Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Sleep and Sleep Disorders

There’s a dangerous new epidemic sweeping this country: excessive daytime sleepiness. According to a new National Sleep Foundation survey, an alarming one-third of American adults scored at levels of sleepiness known to be hazardous. Six percent scored at severe levels of sleepiness. Consider the implications of these findings: Although we trivialize sleep problems, sleep-related accidents result in thousands of deaths each year and billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity. The Exxon Valdez tanker disaster and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident were both caused by operator fatigue. This exercise explores the causes of chronic sleep loss and examines exciting new discoveries in the field of sleep research. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

1. In the past century, we have reduced our average sleep time by 20 percent. Going back 20 years, identify societal changes and changes in individual lifestyles that encourage wakefulness and discourage sleep.

2. Many more women than men suffer from chronic sleep loss. What social, psychological, and physiological factors might account for this gender difference?

3. Ninety-five percent of individuals that suffer from sleep disorders are never diagnosed or treated for their disorder. What factors might explain why sleep disorders often go untreated and undiagnosed?

4. Read through the information on the sleep Web sites (use links provided at the bottom of the page at (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.), and select 10 to 15 of the facts about sleep that you consider most valuable. This information should be common knowledge; in fact, if it were made public, it might reduce our culture’s sleep crisis. Title your list “Facts Everyone Should Know About Sleep and Sleep Disorders.”

1. Societal changes are discussed accurately
2. Gender is discussed accurately
3. Misdiagnsosis is discussed accurately
4. 10-15 facts about sleep is discussed accurately
5. Grammar and spelling
6. Flow