Sleep Initiatives

Increased Access to Care 

Patients, providers and the public, benefit from increased access to care for patients with sleep disorders. Barriers to adequate sleep care may include: 

  • Bringing down the out-of-pocket cost of sleep care for patients 
  • Addressing inadequate or lack of insurance coverage for sleep services 
  • Increasing the availability of sleep services and culturally competent care 

Improving awareness of sleep disorders and sleep medicine will open the lines of communication between providers and patients by empowering people with a sleep disorder to bring sleep issues to their primary care or other physician and encouraging primary care physicians and other providers to incorporate sleep health into everyday practice.  

Funding for Sleep Research 

New and/or improved testing and treatment options for patients come from increased research in the sleep field. Funding for research, such as through the National Institutes of Health, is important to further innovations in sleep medicine that will benefit patients. 

Drowsy Driving 

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, 1 in 5 fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver.  Drowsy driving, like drunk or distracted driving, affects everyone on the road.  Regulations regarding drowsy driving are either non-existent or inconsistent in states that do have regulations in place, as there is currently no way to accurately measure drowsiness (such as a Breathalyzer for drunk driving). Learn more about the importance of staying “Awake at the Wheel.”   

Later School Start Times 

It is the position of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that middle school and high school start times should be 8:30 a.m. or later. Delaying school start times gives teens a better opportunity to get the sleep they need during the school week. Getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis leads to improved academic performance, reduced school absences and tardiness, and decreased motor vehicle accidents. School start times are generally decided at the local and state level. Learn more about teen sleep on the “Sleep Recharges You” page. Get more information about school start times from Start School Later.