Sleep is essential for optimal health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) developed a consensus recommendation for the amount of sleep needed to promote optimal health in adults, using a modified RAND Appropriateness Method process. The recommendation is summarized here. A manuscript detailing the conference proceedings and evidence supporting the final recommendation statement will be published in SLEEP and the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, Dinges DF, Gangwisch J, Grandner MA, Kushida C, Malhotra RK, Martin JL, Patel SR, Quan SF, Tasali E. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. J Clin Sleep Med 2015;11(6):591–592.
Healthy sleep requires adequate duration, good quality, appropriate timing and regularity, and the absence of sleep disturbances or disorders. Sleep duration is the most frequently investigated sleep measure in relation to health. Furthermore, the US Department of Health and Human Services created a Sleep Health Objective to “increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep” in Healthy People 2020, a federal initiative to improve the nation's health.1 Thus our recommendation focuses on this sleep parameter. A panel of 15 experts in sleep medicine and research used a modified RAND Appropriateness Method2 to develop a recommendation regarding the sleep duration, or sleep duration range, that promotes optimal health in adults aged 18 to 60 years.
The expert panel reviewed published scientific evidence addressing the relationship between sleep duration and health, using a broad set of National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms and no date restrictions, which resulted in a total of 5,314 scientific articles. The process was further guided by the Oxford grading system.3 The panel focused on nine health categories with the best available evidence in relation to sleep duration: general health, cardiovascular health, metabolic health, mental health, immunologic function, human performance, cancer, pain, and mortality. Consistent with the RAND Appropriateness Method, multiple rounds of evidence review, discussion, and voting were conducted to arrive at the final recommendation. The process to develop this statement was conducted over a 12-month period and concluded with a consensus meeting held in February 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
DISCUSSION & FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Current evidence supports the general recommendation for obtaining 7 or more hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health among adults aged 18 to 60 years. Individual variability in sleep need is influenced by genetic, behavioral, medical, and environmental factors. A clearer understanding of the precise biological mechanisms underlying sleep need continues to require further scientific investigation.
This recommendation creates a foundation to raise awareness and improve understanding of sleep effects on health. The recommendation provides a basis for:
Educating the public and healthcare providers on the importance of adequate sleep duration for health.
Encouraging individuals to obtain adequate sleep duration.
Discussing the economic and social benefits of adequate sleep duration, thereby informing public policy.
Promoting research on the role of sleep duration in health and well-being.
Research that directly examines the effects of sleep duration on health may lead to revisions of this recommendation in the future.
Funding for this project was provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, and supported by the cooperative agreement number 1U50DP004930-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.
Disclosure statements for Consensus Conference Panel members: Dr. Belenky has received research support from United Airlines, COPA Airlines, and FHWA, DOT. Dr. Bliwise has consulted for the New England Research Institute, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Georgia Institute of Technology, Vantia Therapeutics, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Merck. Dr. Buysse has consulted for Merck, Medscape, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Emmi Solutions, Eisai, CME Outfitters, and Otsuka and has received research support from the NIH. Dr. Dinges has received research support from NIH, NASA, ONR and FMCSA DOT, and has consulted for Mars, Inc. He is Editor-In-Chief of SLEEP. Dr. Grandner has consulted for Bayer and Nexalin Technologies and has received research support from Bentley Systems. Dr. Kushida has received research support from ResMed, Jawbone, Cephalon, Aerial BioPharma, Impax Laboratories, Inc., Zephyr Sleep Technologies, Philips-Respironics, Morphy Smart Bed, and Nokia. Dr. Malhotra has participated in speaking engagements for Teva Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Martin has received research support from Equinox Fitness. Dr. Patel has received research support from the American Sleep Medicine Foundation. He has received a stipend for Chairing the Young Investigator Research Forum from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a stipend for authorship from the American College of Physicians. Dr. Quan has consulted for Global Corporate Challenge. Dr. Watson has received research support from the NIH and NSF. He is President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Sleep Medicine Foundation. The other Consensus Conference Panel members have indicated no financial conflicts of interest.
This consensus statement was previously published in Volume 38, Number 6 of the journal SLEEP.4 In the interest of the widest dissemination possible, the editors and publishers of the journals SLEEP and Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine have agreed to allow for its dual publication.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Sleep Health Objectives. March 6, 2015. Available from: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/sleep-health/objectives.
Fitch K, Bernstein SJ, Aguilar MD, et al., authors. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method User's Manual. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2001.
OCEBM Levels of Evidence Working Group. The Oxford Levels of Evidence 2. [cited February 9, 2015]. Available from: http://www.cebm.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CEBM-Levels-of-Evidence-2.1.pdf.
Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al., authors. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep. 2015;38:843–4.