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Dramatic expansion of new knowledge about the importance of sleep, the health consequences of chronic sleep deprivation, and sleep disorders has occurred in recent years. Chronic sleep loss and untreated sleep disorders have a profound and diverse impact on health, behavior, and quality of life. The health consequences of sleep disorders, sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness annually affect 50 to 70 million Americans, add approximately $15 billion to our national health care bill, and cost industry $50 billion in lost productivity.
The National Sleep Conference held March 29-30, 2004 on the NIH Campus in Bethesda Maryland brought together health care providers, public health and education experts, policy makers, patient advocacy organizations, sleep medicine specialists, and other stakeholders.
At the close of the conference, there was general agreement that several ideas on how to improve public health had come out of this conference and that it was important to find strategies to highlight and move forward with those ideas. It was also important that there be timely and broad participation in specific follow-up activities based on the final recommendations for public health initiatives.
Information about the Conference can be viewed as follows:
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