Sleep, Health, and Society

Sleep Med Clin. 2017 Mar;12(1):1-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2016.10.012. Epub 2016 Dec 20.


Biological needs for sleep are met by engaging in behaviors that are largely influenced by the environment, social norms and demands, and societal influences and pressures. Insufficient sleep duration and sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are highly prevalent in the US population. This article outlines some of these downstream factors, including cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk, neurocognitive dysfunction, and mortality, as well as societal factors such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomics. This review also discusses societal factors related to sleep, such as globalization, health disparities, public policy, public safety, and changing patterns of use of technology.

Keywords: Disparities; Epidemiology; Health; Sleep; Sleep disorders; Social factors; Society.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Public Health / methods
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Sleep* / physiology
  • Sociological Factors*