The Importance of Sleep for Overall Health: Raman Malhotra, MD


Raman Malhotra, MD, associate professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, detailed a new position statement from AASM on the vitality of sleep.

“We felt that it was important, as the [American] Academy of Sleep Medicine, to bring this message to our colleagues about the importance of sleep and what we've learned throughout the years of research of how it really is vital and essential for health.”

A recent position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) aims to call attention to the importance of sleep as a vital aspect of health in children, adolescents, and adults. Raman Malhotra, MD, associate professor of neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, and president, AASM, discussed the essential aspects of sleep and AASM’s initiative to increase awareness of healthy sleep, in accordance with its relation to overall well-being. 

In this discussion with NeurologyLive, Malhotra emphasized the importance of sleep, as well as to the increased awareness amongst clinicians, patients, and the world in recent years. The statement from AASM, published online in June 2021 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, further details the need for sleep education and sleep-related objectives at all levels of the education system, as experts consider it equally as important as nutrition and regular exercise. 

According to AASM, the position statement has been endorsed by more that 25 medical, scientific, patient, and safety organizations, confirming the need for increased awareness and additional circadian research into how sleep relates to quality of life. Malhotra further detailed how insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders can impact personal health and be a threat to both individual health and general public safety. 

Ramar K, Malhotra RK, Carden KA, et al. Sleep is essential to health: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. Published online June 21, 2021. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.9476
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