AASM Establishes Congressional Sleep Health Caucus

sleep health caucus

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has established a Congressional Sleep Health Caucus to emphasize the necessity of healthy sleep for optimal health and promote high-quality, patient-centered care for the millions of Americans who have sleep disorders.

Congressional caucuses are political groups comprising Senate and House members who periodically meet to advance a particular legislative agenda. Caucuses vary greatly in both size and influence and advocate for a broad spectrum of issues.

The caucus became official in October when the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration updated its congressional member organizations’ roster. The caucus is co-chaired by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois.

“The establishment of the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus is an important milestone for the field of sleep medicine, and I am grateful to Rep. Lofgren and Rep. Davis for their leadership,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “The caucus will amplify our messages and strengthen our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.”

Lofgren and Davis previously introduced House Resolution 1103 to designate the third week of September as National Student Sleep Health Week. The caucus will host congressional briefings on topics such as eliminating daylight saving timestudent sleep health and school start times, and sleep health disparities.

“As we deal with the unique challenges and added stress brought on by the COVID pandemic, the necessity of good, quality sleep is all too clear,” said Lofgren. “Insufficient sleep has been associated with various mental and physical health challenges, and it’s clear that sleep hygiene is a matter of public health. I look forward to working with my colleague, Rep. Rodney Davis, to highlight and promote sleep research at a federal level through the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus.”

The caucus will help improve sleep health by highlighting the:

  • Importance of healthy sleep for overall health, well-being, productivity, and public safety
  • Prevalence of sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and effectiveness of treatments such as positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy
  • Availability of expertise from the sleep team at accredited sleep facilities
  • Discoveries generated by sleep and circadian research

“A good night’s sleep is critical to promoting good mental and physical health along with an individual’s well-being,” said Davis. “That’s why I look forward to leading the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus with my colleague, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, which will bring attention to the importance that sleep has to our public health.”

The promotion of healthy sleep is a vital public health priority, and the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus will help promote healthy sleep among all Americans. You can take action by urging your U.S. representative to become a member of the caucus.

For more information about the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus, contact policy@aasm.org.

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