It should come as no surprise that getting good sleep is an extremely important contributor to our general well being, especially since we spend about one third of our lives sleeping!


Insufficient sleep, sleep interruptions, and sleep disorders are just some of the many factors that can reduce your quality of sleep and quality of life. Regular poor sleep can shorten your life expectancy and put you at risk for more serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, psychiatric illnesses, and even neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.


The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention called the sleep crisis a public health epidemic, affecting 1 in 3 adults in the United States, with the percentage of teens who suffer from insufficient sleep in the US falling even higher!



Sleep problems are incredibly common among Americans; studies have found 70% of adults in the US suffer from insufficient sleep at least once a month. Another study from the CDC found that 25% of adults report insufficient sleep at least 15 nights every 30 days. Other research estimates that 50-70 million Americans struggle with sleep related problems


Sleep problems can involve and include a number of sleep wake disorders, such as: 

  • Insomnia disorder (Chronic insomnia is reported to affect over 10% of all Americans)

  • Narcolepsy

  • Substance / Medication induced sleep disorder

  • Restless leg syndrome (suffered by 5% of Americans over the age of 65)

  • Nightmare disorder

  • Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders

  • Non-REM sleep arousal disorders

  • REM sleep behavior disorder

  • Breathing-related sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea, which affects at least 25 million Americans)

  • Hyper-somnolence disorder

And more than 70 other sleep disorders that Americans can suffer from.


Sleep disorders, while prevalent among Americans of all ages and classes, have also been found to disproportionately affect certain minority groups and underserved populations. However, despite the massive amount of Americans who suffer from these conditions, the majority of those struggling from sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated.


It is hard to approximate the amount of damage incurred by our nation because of poor, irregular, and insufficient sleep, however estimates from the Institute of Medicine claim sleep deprivation and sleep disorders have incredible economic impacts, totaling over $100 billion annually in lost productivity, medical expenses, sick leave, and damage to property and the environment.  



To read more about sleep disorders and their impacts on so many Americans, go to for further information.




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Perceived Insufficient Rest or Sleep Among Adults—United States, 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 58:1179


Institute of Medicine. Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation: An unmet public health problem. Colten HR, Alteveogt BM, editors. ISBN:0-309-66012-2, 1–500. 2006. Washington, D.C., National Academies Press.


National Institutes of Health. National Institutes of Health Sleep Disorders Research Plan.