first National Sleep Disorders Research Plan was released by the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1996.
Considerable scientific and clinical growth of the field has occurred
since then, necessitating a reassessment and update of research
opportunities and recommendations. This 2003 Revised Sleep Disorders
Research Plan summarizes the new knowledge acquired since the
1996 Plan and provides an updated and expanded guide for scientific
research on sleep and its disorders.
The sections selected for inclusion in this Revised Plan provide
a broad perspective on the field of sleep and sleep disorders,
and highlight the crosscutting and highly interdisciplinary
evolution of this field. Each section provides:
- A brief overview
of the topic.
- The major research
accomplishments since release of the 1996 National Sleep Disorders
- The research recommendations
for the future, including a listing of the two top recommendations
followed by a listing of any additional recommendations.
This executive summary
presents the Task Force's highest recommendations for future
research. All the recommendations highlighted in this Executive
Summary are considered relatively equal in importance and are
therefore not listed in any prioritized order.
of the overall process by the Task Force merit further comment.
First, there was considerable discussion on how to address pediatric
sleep science since some developmental processes are only encountered
in infants and children while others represent a continuum from
infancy to old age. Reflecting this continuum, the adult and
pediatric sections were combined whenever possible (e.g.,
insomnia, sleep and breathing). Separate sections focusing
only on pediatric science were developed where there was no
direct adult relevance.
Second, there was
considerable discussion of how sleep and its disorders should
be addressed in this document relative to women's health. It
was ultimately decided to both create a specific section on
sex differences and women's health in sleep to emphasize scientific
content unique to women and to include in other sections, wherever
appropriate, information as to how a particular disorder or
physiologic process might differentially affect women and men.
In this way, there would be adequate emphasis of all the diverse
ways in which sleep concerns impact on maintenance of health
and prevention of disease in women. Similarly, there is a separate
section in the 2003 Revised Plan devoted exclusively to racial
and ethnic disparities in sleep and health, and relevant content
is also included in other sections wherever appropriate.