Connections Between Sleep, Health, and Disease
Sleep plays a critical role in health and well-being by helping maintain optimal physiological and cognitive function and influencing host metabolism and immunity. The relationship between sleep and health is complex, but many adults who average less than seven hours per night are more likely to develop a chronic condition. Poor sleep quality is also associated with a higher rate of depressive symptoms. In some cases, achieving restorative sleep can seem difficult; the statistics below highlight the impact of sleep-related dysfunction and offer key techniques for improving sleep practices.
- National Sleep Foundation. 2020 Sleep in America® poll shows alarming level of sleepiness and low levels of action. Published March 9, 2020. Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.thensf.org/2020-sleep-in-america-poll-shows-alarming-level-of-sleepiness/
- Nugent CN, Black LI. Sleep duration, quality of sleep, and use of sleep medication, by sex and family type, 2013-2014. NCHS Data Brief. 2016;(230):1-8. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db230.pdf
- Wheaton AG, Jones SE, Cooper AC, Croft JB. Short sleep duration among middle school and high school students — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(3):85-90. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6703a1
- Schwab RJ. Insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). MSD Manual: Consumer Version. Revised May 2022. Accessed August 30, 2022. https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/brain,-spinal-cord,-and-nerve-disorders/sleep-disorders/insomnia-and-excessive-daytime-sleepiness-eds
Register Now for IFM's New eLearning Course
Explore the latest research on sleep
Sleep & Immune Health
Sleep is critical to immune health, and poor sleep may drive many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Mental Health & Sleep
The relationship between sleep, mental health, and physical health is frequently multidirectional.
Chronic Sleep Deprivation
Research suggests a connection between sleep, oxidative stress, and mitochondria.
Sleep Quality & CVD Risk
Sleep duration affects behavior and physiology, including the cardiovascular system.
Sleep & Relaxation
Mind-body interventions may improve sleep quality.
Sleep & Biotransformation
Chronic sleep deprivation may inhibit paravascular clearance pathways in the brain, contributing to the body's toxic burden.