News Release

New position statement declares that sleep is essential to health

Statement has been endorsed by more than 25 medical, scientific, patient, and safety organizations

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

DARIEN, IL - A new position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine emphasizes that sleep is a biological necessity, and insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders are detrimental for health, well-being, and public safety.

Published online in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the statement notes that sleep is vital for health and well-being in children, adolescents, and adults. While awareness of the value of sleep has risen in the last decade, there is a significant need for greater emphasis on sleep health in education, clinical practice, inpatient and long-term care, public health promotion, and the workplace.

"Healthy sleep is as important as proper nutrition and regular exercise for our health and well-being, and sleep is critical for performance and safety," said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. "It is the position of the AASM that sleep is essential to health, and we are urging educators, health care professionals, government agencies, and employers to prioritize the promotion of healthy sleep."

The statement was written by the members of the 2020 - 2021 AASM board of directors, comprising 11 sleep medicine physicians and a clinical psychologist. In recognition of sleep's significant and multi-faceted connections to health and chronic disease, the authors outlined the following positions:

    - Sleep education should have a prominent place in K-12 and college health education, medical school and graduate medical education, and educational programs for other health professionals.

    - Clinicians should routinely inquire about sleep habits and symptoms of sleep and circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders during patient encounters, and hospitals and long-term care facilities should optimize sleep conditions.

    - Healthy sleep should be targeted by public health and workplace interventions to improve health-related outcomes, and behaviors that help people attain healthy sleep should be actively promoted.

    - More sleep and circadian research is needed to further elucidate the importance of sleep for public health and the contributions of insufficient sleep to health disparities.

"Education about sleep and sleep disorders is lacking in medical school curricula, graduate medical education, and education programs for other health professionals," said Ramar. "Better sleep health education will enable our health care workforce to provide more patient-centered care for people who have common sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia."

According to the authors, chronic insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders are linked to increased health and safety risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, workplace accidents, and motor vehicle crashes. Data from surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau show that 34.1% of children, 74.6% of high school students, and 32.5% of adults in the U.S. fail to get a sufficient duration of sleep on a regular basis. Therefore, helping people get enough sleep is one of the goals of Healthy People 2030, which provides 10-year, measurable public health objectives for the U.S.

The AASM position statement declaring that sleep is essential to health has been endorsed by more than 25 medical, scientific, patient, and safety organizations:

    Alliance of Sleep Apnea Partners

    American Academy of Cardiovascular Sleep Medicine

    American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine

    American Academy of Neurology

    American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery

    American Academy of Physician Assistants

    American Association of Clinical Endocrinology

    American Association of Sleep Technologists

    American College of Preventive Medicine

    American Geriatrics Society*

    American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

    American Society of Addiction Medicine

    American Society of Anesthesiologists*

    American Thoracic Society

    Circadian Sleep Disorders Network

    International REM Sleep Behavior Disorder Study Group

    National Safety Council

    National Sleep Foundation

    Obesity Action Coalition

    Project Sleep

    Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation

    Sleep Research Society

    Society for Research on Biological Rhythms

    Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine

    Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine

    Start School Later

    Wake Up Narcolepsy

    World Sleep Society

*The American Geriatrics Society supports the general principles in the document and believes it is of general benefit to its membership. The American Society of Anesthesiologists' Administrative Council approved support for the position statement with qualifications; since the document has neither been presented to nor approved by either the ASA Board of Directors or House of Delegates, it is not an official or approved statement or policy of the Society. Variances from the recommendations contained in the document may be acceptable based on the judgment of the responsible anesthesiologist.

Learn more about the AASM at

To request a copy of, "Sleep is essential to health: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement," or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson, please contact the AASM at 630-737-9700 or


About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals (

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