National Sleep Disorders Research Plan
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Progress since 1996
Research Recommendations
Research Training

The 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 Research Plan.
  • 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.

Several specifics 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.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Department of Health and Human Services (click here) First Gov Website (Click here)
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Click Here) National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (Click Here)