Sleep deprivation and medical disorders of sleep are common in today's society and have significant public health implications. In this article, we address 3 specific issues related to the public health and safety consequences of sleep disorders. First, we review data that has linked sleep restriction to a variety of adverse physiologic and long-term health outcomes including all-cause mortality, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Second, we will review recent data that has demonstrated that therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (the most common respiratory disorder of sleep) is an extremely efficient use of healthcare resources (in terms of dollars spent per quality adjusted life year gained), and compares favorably with other commonly funded medical therapies. Finally, we will review data that illustrate the potential adverse patient and occupational safety impacts of the extreme work schedules of housestaff (physicians in training).