On Sept. 11, 2020, a bipartisan resolution developed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California expressing support for the designation of the third week of September as National Student Sleep Health Week. The primary co-sponsor of House Resolution 1103 is Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois.
Organized by the AASM, National Student Sleep Health Week is being held for the first time this year, Sept. 14-20. The annual event will drive awareness of the importance of sleep for students of all ages, emphasizing that healthy sleep is associated with improved concentration, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.
“Sleep is essential for the health and well-being of students, and this resolution will help raise awareness of the importance of sleep on a national level,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “I commend Rep. Lofgren for supporting our nation’s students through the recognition of National Student Sleep Health Week.”
Lofgren previously introduced the ZZZ’s to A’s Act to examine the relationship between school start times and adolescent health, well-being and performance.
“As we deal with the unique challenges and added stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the necessity of good, quality sleep is all too clear,” said Lofgren. “Insufficient sleep has been associated with hypertension, obesity, and even depression. And, unfortunately, the effects of poor sleep hygiene can be compounded for young adults and children — often leading to poor health outcomes and performance in school. Designating the third week of September as National Student Sleep Health Week will help raise awareness for — and highlight the importance of — healthy sleep for students of all ages to learn, grow, and thrive.”
House Resolution 1103 also:
· Emphasizes that teenagers should sleep 8 to 10 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health
· Recognizes that 75 percent of high school students report insufficient sleep on school nights
· Outlines the physical and mental health benefits associated with healthy sleep
· Encourages the development of healthy sleep habits
· Recognizes the continued importance of policies to improve sleep health and of ongoing work to understand and reduce sleep health disparities in children and adolescents
Sleep medicine professionals, parents, students, and other advocates for student health can visit the AASM Action Center to ask their representatives to cosponsor the resolution.