Waking up about sleep: A public health need, overlooked

By Dominic Sisti, PhD, and Andrea Segal, MS

Philly.com | September 7, 2016

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Back to school lunacy is upon us.  Parents with kids in tow will raid retail outlets, snatching up the latest gadgets, backpacks, brand name clothes, and sneakers.  Many will schedule every minute of their child’s day for the next nine months. Kids will be signed up for soccer, gymnastics, instrument lessons, play dates, and academic enrichment work.  What most likely won’t be a highlight on kids’ harried calendars: enough time for healthy sleep.

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Like obesity, addiction, and depression, the need for sleep is understood as a vicious moral weakness rather than what it actually is— a critical physiological process required for maintaining overall health and well-being.