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

The caucus became official in October when the US House of Representatives Committee on House Administration updated its roster of congressional member organizations. 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,” says AASM president Kannan Ramar, MBBS, MD, in a release. “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 the elimination of daylight saving time, student sleep health and school start times, and sleep health disparities.

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“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,” says Lofgren in a release. “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 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,” says Davis in a release. “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.”

You can take action by urging your US representative to become a member of the caucus.

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