Healthy Sleep Newsletter | Fall 2016

Sleep Recharges You

The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has launched the “Sleep Recharges You” campaign, urging teens to make sleep a top priority. Parents and teachers can also play an important role by helping teens to understand the importance of sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens should sleep 8 to 10 hours each night to promote optimal health. CDC data shows that insufficient sleep is common among teens. About 69 percent of high school students report sleeping 7 hours or less on school nights.  Chronic sleep loss can hinder teens’ academic performance and increase the risk of health and safety problems. Make sleep a priority!

Coming Soon: High School Start Times and Related Outcomes

One of the objectives for the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project is to perform a critical review of published evidence regarding the effect of high school start times on sleep and other related outcomes in teenagers.

The Surveillance and Epidemiology Workgroup cataloged functional concerns following a comprehensive search using keywords ‘schools’ and ‘sleep’ and ‘start time’ from relevant publications. Total sleep time, academic performance, behavioral health problems and motor vehicular accidents were the prime outcomes that were included for meta-analyses. 

The review, which will be published this fall, reinforces the benefits of a delayed high school start time as it relates to physical and mental health and learning, motor vehicle accidents, and overall student well-being. 


OSA Self-Assessment Tool

A new self-assessment tool developed as part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project helps patients identify the common symptoms of sleep apnea and understand their risk factors for this chronic disease.

Patients can download, print and complete this self-assessment to discuss their sleep apnea risk with their health care provider. The self-assessment tool is available on the Sleep Education website along with other resources for health care professionals, including consensus statements and provider education articles.

The Healthy Sleep Project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and led by the AASM in collaboration with the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and other partners.


Looking Ahead: Getting to the Heart of Sleep and Health
The Healthy Sleep Project is about to begin the fourth year of its 5-year plan, and the focus for the upcoming program year will be the relationship between sleep and heart health. A recent review of the evidence confirmed a link between sleep duration and heart problems. Data show that sleep durations of less than 6 hours are associated with an elevated risk for both overall heart disease and high blood pressure.

There also is a strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and heart health. Sleep apnea is a significant risk factor for the development of high blood pressure. It also may increase the risk for heart disease, atrial fibrillation and stroke. Get ready to join us in raising awareness about the importance of healthy sleep for a healthy heart!