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     Research  >  Sleep  |  Stress Performance

Sleep Debt: The Silent Epidemic

by Mary I. O'Sullivan, M.S.

Do you have trouble sleeping or know someone who does? Most of us have difficulty sleeping at one time or another. In fact, sleep problems are the second most often reported medical complaint, the first being pain. Sleep debt is now being called the "silent epidemic." Current estimates are that more than 60 million Americans, or approximately one in three adults, experience inadequate sleep which affects daily activities and 32% of our total population has serious insomnia.

Inadequate sleep has become such a pervasive problem that we now accept it as a normal part of life. The problem is widespread, with few recognizing how serious it is! The National Sleep Foundation's Medical Director Dr. Allan Pack states:

The frantic pace of modern society is leaving more Americans awake when they shouldn't be. Pressure to work often supercedes sleep as a priority. Restful sleep is as important as exercise or a healthy diet in maintaining overall health. But in spite of evidence showing the value of sleep, few Americans are acting to get the rest they need.

A recent report from the National Institutes of Health stated, inadequate sleep or nonrestorative sleep has major implications for our productivity, health and well-being. Lack of sleep restricts our effectiveness on the job. Researchers investigating the effects of lost sleep on workers' performance find that often learning, memory and problem-solving skills are impaired and communication skills suffer. Fatigue affects our ability to concentrate. We make more mistakes and often experience difficulties with personal and co-worker relationships.

Sleep loss has many other serious consequences. Too little sleep wears down our immune system, and we become more susceptible to illness. The less sleep we have, the more stress we feel, and the harder it is to relax. Instead, we feel tense and tired most of the time.

If you're a troubled sleeper, please try our Gift of Sleep CD program. Our unique approach for improving sleep quality has been used successfully by thousands. It works by helping you establish new positive sleep habits and allowing you to gently overcome any stress-related insomnia. If you're a chronic insomniac, it may take a little longer for positive results to occur, since your negative sleep habits have been reinforced for a longer time. But if you're willing to try it , our program will work!

Listen to what Lorraine from Massachusetts has to say about Gift of Sleep:

Mary, I just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I am enjoying the River CD. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and have noticed that I am sleeping somewhat better. Although I am still getting up several times a night, I am able to fall asleep faster and have even started to dream. It has been an extremely long time (15-20 years) since I have enjoyed a restful period of sleep. I can't thank you enough for this wonderful product. I only hope that as time goes on, the sleep will continue to be deeper and more restful. I highly recommend this product to anyone with insomnia.

L.W.; E. Bridgewater, MA


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