The National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the National Geographic Channel and The Public Good Projects, will draw the nation’s attention to the health consequences of sleep deprivation and what keeps Americans up at night. The documentary, Sleepless in America, premieres on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday, November 30th, at 7 p.m. CT.
“Feeling tired is only one consequence of getting poor quality sleep,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD “NIH-funded research has helped illuminate a wide array of health challenges stemming from chronic sleep problems. Researchers have uncovered links between poor sleep and health issues ranging from obesity to cardiovascular disease to mental health disorders.”
More than two-thirds of American men and just under half of women wish they slept more. They are staying awake later and getting up earlier than ever before, depriving their bodies of the fundamental need for sleep. A growing body of evidence reveals this pervasive lack of sleep as a public health issue, increasing the rates of serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression.
The 90-minute program features investigations conducted at the University of Chicago Medicine, where the production team, led by John Goodman, PhD, spent several days. The producers concentrated on two important projects at the University. One, led by David Gozal, M.D., professor of pediatrics, examines the connections between reduced or fragmented sleep and cancer growth (16:00—19:05). The other, led by Eve Van Cauter, PhD, the Frederick H. Rawson Professor of Medicine, focuses on the metabolic consequences of sleep loss, especially shift work (59:52—1:06:34).