I love naps. I even enjoy going to bed “early”. Cuddling up with some blankets and a pillow, and drifting off is one of my favorite things to do. Any chance to catch some extra sleep is pure joy, and I’m apparently not the only one who needs more sleep.
Much of the population suffers from a lack of sleep. So much, in fact, it is now being seen as a public health issue. Adam Spira, an associate professor in the Department of Mental Health, will be highlighting the importance of sleep as a public health issue at the third annual Johns Hopkins Sleep and Circadian Research Day next Monday, June 26.
Recently, Spira did a short interview for the Summer 2017 issue of the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine. I’ve copied it below:
In the context of public health, where does sleep fit in?
There’s an increasing recognition of the implications of not getting enough sleep and disturbed sleep—whether it’s increased risk for chronic medical conditions, and for Alzheimer’s disease, injury, educational outcomes, mental disorders or addiction.
Are there effective ways to treat sleep disturbances without medication?
We have very good behavioral interventions, like cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but they’re not yet as accessible as they need to be, and there aren’t enough trained providers.
In general, do you think that people understand the importance of sleep to overall health?
Our lives are very busy, and sleep can appear to be the thing that’s expendable. Along with diet and exercise, sleep is one of the three legs of the stool that form the foundation for health.
I personally think we should all take naps in the name of Public Health on June 26, 2017. Don’t you agree?