“Sleepless in America”: National Geographic Special

On Sunday the 30th at 8 P.M. you’ll be able to catch the premiere of a new documentary special on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) called Sleepless in America. Produced in partnership with The Public Good Projects and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it includes info from sleep experts as well as those affected by related problems.

Statistics from the NIH indicate that 40% of American adults and 70% of high-school students are chronically sleep-deprived.

Brian Lowry, Variety: “…(I)t’s noted that Americans sleep two hours less than they did 50 years ago, with the already-sleep-limiting advent of artificial light having been fueled further by an overworked society and the assortment of gadgets biting into free time.”

Lori Acken, Channel Guide Magazine, offers several other facts of interest from the documentary. Info provided along with each bulleted point is my own paraphrasing.

• Pills Aren’t The Answer–Even though about 20% of the population uses them. What’s more effective? Cognitive-behavioral changes.

• Sleeper, Heal Thyself–Sleep builds immunity, which helps in so many ways.

• Sad News–Conditions such as depression and anxiety may contribute to sleep disorders, but so may sleep disorders contribute to various types of mental disturbance.

• The Kids Aren’t Alright–But having a later start time in some schools has been proven to be helpful.

Add Sleep, Subtract Pounds–Poor sleepers eat less healthily and are thus prone to gaining weight.

Devise A Better Plan–Such as not taking the electronics to bed.

• Shifting Our View Of Shift Work–Too many of night-shifters get too little sleep.

Concludes Brian Lowry, Variety, who previewed Sleepless in America: “Despite beginning on a manipulative note — a family devastated by a collision with a driver who nodded off at the wheel — the two-hour special dispenses lots of useful information in a sober but enlightening fashion.” Below is a trailer:

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