Sleepless in America


National Geographic Channel's Sleepless in America exposes the crucial need for sleep and the shocking life-threatening consequences of its absence.


PGP partnered with the NIH, America’s foremost scientific authority, and National Geographic, to draw the nation’s attention to the science of sleep.  This highly anticipated documentary drew upon the latest cutting-edge research and compelling stories to illustrate the serious physical, emotional, and societal consequences of poor sleep.  It revealed the emerging explanations for why we sleep, illuminated the wide array of sleep disorders, and explained what we can all do to get a better night's rest.  Common belief may hold that it gets harder to sleep the older you get, but sleep problems take a great toll on all ages, including young Americans: 70 percent of high school adolescents are sleep deprived, increasing their risk of suicide, mood problems and delinquency.  

Millions of U.S. adults have sleep apnea, and up to 80 percent don’t even know it.  Recent research has also shown that poor sleep may cause cancer to grow twice as fast in lab mice, and that sleeping too little might lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  The special brought viewers into the lives of people who have been profoundly affected by our society’s failure to prioritize sleep, and explored the larger societal forces behind America’s sleeplessness, from the light bulb to work schedules.  Sleepless in America rated .33 for National Geographic, well above its documentary benchmark.