Everyone needs sleep, yet most of us are walking around with a serious sleep debt. In a 24/7, more-is-better culture, the pressure to always be on the go and do something is intense. It can be tough to unplug, unwind and adopt healthy behaviors.
But make no mistake: Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to serious medical conditions ranging from increased risk for psychiatric disorders, heart disease, cancer and relationship problems. Not to mention the fact that drowsy driving is associated with 5,000 or 6,000 fatal crashes each year.
This Sunday at 8 p.m., the National Geographic channel will premiere a special that takes an in-depth look at the significant public health implications of sleep disturbances and insufficient sleep. “Sleepless in America” will feature several UPMC experts and patients including Daniel Buysse, M.D., professor of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Wendy Troxel ,Ph.D., and local couple Lisa and Sumner Bemis who participated in a military couples sleep study.
“Sleep loss has serious adverse effects on virtually all body functions and can result from voluntary sleep deprivation and sleep disorders,” said Dr. Buysse. “Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder, but it can be effectively managed with behavioral interventions.”
For more information on the military couples sleep study and other veterans’ sleep research at the University of Pittsburgh call (412) 999-2758.