It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from some type of sleep disorder, affecting their daily functioning, health and longevity. In fact, nearly 20 percent of all serious car crash injuries are attributed to driver sleepiness.
The cumulative long-term effects of lack of sleep has been associated with a wide range of serious health problems, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.
The Institute of Medicine's Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research's 2006 report, Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem, concluded that significant advances must be made in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders.
RWJ Sleep Center is committed to advancing the goals of the Committee of Sleep Medicine Research and seeks to:
- Increase awareness of the effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders.
- Improve the monitoring of sleep loss and sleep disorders.
- Increase awareness of sleep disorders among health care professionals through education and training.
- Develop and test new and existing methods of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders.
RWJ Sleep Center also is an advocate of the committee's goals to:
- Establish the workforce required to meet the clinical and scientific demands of the field.
- Expand accreditation criteria to focus on treatment, long-term patient care and managing chronic diseases.
- Strengthen national methods of sharing research.
- Increase the funding for interdisciplinary sleep programs in academic health centers that focus on long-term clinical care, training and research.