Normal sleep is essential for health; however, it is estimated that approximately one third of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Sleep disruption is associated with cardiovascular disease, breathing disorders, obesity, chronic pain, mental illness, and undermines human performance. In fact, the single best predictor of daytime performance is the quality and duration of the previous night’s sleep. For example, alarming statistics from the National Sleep Foundation indicate that driver fatigue contributes to more than 100,000 motor vehicle accidents per year.
The developing interest in research related to sleep, sleep disorders, and the impact of sleep deprivation on human health and performance is evidenced by the research focus of three major agencies devoted to the health and well-being of the American public—the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Academy of Sciences.
Professor Lydic’s presentation will focus on the brain basis of sleep, sleep disorders, and ongoing research related to understanding sleep health.