards for positive sleep health as well as easy-to-use tools and tips to improve sleep. NSF is committed to making science-based sleep tech more accessible and convenient so anyone and everyone can be their Best Slept Self®.

The National Sleep Foundation has no financial relationship with any of the 2022 SleepTech Award winners. For more information about the National Sleep Foundation, visit www.theNSF.org.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.
theNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Congressional Resolution 1454 Supports the Designation of National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®

 

Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2022) – Representatives Madeleine Dean and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, introduced House Resolution 1454 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution supports the designation of “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week” to raise awareness about the dangers of drowsy driving and encourages people across the United States to take steps to prevent against drowsy driving.

NSF is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research, and practice. NSF created Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® to raise awareness on the relatable experience of driving while drowsy. This the 15th anniversary of the annual campaign.

Drowsy driving is a dangerously common and preventable form of impaired driving. A 2022 NSF survey of adult drivers found that 6 in 10 Americans (62%) have driven a car when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open and an estimated 37 million motorists drive drowsy once a year or more.

“NSF applauds Congress for recognizing Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Drowsy driving is a public health issue that we all can take steps to prevent.” said John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “All drivers and passengers should be on the lookout for drowsy driving. Before you get behind the wheel, take a moment to check your alertness and if you’re ready to drive. If you’re not getting enough quality sleep to be your Best Slept Self® you may not be fit to operate a motor vehicle,” added Lopos.

“Drowsing Driving Prevention Week is an important opportunity to educate people and raise awareness about the risks of driving while fatigued or sleepy — and the steps needed to prevent it,” Rep. Dean said. “I’m grateful to the National Sleep Foundation for their advocacy, and I look forward to continuing this work to make our roads safer and help save lives.”

“More than one in five fatal auto accidents involve a drowsy driver,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “We must be diligent in reminding everyone about the symptoms and consequences of drowsy driving. This can affect anyone in our community, from new drivers on the road to those who work long hours driving on our nation’s highway. Today, alongside the National Sleep Foundation and Representative Dean, I am proud to raise awareness for Drowsy Driving Prevention Week and the dangers that drowsy driving presents.”

For over 30 years, NSF has educated the public about the importance of sleep health to overall health and well-being. NSF has published consensus papers and guidelines for positive sleep health as well as easy-to-use tools and tips to improve sleep. For more information about National Sleep Foundation and Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, visit www.theNSForg.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.
theNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

Help your teen learn how to #SleepFirstDriveAlert.

SleepFirst™: National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Safety Campaign

 

Sure, teens get tired of being told what to do. But if you have a teenager who is also a driver, talking about the dangers of drowsy driving is one talk you need to need to have.

That’s because driving when you’re sleep-deprived is very dangerous. It causes hundreds of thousands of crashes each year and an estimated 6,400 of those are fatal. And 55% of drowsy driving crashes involve those under 25 years old—with drivers aged 16-25 years at the greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

Why Teens Are at Risk for Drowsy Driving

Teens are more likely to drive while drowsy and get into a crash. Here are the main reasons why:

Help Your Teens Get the Sleep They Need and Stay Safe on the Road

Talk to your teen about the dangers of drowsy driving, even if they brush you off. Discuss the risks and share these tips.

We encourage you to remind your teen driver that drowsy driving is impaired driving and is dangerous, just like drunk, drugged, or distracted driving. You’ve probably already talked to your teen about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving. And you have probably also discussed the dangers of texting or looking at their phone when they’re behind the wheel. But drowsy driving isn’t discussed enough—and it’s important for parents and teens to fully understand just how risky it is to drive when they’re not getting enough of the quality sleep they need.

Once you start the conversation and discuss the risks, share these tips to help them get the sleep they need and learn ways you can help them reduce their risk for a drowsy driving crash.

  1. Put Sleep First™. Be sure they’re getting enough sleep each night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8-10 hours a night for teens. And help them maintain a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
  2. Ask for Rides. Staying up late to study for an exam or getting home late from a game or practice can throw off your teen’s sleep routine and leave them sleep deprived. Let them know that they don’t need to power through and drive anyway. Instead, if they are feeling too tired to drive, they should always ask a parent or find a friend to give them a ride.
  3. Drive with a friend. Having a friend in the car can help keep your teen more alert when driving. If their passenger is feeling more awake, they should pull over and switch places to let the more well-rested driver take the wheel. And for longer trips, encourage your teen to make a travel plan with their passengers/fellow driver to switch off driving every hour or so.
  4. Take a power nap. If your teen feels tired, they should take a 20-minute nap before getting behind the wheel. And, while caffeinated beverages may increase alertness during the day, remind teens to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks or energy drinks near bedtime since they can throw off an established sleep schedule.

Help your teen recognize the signs that they might be too tired to drive.

Make sure your teen knows when to pull over to a safe spot for a nap or switch drivers. Talk about the signs that that they might be too tired to drive:

And one more thing…

Some schools are implementing or considering delayed start times for teens to better align school times with the natural sleep and wake rhythms of teens, which could have a positive benefit in terms of drowsy driving (among other benefits). Talk to your child’s school or local school board. Visit www.startschoollater.org for even more information about school start times. Help your teen get the sleep they need and help keep them and others safe on the road. NSF’s Bright Schools® campaign prioritizes helping students get the sleep they need to achieve at school and stay safe on the road.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org
 

New Data from the National Sleep Foundation Show a Majority of Americans Drive While Drowsy

The 2022 Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® campaign urges Americans to Sleep First. Drive Alert.

 

Washington, D.C. (November 2, 2022) – Today, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) released results of a new survey highlighting individual attitudes and behaviors towards drowsy driving. The survey showed that while 95% of Americans believe drowsy driving is risky, more than 37 million motorists are estimated to drive drowsy once a year or more.

The survey, fielded earlier this fall, is part of the 15th anniversary of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®, NSF’s annual campaign that seeks to help Americans get the sleep they need and reduce the numbers of drivers who get behind the wheel while sleep deprived.

Drowsy driving is a public health issue and linked to thousands of car crashes each year, killing an estimated 6,400 people annually in the U.S. alone. However, the recent data from NSF show drowsy driving is common among American adults, indicating these numbers may be underestimated. Today, more than 6 in 10 drivers admit to having driven a car when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open, a projected 150+ million US motorists.

In addition, the survey found:

“Drowsy driving is impaired driving,” said Joseph Dzierzewski, PhD, Vice President, Research and Scientific Affairs, National Sleep Foundation. “We see that while most Americans believe drowsy driving is risky, they still drive when not fully alert. The good news is – drowsy driving is preventable.”

There are steps people can take to help lessen the risk:

“At NSF, we are dedicated to helping everyone prioritize their sleep,” said John Lopos, CEO, National Sleep Foundation. “As we mark the 15th anniversary of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, we hope to educate the public on the importance of getting the sleep they need and reduce the number of drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while sleep deprived. If you are not getting enough of the quality sleep you need to be your Best Slept Self®, you may not be fit to operate a motor vehicle.”

NSF’s drowsy driving prevention resources are available on www.theNSF.org. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week 2022 sponsors include Schneider National and Waymo. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Drowsy Driving Prevention Project, Higi, and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office are collaborators of the campaign. NSF independently produces Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® and all related official educational content.

Join NSF to help prevent drowsy driving by sharing the campaign’s message on social media using the hashtag #SleepFirst. For science-based general sleep health resources and easy-to-use tips and tools, visit www.theNSF.org.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Sleep Health Journal Article Highlights Association between Sociopolitical Events and Sleep

 

Washington, D.C. (November 1, 2022): New research findings published in the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Journal show how major sociopolitical events can have global impacts on sleep that interact with significant fluctuations in public mood and well-being.

How the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Impacted Sleep and its Relationship to Public Mood and Alcohol Consumption (Cunningham, Fields, Denis, Bottary, Stickgold, and Kensinger) analyzed the 2020 U.S. presidential election’s significant effects on sleep and emotional well-being.

Findings showed that divisive political events negatively influenced a wide variety of factors for public mood. Following the 2020 U.S. election, participants experienced reduced sleep quantity and efficiency coupled with heightened stress, negative affect and alcohol use. These results were also observed at a lower level in non-U.S. participants.

“It is unlikely that these findings will come as shock to many given the political turbulence of the last several years. Our results likely mirror many of our own experiences surrounding these types of highly stressful, divisive events, and we felt this was an opportunity to scientifically validate these assumptions,” said Dr. Tony Cunningham, the primary author on this work. “The 2020 Election took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the chronic stress that we experienced during that time, the acute stress of the election still had clear impacts on mood and sleep. As such, research exploring the impact of the pandemic should also consider other overlapping, acute stressors that may exert their own influence to avoid inappropriately attributing effects to the pandemic.”

“Experiencing stress can affect not only your sleep health, but also your overall health and well-being,” said NSF Board Chair, Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD. “There are small things you can do during the day and night to make a big difference in your sleep health, ranging from regular exercise and creating a sleep-friendly environment, to help you get the quality sleep you need,” added Oyegbile-Chidi.

For more information about sleep health, visit theNSF.org/sleep-health-topics.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well- being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.org

 

About Sleep Health®: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation

The landmark, award-winning peer-reviewed journal Sleep Health publishes the latest studies on the cross-section of sleep’s role in population health and the social sciences from global, multidisciplinary perspectives. SleepHealthJournal.org

Healthy sleep is critically important for your productivity and safety at work. Learn how SleepWorks® for you on and off the job.

 

Learn how to get the sleep you need when you work non-traditional hours

If you work early mornings, late nights, or alternating shifts, you have a higher chance of drowsy driving. When you’re sleep-deprived, your motor functions and reaction time are impaired, which can raise your chances of getting into a crash.

Long shifts and variable schedules work against our body’s natural sleep and wake rhythms, making it more difficult to get the sleep we need to be alert when driving.

Driving when you’re sleep-deprived is very risky. It causes hundreds of thousands of car crashes each year and an estimated 6,400 of those are fatal. Yet, an alarming number of drivers admit to driving while drowsy. In fact, recent data from the National Sleep Foundation shows 6 in 10 Americans say they have driven when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.

Recognize the signs that you might be too tired to drive.

While you may not be able to control your work schedule, you can learn how to identify the signs that you may be too tired to drive.

If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to pull over to a safe spot for a nap, drink a caffeinated beverage, or switch drivers if possible.

How to get the sleep you need

The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to get the sleep you need to be alert and drive when you feel refreshed. For individuals who work night shifts, rotating shifts, or extended shifts, getting adequate sleep can be extra challenging, but by following these tips, you can get the sleep you need:

If you work night, rotating, or extended shifts, your body’s natural sleep and wake rhythms and work schedule aren’t aligned. This can make getting an adequate amount of quality sleep more difficult. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure that you have enough sleep and reduce your chances of a crash if you feel drowsy when you’re on the road.

Contact:

Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

National Sleep Foundation Announces Two New Leadership Positions

Washington, D.C. (October 19, 2022): The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has named Katrina Loraine Amos Washington (left) as the new Senior Director, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, and Joseph Dzierzewski, PhD (right) as Vice President, Research & Scientific Affairs. For more than 30 years, NSF has been the leading voice in sleep health for the public.

In her role, Washington will oversee the development of new strategic partnerships across stakeholder groups to support NSF’s mission delivery. Before joining NSF, Washington served as the director of member services and engagement at the National League of Cities, where she oversaw the strategy and implementation of member recruitment, retention, and engagement initiatives. Washington comes to NSF with over 15 years of demonstrated success in business development, relationship building, and project management in both for-profit and non-profit settings, with previous roles at the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, and US Foods. “I am thrilled to be joining NSF at an important time when we are engaging a range of supporters who, like us, are committed to advancing the public’s sleep health,” said Washington.

Dzierzewski is the organization’s first Vice President of Research & Scientific Affairs and is charged with leading the development of NSF’s scientific platform, which includes overseeing the development of NSF’s sleep health guidelines and other sleep health research activities. Dzierzewski most recently was Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was a widely-published and well-funded investigator, and served as the Concentration Director for the Behavioral Medicine Program. He has also served on numerous Scientific Review Committees for both the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and National Institutes of Health, as well as serving as an Associate Editor for several academic journals. His educational background is in Clinical Health Psychology, focusing on behavioral sleep medicine. Dzierzewski will also serve as an NSF sleep expert for media and industry partnerships. “Building on my past roles, I’m excited to join NSF and continue my work in sleep health from a new angle, helping the public through consensus-driven and evidence-based tools.” said Dzierzewski.

“I am pleased to welcome both Katrina and Joe to NSF. They bring years of experience to their respective roles, and both of them will help ensure NSF continues to fulfill its promise to help anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self®,” said John Lopos, CEO of National Sleep Foundation.

For more information on the National Sleep Foundation and it’s mission, visit www.theNSF.org.

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

National Sleep Foundation and the Consumer Technology Association Publish Updated Standard for Wearable Sleep Monitors

 

Washington, D.C. (October 11, 2022): The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) and the Consumer Technology Association® (CTA) have released ANSI/CTA/NSF-2052.1-A Definitions and Characteristics for Wearable Sleep Monitors. Originally published in 2016, this updated standard further defines terms and functionality for sleep measuring devices.

As a leader in sleep tech, NSF identified the need for standards for wearable sleep monitors and partnered with CTA to develop Definitions and Characteristics for Wearable Sleep Monitors. The updated standard defines terms for describing sleep states and defines the functionality required in devices measuring sleep behavior. The standard focuses exclusively on consumer products and does not address functionality within medical devices.

“Our continued work with CTA and innovative industry stakeholders is meant to inform the development and realization of everyday products—technology that’s meaningful to consumers and can help people get enough of the quality sleep they need,” said John Lopos, NSF CEO. “Sleep technology has incredible potential to improve consumers’ sleep and their health, and at NSF we’re seeing consumer devices expand across a wide range of uses and settings.”

“As digital health shifts from novelty to necessity, enhanced standards benefit increased consumer adoption of technology and helps improve health outcomes across the world,” said Kerri Haresign, Director, Technology and Standards at CTA.

NSF’s goal for sleep tech recognizes and encourages efforts that rapidly incorporate sleep science and insights into accessible health products and services. NSF is committed to making science-based sleep tech more accessible and convenient so anyone and everyone can be their Best Slept Self®.

For more information about the National Sleep Foundation and its work in sleep tech, visit www.theNSF.org.

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. TheNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

About Consumer Technology Association
As North America’s largest technology trade association, CTA® is the tech sector. Our members are the world’s leading innovators – from startups to global brands – helping support more than 18 million American jobs. CTA owns and produces CES® – the most influential tech event in the world. Find us at CTA.tech. Follow us @CTAtech.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® 2022

Campaign Dates Announced

 

Washington, D.C. (October 10, 2022): Today, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announces that Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® 2022 will be November 6-13. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the campaign.

NSF encourages everyone to prioritize sleep and drive when alert and refreshed. NSF’s annual campaign goal is to reduce the number of drivers who choose to drive while sleep deprived. Drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,400 U.S. deaths annually. Fall asleep crashes are often caused by not getting the sleep you need.

NSF’s drowsy driving prevention resources are available on www.theNSF.org. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® 2022 sponsors include Schneider National and Waymo. Higi is also helping to promote NSF’s sleep health messages. NSF independently produces Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® and all related official educational content.

Sleep health resources for the public are available at www.theNSF.org.

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well- being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Sleep Health Journal Article Highlights Association between Sleep and Life Satisfaction in Parents

 

Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2022): New research findings published in the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Journal show that, for new and established parents, getting sufficient sleep plays an important role in their mental health and, in turn, life satisfaction.

The Influence of Sleep and Movement Factors on Mental Health and Life Satisfaction During the Transition to Parenthood (Divine, Blanchard, Benoit, Symons Downs, and Rhodes) analyzed sleep, physical activity, mental health, and life satisfaction in couples.

Findings indicated meeting sleep guidelines was associated with better mental health and, in turn, life satisfaction of parents of newborns. Additionally, positive mental health changes were observed in women, especially for first-time mothers, but no changes seen for men regardless of parental status.

“The study showed that physical activity had a negligible impact on mental health of parents. However, getting the recommended sleep hours was associated with better mental health for parents. Although it varied, most parents were below recommended sleep hours by approximately 1 hour. Small improvements in sleep hours could have significant impact for parents’ mental health. This indicates that an intervention prioritizing sleep health education for new parents could make a more positive impact on their quality of life,” said senior author, Alison Divine, PhD, a lecturer at the University of Leeds.

“Given the well-known decreases in physical activity for most couples with the transition to parenthood and our findings in this study that most parents were not meeting the recommended sleep hours, targeted approaches that adapt intervention dosages to the changing physical activity and sleep needs of couples throughout the perinatal and postpartum periods may be a useful intervention strategy to improve, and ideally sustain, long-term mental health in parents,” said author Danielle Symons Downs, PhD, professor at Penn State University.

Findings in this article complement the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations to be your Best Slept Self™. The National Sleep Foundation recommends most adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night to feel refreshed each day. “Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night isn’t always possible for new parents, but there are other sleep tips you can use to help you get the sleep you need. NSF recommends avoiding eating large meals and drinking caffeine close to bed time so your body knows it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep,” said NSF Board Chair, Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD.

For more information about sleep health, visit thensf.org/sleep-health-topics.

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well- being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. TheNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

Contact:

Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

National Sleep Foundation Announces New Board of Directors

Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi Elected as Chair

Washington, D.C. (July 1, 2022): Effective July 1, Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, at UC Davis, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurology, at Georgetown University Hospital will serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). As Chair of the National Sleep Foundation, Dr. Oyegbile-Chidi will lead a Board of Directors composed of clinicians, researchers, and business professionals.

“I am deeply honored to assume the role of Chair of the National Sleep Foundation. NSF is the leading voice in sleep health. I look forward to the upcoming year as NSF continues developing new guidelines and resources to improve sleep health,” said Oyegbile-Chidi.

“Dr. Oyegbile-Chidi has expertise in neurology, sleep disorders, epilepsy, and younger populations which will help NSF continue its work to improve sleep health for all,” said John Lopos, National Sleep Foundation CEO. “She is a key member of the NSF Board, a prior research fellow, and has been integral in providing insightful sleep health information with NSF partners along with leading NSF’s Sleep Health Equity task force,” continued Lopos.

Also starting July 1, Thomas DiSalvi, CDS, will serve as Vice Chair. DiSalvi is Vice President of Safety and Loss Prevention at Schneider National, Inc. Steve Lerman, MD, MPH, S&W LLC, will serve as Treasurer, and David N. Neubauer, MD, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, will serve as Secretary. Rafael Pelayo, MD, Clinical Professor at Stanford Center for Sleep Medicine and Science, will serve as an At-Large member of the Executive Committee. Additionally, Matt Mellott, President and CEO of Brightree and Gina Pervall, MD, Chief, Medical Advisory Board at the Maryland Department of Transportation, will now serve on the Board of Directors.

Visit www.theNSF.org for sleep health information and a full list of the National Sleep Foundation’s Board of Directors.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

National Sleep Foundation Releases Recommendations to Be Your Best Slept Self® This Summer

 

Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2022) – The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) today issued its recommendations to help the public be their Best Slept Self® this summer. Summer is an active time when schools let out for vacation, travel and social plans heat up, and daily routines can be quick to change – all of which can disrupt consistent sleep practices and start patterns that are a challenge to healthy sleep.

According to the NSF, summertime influences like light exposure late in the day, breaks from exercise routines, changes in eating habits, and inconsistent bed and wake times can negatively impact sleep quality. Findings from the NSF’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll show many Americans already are falling short on daily activities that are critical for getting good sleep. In fact, nearly half of Americans say they aren’t exposed to the recommended levels of bright light when indoors in the morning and afternoon. Four in 10 Americans eat meals at inconsistent times, making it more difficult for their bodies to regulate the sleep/wake process and more than one third fall short of CDC’s recommendations for moderate or vigorous activity.

“When summer finally arrives, many of us take advantage of the time to be with family and friends, travel and relax—but ditching our sleep routines can be a setback to getting the quality sleep we need for good health,” said John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “National Sleep Foundation’s promise to the public is to help anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self®.  Consistently taking small steps each day and night can make a big difference in our sleep health.”

Short sleep duration and/or poor sleep quality are associated with adverse health outcomes including cardiovascular disease and hypertension, diabetes, mental health conditions, and lowered immune response.

Follow these sleep tips from National Sleep Foundation to be your Best Slept Self®:

 

For science-based general sleep health resources and easy-to-use tips and tools, visit www.theNSF.org.

 

###

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

About the Sleep in America® Poll

The Sleep in America Poll is the National Sleep Foundation’s premier annual review of current sleep topics. The Poll was first conducted in 1991 and has been produced since 2018 by Langer Research Associates. The full Sleep in America Poll findings, including methodology, can be found at theNSF.org/sleep-in-america-polls/.

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Stephanie Kohn
skohn@thensf.org
540-850-7827

 

National Sleep Foundation Applauds Bipartisan Support for Sleep Health Equity on Capitol Hill

 

Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2022): In keeping with its public health mission for over 32 years and its commitment to sleep health equity, National Sleep Foundation applauds Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), and the 35 other U.S. Representatives who signed onto a bipartisan letter supporting awareness for general sleep health and sleep disorders.

Specifically, the letter includes language on identifying the assistance and resources needed to conduct multi-center sleep network studies and clinical trials related to the NIH Sleep Research Plan and encouraging further work in and collaboration with community stakeholders on the issue of sleep health disparities.

People of color in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by poor sleep health and sleep disorders. The NSF’s Sleep Health Equity Position Statement outlines key strategic changes needed to achieve sleep health equity, including: expanding evidence-based and culturally-sensitive sleep health resources, improving equitable access to clinical sleep healthcare, and addressing sleep health equity across the continuum of sleep health care delivery. Other strategic focuses include funding research and policy actions.

“Sleep health is essential to overall health and well-being and safety. The National Sleep Foundation encourages all members of Congress to support initiatives advancing sleep health equity,” said John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation.

As a leader in sleep health for over 30 years, NSF will continue to focus on actionable solutions for underserved and underrepresented communities that help ensure everyone has the opportunity to get the sleep we all need.

Read the full letter here.

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.

TheNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

 

Contact: Stephanie Kohn

540-850-7827

skohn@theNSF.org

National Sleep Foundation Reiterates Support for
Permanent Standard Time

Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2022) – The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill to establish Daylight Saving Time (DST) year-round. While the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) agrees that the Senate’s decision to eliminate bi-annual clock change is good for sleep and follows public sentiment, NSF’s position remains that permanent Standard Time is more of a fit for our natural sleep/wake process and the better choice for health and well-being.

The National Sleep Foundation understands the appeal of having longer, brighter evenings. Permanent DST may seem like you get more hours per day of sunlight, but in reality, the plan just shifts total bright hours from when we need them in the morning to later in the afternoon.

DST essentially fights the natural order of our circadian rhythms, the natural sleep/wake process in our bodies. Our circadian rhythms rely on bright natural light in the morning to wake us up and to synchronize important biological processes, and dimmer light in the evening to make us sleepy and ready for bed. It’s unhealthy to alter our bodies’ sleep schedule to have more daylight hours in the evening. Morning darkness and evening light are counter to NSF recommendations for being your Best Slept Self™.

A consistent year-round time system is agreed upon by NSF and other leading sleep and science-based organizations and NSF released a Position Statement on permanent Standard Time last year. Our sleep-wake cycle does not adjust to annual clock change, leading to negative effects on health and safety including cardiovascular disease, motor vehicle crashes, mood changes and depression, and metabolic abnormalities.

The United States experimented by switching to permanent DST in 1974 and quickly reverted to a bi-annual clock change later that same year. “It wasn’t very long ago in the United States that we saw how the public reacted negatively to the effects of permanent DST. We’d love to see an end now to changing the clocks, and permanent Standard Time is the best option afterwards for helping to maintain sleep health,” said Erin Koffel, PhD, LP, Senior Director of Research and Scientific Affairs at the National Sleep Foundation.

It’s important to know the facts around clock changes to help make informed decisions for you and your family’s health. Permanent Standard Time is a better fit for our circadian rhythms and the better choice for health and well-being.

For evidence-based general sleep health resources and easy-to-use tips and tools, visit www.theNSF.org.

###

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

Congressional Resolution 984 Supports the Designation of Sleep Awareness Week

 

Washington, DC (March 16, 2022): Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, introduced House Resolution 984 in the U.S. House of Representatives with cosigners Rep. Madeline Dean of Pennsylvania and Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska. The resolution recognizes the importance of sleep health and supports the designation of ‘‘Sleep Awareness Week.’’  

Sleep Awareness Week® is the National Sleep Foundation’s annual public education campaign that celebrates sleep health and encourages the public to prioritize sleep to improve health and well-being. NSF’s Sleep Awareness week commences when the clocks change and most Americans lose an hour of sleep for Daylight Saving Time.  During the campaign, the National Sleep Foundation provides valuable information and expert guidance about the benefits of optimal sleep and how sleep affects health, well-being, and safety. During the week, the National Sleep Foundation also releases results from its annual Sleep in America® Poll , which reflects the public’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors about a sleep-related topic.

“The National Sleep Foundation applauds Congress for recognizing Sleep Awareness Week and the importance of sleep health to all Americans,” said John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “Sleep Awareness Week is a cornerstone program that’s part of our work to help the public be their Best Slept Self™,” added Lopos. “We can take small steps each day and at night that make a big difference in our sleep health.”

“Good sleep is of paramount importance to health, well-being and resilience,” said Rep. Raskin. “I’m grateful to the National Sleep Foundation for its excellent advocacy and partnership on this issue.”

For more information about the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week® campaign and activities, visit: www.theNSF.org/sleep-awareness-week.

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org

Taking small steps in your day goes a long way in helping you improve your sleep at night.

Did you know that a good night’s sleep starts with what you do during the day? In fact, from the moment you wake up, you’re affecting your sleep that night.

The National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® poll shows that Americans’ daily routines create some less-than-ideal conditions for a good night’s sleep. As it turns out, many Americans can do a better job at the good daytime behaviors that help improve our sleep.

The good news is we all have the potential to improve our sleep—just by taking some small steps during your day. Making changes to your daytime habits not only sets the stage for better sleep but also leads to lower stress levels and better overall health.

Here are four simple changes to your daily routine to help you become your Best Slept SelfTM:

GET SOME SUN

The right light exposure plays a big part in helping manage your circadian rhythms, the natural process behind staying awake and falling asleep. It’s also a super-influential factor for your overall sleep health.

So, it makes sense that bright, natural light during the day, especially in the morning, helps you feel awake and energized, while dim light in the evening, especially before bed, helps you wind down and fall asleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation survey, people who spent a moderate amount of time outdoors (3-5 hours per day) reported the highest sleep health.

However, nearly half of Americans say they’re not exposed to bright light indoors in the morning and afternoon.

If you’re not getting much exposure to natural light, step outside for at least an hour each morning or afternoon and see the positive difference a little sunlight can make in your sleep health. Get some bonus sunshine by having your morning coffee outside, or taking your dog for an extra walk (they need vitamin D, too!).

 

GET UP AND GET MOVING

Making regular exercise part of your daily routine keeps you feeling energized during the day and can reduce daytime sleepiness. While daily physical activity has widespread health benefits and promotes deeper sleep at night, not everyone is getting their sweat on long enough to feel the positive effects.

Many Americans are sedentary for much of the day—with more than a third falling short of CDC recommendations for 2.5 hours of moderate or vigorous activity each week, like brisk walking, jogging, or running.

If you’re parked behind a desk most of the day, even some light physical activity can go a long way in improving your sleep health. Ride your bike to work if you can, or use your work breaks to take brisk walks outside. Skip the elevator and walk up and down your building’s stairs. Consider getting up a little earlier and make a 30-minute workout part of your pre-work routine. Regular exercise, even a little here and there, can help you fall asleep faster. This can result in a deeper, more satisfying night of sleep.

 

MEALTIME CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Eating your meals at a consistent time each day creates another important element of your daily routine that positively affects your sleep cycle.

While routinely eating meals on a regular schedule contributes to better quality sleep, 4 in 10 Americans polled say that their meals aren’t part of a regular, daily routine. Irregular mealtimes or skipped meals can negatively affect your ability to maintain sleep and wake schedules, especially if meals are eaten too close to bedtime.

Plan on eating meals at the same time every day and be sure to have your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your food to fully digest before you turn in for the night. We’ve all experienced that haunting restlessness that can come from hitting the pillow soon after a meal.

CUT BACK ON CAFFEINE—OR SKIP IT ALTOGETHER

The less caffeinated you are during the day, the more likely you’ll sleep well at night.

Grabbing a cup of coffee might seem like an easy fix after a night of tossing and turning, but the caffeine you’re drinking to perk up may be winding down your sleep time.

Improve how you sleep with small changes to your evening routine

When you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t your best. A bad night of sleep leaves you with that head-in-the-clouds feeling the next day—fatigued, unfocused, and forgetful—along with other undesirable effects.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll, a lot of Americans can do more to help keep their precious bedtime hours safe from tossing, turning, and waking up too often.

Fortunately, there’s hope for the restless because there are actionable steps you can take to set up an ideal environment for sleep and improve your nighttime routine. Use these tips to get a better night of sleep—so you can spring out of bed in the AM feeling like your Best Slept SelfTM.

Fine-Tune Your Sleep Routine

A bedtime routine carried out each night teaches your body that it’s time to go to sleep. Your routine can incorporate some simple lifestyle changes that can help you get enough of the quality sleep you need.

Consistent dinner times can be an important cue for your circadian rhythm—your natural sleep-wake cycle. Meals eaten too close to bedtime can negatively affect your ability to go to sleep. Eating a light dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime is ideal so that your food can be fully digested. Try to avoid heavy meals, as well as alcohol, at night—both of which can disrupt your sleep.

Gentle stretching or meditation can also reinforce signals that it’s time to fall asleep. Even smells can help calm your senses and reduce stress, so try diffusing essential oils in scents like lavender.

Follow a Sleep Schedule

Going to bed or waking up at the same time every day of the week helps your ability to fall asleep when you want to. Also, a regular schedule helps to sync your circadian rhythm, which dictates when you feel sleepy or awake.

Most adults should aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Keep your sleep schedule consistent by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends.

Turn Out the Lights

As you continue to wind down in the evening, dim the lights. Dim light at night helps regulate the circadian rhythm.

Blackout curtains and blinds are even better because they eliminate light pollution and remove outside light, creating a dark environment that’s primed for sleep.

Stop Looking At Screens

There’s a good reason why your brain still feels wide awake when you’re scrolling at 2 AM. Electronic devices emit blue light and prevent the natural production of melatonin—the chemical that tells your brain that it’s time to sleep.

However, over half of Americans polled say that they look at screens within an hour before bedtime or in bed before going to sleep.

Ideally, your bedroom should be free from televisions, tablets, phones, and laptops. If it’s not possible to remove blue-light-emitting electronics from the bedroom completely, simply turn them off and stop using them for at least an hour before you go to bed.

If you like to read before bed, try switching out your tablet or phone for a real book. It’s a simple tweak, and you’ll notice how much faster you will drift off to sleep.

Create a Comfy Environment for Sleep

A dark, cool bedroom that is free of distractions is the ideal place to get a good night of sleep.

Add items to your bedroom that enhance sleep comfort. Invest in cozy bedding. Find a comfortable pillow that will help support your neck and back throughout the night. And look for mattresses and pillows that support your spine.

If you’re a hot- or cold sleeper, find bedding that’s designed to help maintain your ideal temperature. Keep the room temperature cool, between 60 to 67 degrees. You may need to change your sheets or blankets to fit the weather and sleep comfortably.

And subdue nearby sources of noise with a sound conditioner or a small fan. This helps keep you fast asleep by masking unexpected sounds.

Having a solid night of sleep starts with a bedroom and bedtime routine designed for optimal sleep—all so you can wake up feeling well-rested and ready to take on the day.

Exposure to light has a powerful effect on how well you sleep at night

 

Light exposure is one of the most important factors when it comes to regulating our circadian rhythm—helping keep the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle in sync.

Because our brains are hard-wired to stay awake during daylight hours and fall asleep when it gets dark at night, it’s important to consider how your exposure to light is affecting your sleep-wake cycle.

Put simply, bright, natural light helps you wake up, while dim, dark environments help you go to sleep. Unfortunately, nearly half of Americans say they’re not exposed to bright light indoors in the morning and afternoon.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll, only 51 percent of Americans report exposure to bright light when they’re indoors during the morning and only 53 percent report bright light exposure in the afternoon.

When it comes to screen use, most Americans are staring at their TVs, phones, laptops, and tablets way too close to bedtime.

We could all be better at regulating our exposure to light, and when you understand the impact that light exposure has on your sleep-wake cycle, you can learn how to manage light exposure to feel more awake during the day and sleep healthier at night.

 

Timing Matters

Your circadian rhythm is most sensitive to light about one hour after the time you usually wake up each morning, and about two hours before your normal bedtime and through the night.

Exposure to light during these times will affect when your body naturally gets sleepy and is ready to fall asleep.

 

Bask in Bright, Natural Light

The presence of both natural and artificial light during the day puts your body in awake-mode.

When you wake up in the morning, nothing beats getting outside to enjoy the benefits of natural light. Make it a habit to step outside for at least an hour each morning or afternoon—you’ll be surprised how just a little sunlight can help you feel awake, alert, and ready for the day.

You can also look for more opportunities to incorporate light exposure into your daily routine. If you start your day with a cup of coffee, make it a point to drink it outside–weather and climate permitting—to get your jolt of caffeine and a healthy dose of natural light. Treat your dog to an extra 10-minute walk or two in the afternoon. And if you exercise, try going for your daily run outside instead of spending it on a treadmill.

 

Limit Light Exposure at Night

Light exposure at night is like resetting your body’s natural clock, causing wakefulness at the wrong time of day, and disrupting your sleep. That’s because our brain starts to produce melatonin, a natural sleep-regulating hormone, as it gets dark. Turning on bright lights and staring at blue-light emitting screens disrupts this process.

If you aren’t sleeping at night, your phone, TV, or laptop could be the likely culprit. Most Americans are using screens right before they go to bed. Just like light exposure during the day helps you feel awake, this has the same effect at night—so it makes sense that looking at screens or keeping the lights on can make you restless and unable to fall fast asleep.

That’s why we recommend dimming the lights as you unwind in the evening and turning off screens (phones, tablets, televisions, and laptops) at least one hour before your usual bedtime.

 

Healthier Sleep in Within Your Reach

A few tweaks to your routine will have you feeling more alert during the day and can make it easier to ease into deep, peaceful slumber at night. By developing some new habits, you can harness the powerful effect that light exposure has on your sleep-wake cycle—and you’ll be feeling like your Best Slept SelfTM in no time.

People with less stress report better sleep

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll, lower levels of stress are strongly associated with higher quality sleep. Among those surveyed, Americans who consider themselves in better overall health and who report lower stress levels also report better sleep health.

Clearly, there are larger, demographic factors affecting people’s overall health and stress and the impact of stress on healthy sleep. Moreover, health and stress management are entire fields that go well beyond sleep health alone. But there is a strong connection between overall health and sleep health, so taking a few simple steps toward healthier sleep can set you on a more positive path toward less stress and overall well-being.

Start with adopting bedtime behaviors that are proven to promote healthier sleep. They will train your mind and body to recognize that it’s time to prepare for sleep—like tapping into the circadian muscle memory that is hard-wired into us.

We’re not telling you to do all of these things all at once (although there’s certainly no harm in trying!), but consider starting with at least a few of them that work within your daily routine and that don’t take too much effort. Then add more as you start to feel more comfortable. And we think you will.

Some recommended behaviors you can adopt include:

 

Don’t let sleep (or lack thereof) add to your stresses

Healthy sleep is just that; it can make you feel better and more able to face the challenges of life. Just try as few or as many of these recommendations to help you get it. We believe they will help you to be on your way to your Best Slept Self™.

Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@theNSF.org

 

NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION’S 2022 SLEEP IN AMERICA® POLL: Americans Can Do More During the Day and Night to Improve Sleep

 

Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2022) – To kick off their Sleep Awareness Week®, National Sleep Foundation released the latest results from the 2022 Sleep in America® Poll. The annual survey is one of the longest running records capturing Americans’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors around sleep. The 2022 Sleep in America Poll documents significant opportunities to improve daily activities that are associated with a range of positive sleep and health outcomes. Results show that many Americans are not getting bright light exposure during the day and are looking at screens around bedtime. In addition, many fall short of recommendations for exercise and take meals at inconsistent times.

Poll results show:

These findings show there are opportunities for small adjustments to our daily routines that prioritize sleep for overall health. “Over the last 31 years, the National Sleep Foundation has conducted the Sleep in America® Poll to gain a better understanding of Americans’ sleep health and habits. These latest results highlight how people are doing with key daytime behaviors, knowing that what we do during the day and at night is important for sleep,” said John Lopos, CEO, National Sleep Foundation. “The best practices we continue to share can help you become your Best Slept Self™ – and by that we mean the radiant, positive feeling reflected in the way you look, feel, and navigate the day.”

Things you can do to help be your Best Slept Self:

The Sleep in America Poll is fielded annually and results are shared during National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week. Sleep Awareness Week runs Sunday, March 13 through March 19. NSF independently produces Sleep Awareness Week, the Sleep in America Poll, and all related official educational content.

Sleep Awareness Week 2022 is supported by unrestricted funds from Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Inc., Avadel Pharmaceuticals, Graber, Harmony Biosciences, Huckleberry, Idorsia, and PureCare. Visit the NSF website for a full list of Sleep Awareness Week sponsors and collaborators.

For science-based general sleep health resources and easy-to-use tips and tools, visit www.theNSF.org.

 

###

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org

 

About the Sleep in America® Poll

The Sleep in America Poll is the National Sleep Foundation’s premier annual review of current sleep topics. The Poll was first conducted in 1991 and has been produced since 2018 by Langer Research Associates. The full Sleep in America Poll findings, including methodology, can be found at theNSF.org/sleep-in-america-polls/.

The important connection between consistent mealtimes and healthier sleep

 

Did you know that creating a consistent mealtime schedule can improve the quality of your sleep?

Your appetite and metabolism are an important part of your circadian rhythm—your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. In fact, your body’s food clock and sleep clock are closely linked and your meals and mealtimes can have a big impact on your overall sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll shows that having consistent mealtimes is significantly associated with healthier sleep.

Among those surveyed, people who said they eat their meals at the same time every day had better sleep health than those with more inconsistent meal schedules.

Those with consistent meal schedules were also 14 percent more likely to report lower stress levels—which is widely known to have a positive effect on sleep and health.

 

Assess Your Meal Timing

Only 59 percent of Americans eat all meals at around the same time—which means that 4 in 10 Americans could be improving their sleep just by eating meals more consistently.

If you’re not maintaining a consistent meal schedule, there’s a good chance you’re also not getting the kind of sleep you want.

Just by making consistent meals part of your routine, you can set yourself up to get the sleep you want and need to improve your Sleep Life®.

 

Get Your Body Clock on Track with Meal Timing

Eating when your body expects you to eat is an important part of your sleep health—by encouraging healthy sleep patterns.

Like opening the blinds and letting light shine in your window each morning, food can help your body know it’s time to wake up.

Making breakfast part of your regular schedule helps jumpstart your day and lets your body know it’s time to be awake.

 

Don’t Let Eating Confuse Your Sleep Clock

Eating your meals at different times each day can confuse your body’s clock, making it harder to maintain regular sleep and wake schedules.

This is especially true for nighttime—so you may want to think twice before you make a late-night dinner reservation or reach for a midnight snack.

Eating a light dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime helps your body slowly ease into sleep mode. Heavy meals at night, as well as that tempting nightcap, can both disrupt your sleep.

Just as suddenly switching on a bright light in a dark room can alert and even startle you, eating dinner late into the evening tells your body it’s in awake mode. This makes it harder for your body to get into sleep mode.

Healthier sleep is rooted in a healthy routine—and that certainly includes what and when you eat. Eating your meals at a consistent time each day is a smart and simple way to get on your way to being your Best Slept SelfTM.

Learn how screen use at night affects your ability to fall fast asleep

 

A lot of us wind down in the evening by watching our favorite shows, catching up on texts and emails, and scrolling through the news we missed during the day.

Even though we’ve heard a million times that the blue light coming off our phones, laptops, and TVs keeps us up at night, a lot of us end up sabotaging our sleep because we just can’t seem to power down our screens.

Maybe it’s time we all ignored the endless feeds and cut down on the on-demand streams so that we can put sleep first.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll, a major source of artificial light in Americans’ daily routines comes from computer, tablet, and smartphone screens. 80% say they looked at screens often during the past week during the day, 68% reported staring at screens in the evening, and—most troubling from a sleep-health perspective—58% are looking at screens within an hour before bedtime.

Read on to find out more about the negative impact electronics can have on your sleep, why you should put down your phone (laptop and TV remote, too) at bedtime, and what you can do instead to create new, healthy habits to improve your sleep.

 

It’s Science

Science has proven that blue light keeps you up at night. Cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions emit blue light from their screens. Blue light has shorter wavelengths than other colors in the visible light spectrum and causes more alertness than warmer light tones. Because blue light promotes wakefulness, it can have a powerful effect on the natural sleep-wake cycle, which is one of the essential circadian rhythms governing our body processes.

Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycle of hormones and chemicals in the body that help dictate when you sleep and when you’re awake. Circadian rhythms work together with natural daylight. When the sun rises in the morning, the body produces cortisol to make you feel alert. When the sun goes down, the body produces melatonin, which induces feelings of sleepiness.

Light exposure within two hours of bedtime can be disruptive to one’s sleep cycle. That’s because exposure to blue light at night stimulates your brain into thinking it’s earlier in the day. Your brain slows or stops its release of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep.

Yet, over half of Americans polled say that they look at screens within an hour before bedtime or in bed before sleep. Despite our best intentions, we can’t seem to quit screen time.

 

Turn Off Devices—And Calm Your Mind

Engaging with your devices, such as playing a game or scrolling your social media feed, engages your mind, keeping it running and preventing you from relaxing before bed.

Sounds and bright colors keep your brain alert. Responding to detailed work emails requires a certain level of cognitive alertness, which is not conducive to sleep.

The internet—and other interactive games or devices—can be highly stimulating, getting you all worked up when you’re supposed to be winding down. Why make it harder for yourself to enter the state of relaxation necessary for restorative sleep?

Set your phone aside. You can lol at that meme or react to what your friend just posted to social media tomorrow. The point is to avoid any heightened emotional state that might prevent you from falling asleep quickly.

 

Create A Disruption-Free Sleep Space

We know it’s not easy, but try to rid your bedroom of distractions that have been shown to get in the way of a good night of sleep. The ideal sleep haven doesn’t have any televisions, tablets, and laptops, but we realize this is unrealistic for many so do your best to limit the number of screens in your bedroom. Yes, you probably need your phone in the bedroom, but not in the bed. Your bed at bedtime should be a screen-free zone.

A sleep-friendly bedroom is dark, quiet, cool, and free of anything that might wake you up during the night. We’ve all fallen asleep with the TV on, only to be woken up later by an infomercial and a bright screen in the middle of the night. Pings and dings from incoming emails on your laptop, as well as text alerts and even the gentle buzz of vibration mode on your cell phone, will likely put your brain back into “response-mode” and disrupt you while you’re drifting off.

You know the drill by now— electronics in the bedroom make it more difficult to fall asleep, cutting into those precious hours, leaving you feeling less rested and groggy the next day. Next time you get the urge to reach for your phone or tablet around bedtime—ask yourself if checking it “one last time” is really worth sacrificing precious sleep. (HINT: It isn’t.)

 

Screen-Free Sleep is Better Sleep

By limiting the number of screens in your bedroom, you’re removing the temptation to peek at them in the middle of the night. And by sticking to a cut-off time every night (at least an hour or two before bedtime), you’re establishing a solid routine designed for a restful night of sleep.

Find out how exercise can help kickstart your Best Slept SelfTM

 

It’s no secret that exercise has widespread health benefits. It improves your mental and physical health and keeps you focused and energized during the day. It also does wonders for the quality of your sleep by promoting deeper, restorative sleep.

Even knowing all the great benefits that exercise provides, it can be hard to get started and to find the time to make it part of your daily routine. Read on for tips to help get you moving in the right direction.

 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EXERCISE AND SLEEP

Physical activity promotes better sleep because it helps regulate your circadian rhythm—your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

But according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2022 Sleep in America® Poll, a lot of us aren’t feeling the positive effects that moderate to vigorous physical activity can have on our sleep health.

Nearly all Americans surveyed reported engaging in some sort of light activity, such as slow walks or household chores, but higher intensity activity was less common. In fact, 36 percent of Americans polled get less than the 2.5 total hours of moderate or vigorous exercise that the CDC says we need each week.

One in 6 Americans reported zero moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking), and 45 percent reported no vigorous exercise (jogging, aerobics, etc) at all. We know that life can get in the way of getting your sweat on, but maybe it’s time to stop making excuses and take it step by step. You can do it!

 

TAKE TIME TO GET MOVING

Let’s get real: most of us aren’t going to suddenly start working out every day. We need a more practical approach. So, what can you do to enjoy the sleep health benefits exercise can have? If you have a sedentary job that requires sitting behind a desk most of the day, even some light physical activity can greatly improve your sleep health.

Try using your work breaks to take a brisk walk or a do a quick 10-minute mini workout between meetings. Finding 10 to 20 minutes here and there during the day gets your blood pumping, leading to a deeper, more satisfying night of sleep.

 

EVERY STEP COUNTS

Regular exercise may help you get a good night’s sleep, according to both self-described workout warriors and non-exercisers.

The time of day you choose to work out makes a real difference in certain aspects of your sleep. For instance, morning exercise may help you sleep longer at night, while working out before bed could make it harder to fall fast asleep. We’re all wired differently, so figuring out the best time to use exercise to maximize your sleep quantity and quality can take a little experimentation. Once you figure out what works for you, you’ll be well on your way to an exercise regimen that fits your life.

 

RISE AND EXERCISE

Morning is the perfect time to enhance sleep potential—and boost cardiovascular conditioning while you’re at it.  In fact, people who work out on a treadmill at 7 am sleep more hours each night, have deeper sleep cycles, and spend 75 percent more time in restorative stages of sleep than those who exercise at other times of day.

If you exercise outdoors in the morning, even better—you enjoy the added bonus of exposure to bright sunlight, which also helps regulate your circadian rhythms. If you lift weights, doing so in the morning may help you fall asleep faster at night than those who pump iron later in the day.

Our blood pressure naturally drops 10 to 20 percent at night, which helps the body heal, restore, and recover during those crucial periods of deep sleep. A morning workout appears to contribute to achieving that nighttime decline in blood pressure, so you get the most benefits from sleep. You’ll also experience a rush of exercise-induced endorphins first thing in the morning—brain chemicals that help you feel energized for the rest of the day.

 

MIDDAY MOVEMENT

Afternoon workouts also have significant sleep benefits. Body temperatures are naturally a few degrees warmer in the afternoon, which can help overall exercise performance because muscles are more pliant and work more efficiently.

Since exercise itself raises your body temperature for four to five hours after you stop working out, an afternoon exercise session means your body temperature will start to lower again close to your bedtime. This is a natural signal to your brain that you are ready to go to sleep and may help you stay asleep during the night.

 

EXERCISING AT NIGHT

If you like getting your workout in closer to bedtime, keep in mind that vigorous cardio workouts raise your body temperature and heart rate and can disrupt the process of falling asleep.

Try timing your evening aerobics so that you finish your workout one to two hours before going to sleep. This will allow your body temperature to drop and let some of those energy-raising endorphins to leave your system before bed. Yoga and other forms of breathing or stretching exercises are also a great alternative for evening workouts because they naturally encourage relaxation.

Keep in mind that whenever you work out, regular exercise is better for sleep than not exercising at all. It also lifts your mood and helps you maintain a healthy body. Basically, however you incorporate more exercise in your routine, it’s a win-win-win.

Living with the symptoms of a sleep disorder can leave you feeling Beyond Tired®. Learn more from the NSF here.

 

Something more serious might be keeping you from the sleep you need.

 

While a few restless nights may not be a big deal, getting consistently poor sleep can really take a toll on your health. You might have even tried establishing healthier daytime and nighttime habits to improve your sleep, such as limiting your caffeine intake, getting more exercise, setting a regular bedtime routine, or limiting your screen time.

If you are still tossing and turning, it’s possible that something serious could be keeping you from getting the deep, restorative sleep your mind and body need in order to stay healthy.

A sleep disorder is anything that consistently gets in the way of good sleep—it affects your energy level, mood, productivity, and cognitive function. It can also lead to more critical problems down the road, including conditions like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.

If you’re regularly having trouble sleeping OR experiencing daytime fatigue even though you thought you slept soundly through the night, it might be time to talk to a doctor about your concerns.

Your healthcare provider can help identify the source of your sleep problems and provide appropriate treatment options to help get you back on track to being your Best Slept Self®.

 

When to See a Doctor

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I have trouble getting to sleep and/or staying asleep?
  2. Do I feel tired or exhausted during the day, even after going to bed at a decent time and feeling like I slept through the night?

If you answered “Yes” to one or both questions, consider scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider sooner rather than later to discuss your concerns. Diagnosis and treatment are the first steps to getting the healthy sleep that your body needs.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Common Sleep Disorders

Knowing the signs and symptoms may also help you assess if you have a common sleep disorder. Below are the descriptions and symptoms of some common sleep disorders.

 

SLEEP APNEA

Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder characterized by irregular or interrupted breathing when you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep apnea, happens when the muscles in the back of your throat cause the airway to narrow or close when you breathe. This loss of air lowers your blood oxygen level, and makes your brain trigger a signal to wake up. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing can stop hundreds of times each night.

 

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Are you waking up each morning feeling tired, even though you go to bed at a decent time and think you sleep well through the night? Is your partner constantly complaining about your noisy nightly snoring? If so, you could be one of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea.

 

Why See a Doctor About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and prevents you from drifting into the deeper, restorative sleep cycles and REM sleep. It can rob you of health benefits your mind and body need to take place, like muscle repair and short- and long-term memory support. This can have negative long-term effects on your health.

 

INSOMNIA

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that disturbs a person’s ability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Chronic insomnia—the more serious form of the condition—happens at least three nights per week for at least three months and is treated through lifestyle changes, cognitive therapy, and medical intervention.

 

Insomnia Symptoms

Why See a Doctor About Insomnia

Insomnia is a clinical diagnosis. If you think you might be one of the 40 million Americans that experience insomnia every year, talking to your doctor about lifestyle changes, cognitive therapy, and prescription or non-prescription medicines may help.

All that tossing and turning takes a toll on your sleep routine and hurts your ability to function during the day. If you’re not getting the amount of deep, healthy sleep you need, your concentration and cognitive function all take a hit—and you definitely don’t feel like your Best Slept Self®.

When insomnia is left untreated, it can lead to serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. Insomnia also can increase the likelihood of dangerous workplace incidents and car crashes.

 

EXCESSIVE SLEEPINESS

If you feel sleepy, groggy, or tired during the day on a regular basis, you might be among the estimated 20% of the population that suffers from excessive sleepiness. Also called hypersomnia, you might have extreme sleepiness if you experience extreme fatigue during the day even when you are getting what should be enough sleep.

 

Excessive Sleepiness Symptoms

Why See a Doctor About Excessive Sleepiness

Excessive sleepiness can have serious side effects. You could be so tired that you fall asleep in dangerous situations—while driving, or operating machinery. It also can cause you to perform poorly at work and can hurt your memory, motivation, and attention span.

Your doctor can help determine the underlying causes of your excessive sleepiness and establish if the cause is medical or if it’s related to recent lifestyle changes.

 

NARCOLEPSY

Being so tired that you suddenly fall asleep at unusual and inappropriate times might be a serious condition called narcolepsy. Waking up feeling rested and alert only to have trouble staying awake for long periods of time is also common among narcolepsy sufferers. This chronic sleep disorder is a neurological condition that tends to appear in childhood or young adulthood but also can occur at any life age.

 

Narcolepsy Symptoms

Why See a Doctor About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy makes it hard to cope with daily life. Falling asleep suddenly during important meetings or at social functions makes it difficult to excel at work and school, and negatively impacts personal and social relationships. When “sleep attacks” occur during activities like driving or cooking, it can also be dangerous to you and those around you.

 

If You Think You Have A Sleep Disorder, Talk To Your Doctor Sooner Than Later

Don’t disregard the signs of a sleep disorder. If you’re noticing a pattern of poor sleep or exhaustion during the daytime, it’s important to discuss your sleep issues with your doctor as soon as possible so you can start treatment and get on the right path to healthier sleep.

 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn
540-850-7827
skohn@thensf.org

 

National Sleep Foundation Releases Breaking Report on Sleep Health During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2022): Today, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) released a breaking report on new insights about Americans’ sleep health during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  The report highlights a view of cross-sectional data from 12,000 Americans who were asked about their sleep health from 2019-2021.

Importantly, the analysis revealed improvement in some measures of sleep, such as more American adults getting NSF’s recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but results also indicated significant differences by race and ethnicity. These findings reinforce the critical need for attention to sleep health disparities and sleep health equity. Other measures significantly declined, like sleep quality, which recorded a new low in the SHI. Declines in sleep quality tended to occur more frequently in women, individuals without college degrees, and middle-to-lower-income Americans, exacerbating already-existing gaps in sleep quality among these groups. More results are available in the full report.

“We know existing studies that looked at pandemic-era changes in sleep health were limited to early in the pandemic, so we see this analysis as adding to our base of knowledge and giving a broader picture of the nation’s sleep health across two years of this global event,” said Erin Koffel, PhD, Senior Director of Research and Scientific Affairs at the National Sleep Foundation. “We’re seeing both consistencies and differences compared to other reports, and over a longer span of time than others.”

National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Health Index® (SHI) survey, which has continued to be fielded throughout the pandemic, is a validated gauge of Americans’ sleep health. It includes an overall score and subindices of sleep quality, sleep duration and disordered sleep, with higher scores indicating better sleep health. The SHI has been fielded in nationally representative surveys quarterly since 2016.

“Moving forward, we’ll act on these data gathered from Americans during the pandemic to develop and share a broader understanding of sleep health,” said John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “At the end of the day, our purpose at NSF is to help anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self.”

To read the full report, visit www.theNSF.org/sleep-health-and-the-covid-19-pandemic/. To learn more about the NSF, visit www.theNSF.org.

 

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.

TheNSF.orgSleepHealthJournal.org