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January 15, 2021 05:00am
By Aislinn Antrim, Associate Editor
More than 80 million people suffer from sleep deprivation.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is calling for individuals to make sleep a priority to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on the body and can contribute to headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, weight gain, and an impaired immune system.
In a recent study, the National Sleep Foundation revealed that more than 4 in 10 Americans reported that poor or insufficient sleep at least once in the past 7 days had significantly impacted their daily activities.
Getting enough sleep can improve memory, boost the immune system, reduce hunger, increase productivity, and strengthen the ability to focus and learn.
“With more than 80 million people suffering from sleep deprivation and another 50 to 70 million with a sleep disorder, patients need to prioritize quality sleep and seek out their health care provider if they are struggling to sleep,” Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, president of the AANP, said in a press release. “Sleep affects everything from chronic pain, to recovery from diseases, weight management, and the risk of heart disease.
“As health care professionals who see and treat millions of patients, we recommend establishing a sleep schedule, avoiding nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, getting regular exercise, and taking steps to manage stress. AANP encourages efforts by the National Sleep Foundation to advocate for better sleep so people have the tool they need to live healthier and more productive lives.”
The latest effort to improve sleep habits is in recognition of Sleep Awareness Week, which takes place April 23-30.
“Research consistently shows that adequate, quality sleep directly and positively affects mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing,” Max Hirshkowitz, chairman of the National Sleep Foundation, said in the press release. “NSF’s #SleepBetterFeelBetter campaign shines a light on the importance of sleep health toward improved productivity, mood, and overall health.”