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NIH News Release-New Web Site Provides Access to Information on Sleep and Sleep Disorders

For Immediate Release:
January 18, 2000

Ever wonder why you sleep, or why you don't do your best when you don't get enough sleep? Biomedical researchers have only recently begun to understand how important sleep is to human health and functioning. Now, the latest, most accurate information on sleep and sleep disorders is available online.

Today, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) unveiled a new Web site to offer the public and health care professionals the most up-to-date science-based information on sleep and sleep disorders, as well as to provide the scientific community with information on sleep research and funding opportunities.

"Sleep research is advancing rapidly, and we want the medical community, as well as the public, to have timely access to the wealth of important, accurate information on sleep and sleep disorders that has been developed within the Federal government, " said NHLBI Director Claude Lenfant, M.D. "We also want to encourage more research in this field," he added. The NCSDR is located within the NHLBI, which is a component of the National Institutes of Health.

Sleep-related problems affect millions of Americans, occur in all age groups, and have a major impact on society. They are common in teens, shift workers, and people over age 65. There are more than 70 different sleep disorders, and they often lead to or are associated with other health problems, lost worker productivity, and accidents, including approximately 56,000 automobile crashes each year.

"Every American needs to understand the importance of obtaining adequate sleep and the risks of excessive sleepiness," said NCSDR Director Dr. James Kiley. "Our new Web site provides information that will help the public and health care professionals recognize the signs of common sleep disorders and the need for professional treatment. It will also encourage communication about sleep within the medical and scientific communities and ultimately lead to more research on sleep and sleep disorders," he added.

For patients and the public, the new NCSDR Web site provides news and information about common sleep problems through a variety of fact sheets, an interactive quiz, public service announcements, and other radio programming. Information about other resources and an opportunity to register for updates are also available.

Healthcare professionals and researchers will be able to access the most up-to-date information on the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, keep abreast of activities of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board, search for up-to-date information on sleep-related grants and publications, and access NIH program staff and reports through the site.

Congress established the NCSDR in 1993 to coordinate the Federal government's sleep research efforts. Current research is focusing on such issues as a link between asthma and sleep; the genetics of sleep and sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea; the effects of sleep disorders on the heart; sleep in space; the impact of sleep deprivation on immune function; and the dangers of drowsy driving.

To visit the new NCSDR Web site, go to

To arrange an interview with Dr. Kiley, please contact the NHLBI Communications Office at 301 496-4236.

Supplemental Information