National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, founded in 1990. Its mission is to improve health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy.

National Sleep Foundation
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Its mission is to improve health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. [1]

NSF’s goals are to ensure that:

  1. Sleep is used as a vital sign of health by medical professionals and the public;
  2. The biological sleep/wake process is common knowledge;
  3. Workplaces, schools, homes and transportation infrastructures are designed to be sleep-friendly; and
  4. Sleep science is rapidly incorporated into products and services.[1]


NSF Sleep Duration RecommendationsEdit

NSF Sleep Duration Recommendations Chart developed based on NSF's research paper[2]

In 2015 NSF released the results of a world-class, research study on sleep duration recommendations.[3] The paper titled " National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary" was published in the peer-reviewed Sleep Health Journal.[4] NSF convened an expert panel of 18 leading scientists and researchers tasked with updating the official sleep duration recommendations. The panelists included sleep specialists and representatives from leading organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Anatomy, American College of Chest Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Geriatrics Society, American Neurological Association, American Physiological Society, American Psychiatric Association, American Thoracic Society, Gerontological Society of America, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, and Society for Research in Human Development. The panelists participated in a rigorous scientific process that included reviewing over 300 current scientific publications and voting on how much sleep is appropriate throughout the lifespan.

Sleep Health IndexEdit

NSF developed Sleep Health Index to measure sleep health at a global group or at an individual level. It was created with the help of sleep experts and public opinion research experts. It is composed of three sub-component scales: sleep duration, sleep quality, and sleep disorders. The Index is fielded quarterly and results are publicly available.

Sleep in America PollEdit

NSF has conducted a national poll called Sleep in America Poll to catalog the state of sleep in America since 1991.  This poll provides valuable information to the public, sleep community and the media on specific topics of interest. Past Sleep In America poll data and results are available on the Sleep Health Journal website.[5] The following lists past poll topics:

  • 2019 - Sleep Health and Scheduling
  • 2018 - Sleep Prioritization and Personal Effectiveness
  • 2015 - Sleep and Pain
  • 2014 - Sleep in the Modern Family
  • 2013 - International Bedroom Poll
  • 2013 - Exercise and Sleep
  • 2012 - Transportation Workers’ Sleep
  • 2012 - Bedroom Poll
  • 2011 - Poll, Technology and Sleep
  • 2011 - Bedroom Poll
  • 2010 - Sleep and Ethnicity
  • 2009 - Health and Safety
  • 2008 - Sleep, Performance and the Workplace
  • 2007 - Women and Sleep
  • 2006 - Teens and Sleep
  • 2005 - Adult Sleep Habits and Styles
  • 2004 - Children and Sleep
  • 2003 - Sleep and Aging
  • 2002 - Adult Sleep Habits

Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep FoundationEdit

Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation (“Sleep Health”) is NSF’s official, peer-reviewed academic journal.[6] It was launched in 2015. The Journal’s aims are to explore sleep’s role in population health and bring the social science perspective on sleep and health. Its scope extends across diverse sleep-related fields, including anthropology, education, health services research, human development, international health, law, mental health, nursing, nutrition, psychology, public health, public policy, fatigue management, transportation, social work, and sociology.

The Journal was 2016 winner of the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award for Best New Journal in Science, Technology and Medicine.[7] The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content.

The Journal had a CiteScore of 3.44 calculated using data from April 30, 2019.[8]

Sleep Monitoring StandardsEdit

In 2014 NSF encouraged the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop standards for sleep technology. As a result, the R6.4 WG1 Sleep Monitors Group was established, composed of sleep experts and technology manufacturers. In September 2017, CEA and NSF announced a new standard for measuring sleep cycles with wearables and other applications.[9] The new standard expands on 2016’s work that defined terms and functionality required for sleep measuring devices.[10]


Public educationEdit

NSF educates the public about sleep health in content that appears through online, print and broadcast media. NSF-branded sleep health content appears on and NSF’s public education websites are and

Physician educationEdit

The National Sleep Foundation is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.[11] In March 2017, NSF was awarded Accreditation with Commendation by the ACCME. [11]Accreditation with Commendation is ACCME’s mechanism for celebrating organizations that excel.[12] Many of NSF’s physician education courses are found in the Sleep Learning Zone, an online learning platform.[13] Sleep information resources are also found in The Sleep Disorders, a sleep primer for primary care physicians and non-sleep specialists.[14]

Public AwarenessEdit

Sleep Awareness WeekEdit

Sleep Awareness Week is NSF’s annual public awareness event celebrating sleep health. It usually occurs during the week leading up to the beginning of daylight-saving time in the spring. During this week, NSF releases the results from its annual Sleep in America Poll or from the Sleep Health Index.[15] NSF provides valuable information about the benefits of optimal sleep and how sleep affects health, well-being, and safety. The week-long campaign provides the public and the media with shareable messages including an infographic, sleep health messaging, and social media posts.

Drowsy Driving Prevention WeekEdit

NSF conducts an annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week during the week leading up to the end of daylight-saving time in the fall.[16] The campaign goal is to reduce the number of drivers who choose to drive while sleep deprived. Drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,400 U.S. deaths annually. These fall-asleep crashes are often caused by voluntarily not getting the sleep one needs. Millions of Americans also experience excessive sleepiness as a result of sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy. The campaign encompasses dissemination of educational messages via social media.

Digital publicationsEdit

NSF created and In 2019 won the Award for Excellence and won the Award for Distinction both in the “Websites, General, Non-Profit” category at the 25th Annual Communicator Awards hosted by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA).[17] Founded nearly three decades ago, The Communicator Awards receives over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. As of 2019, and are operated by Health Media Forward. NSF’s independently developed content appears on these and other platforms across the globe. NSF's public education websites are which supports NSF's Drowsy Driving initiatives, including the annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week campaign, and which supports NSF's peer-reviewed research journal Sleep Health. The Sleep Disorders found on publishes a free online sleep resource for primary care physicians, allied health professionals and non-sleep specialists.


Since 2001 NSF has been recognizing and celebrating the achievements of individuals who have contributed to advancing the sleep field. The following individuals received an award from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • 2018 - Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2017 - Mark R. Rosekind, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2016 - David Gozal, MD, MBA, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2015 - Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2014 - Meir H. Kryger, MD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2014 - William C. Orr, PhD, Clinical Research Leadership
  • 2014 - Arthur J. Spielman, PhD, Insomnia Educator Leadership
  • 2013 - Timothy A. Roehrs, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2013 - Christine Acebo, PhD, Excellence in Sleep Assessment Research
  • 2012 - Michael Thorpy, MBChB, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2012 - Charmane Eastman, PhD, Excellence in Applied Circadian Rhythm Research
  • 2012 - Ernest Hartmann, Excellence in Science of Sleep and Dreaming
  • 2011 - Robert Y. Moore, MD, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2011 - Gregory Belenky, MD, Excellence in Sleep & Performance Research
  • 2011 - Peter J. Hauri, PhD, Excellence in Insomnia Research & Education
  • 2011 - Lorraine L. Wearley, PhD, Sleep Health & Safety Leadership
  • 2010 - Allan I. Pack, MBChB, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2010 - Pietro Badia, PhD, Sleep Educator
  • 2010 - Wallace B. Mendelson, MD, Sleep & Psychiatry
  • 2009 - Philip R. Westbrook, MD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2009 - Colin Sullivan, MBBS, PhD, Sleep Innovator
  • 2008 - Charles A. Czeisler, MD, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2007 - Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2006 - James K. Walsh, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2005 - Christian Guilleminault, MD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2004 - Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2003 - Mary A. Carskadon, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2002 - Thomas Roth, PhD, Lifetime Achievement
  • 2001 - William C. Dement, MD, PhD, Lifetime Achievement


As part of addressing one of NSF's goals – that sleep science is rapidly incorporated into products and services – NSF launched the SleepTech program to advance innovations in sleep technology. [18] Each year the National Sleep Foundation recognizes innovative sleep products by giving out the SleepTech Awards, the world's first innovation awards targeted specifically at sleep technology.[19] Recent winners are:

  • 2019 - SleepTech Award Winner: The ReST Bed
  • 2019 - SleepTech App Award Winner: Timeshifter - The Jet Lag App
  • 2018 - SleepTech Award Winner: Happiest Baby - SNOO Smart Sleeper


The foundation's programs are funded by corporate and individual contributions, and through its partnerships with corporations and government entities. Its recent revenues are in the $3.5 million range.[20]


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared insufficient sleep a "public health epidemic" in 2014.[21] But, the NSF Sleep in America poll began providing evidence of the size and scope of the American sleep problem in 1991. The 2002 Sleep in America poll (1,010 people surveyed) first suggested that as many as 47 million Americans were risking injury and health problems because they weren't sleeping enough.[22] Media coverage included headlines, "Epidemic of daytime sleepiness linked to increased feelings of anger, stress and pessimism."[22] Again, in NSF’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, it reported that half of adults report frequent sleep problems and 77 percent reported a partner with a sleep problem, with snoring being the most common complaint. [23] Media coverage of 2002 Sleep in America poll suggested a sleep "crisis" and an "epidemic."[23] But these reports led to criticism from Public Citizen's Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe who theorized that "Although they're not saying you should be on a sleeping pill, they're saying go to the doctor and that doctor will sell you a sleeping pill in a large proportion of instances."[23] At that time, Dr. Wolfe also went on to criticize American doctors for "selling" sleeping pills, "even if it's not what (the patient) really need(s)."[23]

A 2016 NSF public education program highlighting "personal stories about sleep for four individuals"[24] received grant support from Merck.[25]

Some merchants and products have claimed to be "endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation" or have implied such endorsement in their literature. My Pillow made such claims in its very-frequently-run television ads. In 2016, My Pillow agreed to stop claiming an NSF endorsement and paid a fine. [26]


  1. ^ a b "About Us | National Sleep Foundation". July 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "About Us | National Sleep Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  3. ^ "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? - National Sleep Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  4. ^ Hirshkowitz, Max; Whiton, Kaitlyn; Albert, Steven M.; Alessi, Cathy; Bruni, Oliviero; DonCarlos, Lydia; Hazen, Nancy; Herman, John; Katz, Eliot S.; Kheirandish-Gozal, Leila; Neubauer, David N. (2015-03-01). "National Sleep Foundation's sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary". Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation. 1 (1): 40–43. doi:10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010. ISSN 2352-7218. PMID 29073412.
  5. ^ "Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  6. ^ "Home Page: Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation". Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  7. ^ "2016 Award Winners". PROSE Awards. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  8. ^ "Scopus preview - Scopus - Sleep Health". Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  9. ^ "CTA - CTA and NSF Announce New Standard to Measure Sleep Cycles". CTA. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  10. ^ "CTA - New CTA Standards for IoT Advance Functionality of Tech Monitoring of Consumer Health". CTA. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  11. ^ a b "National Sleep Foundation | ACCME". Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  12. ^ "Achieve Commendation | ACCME". Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  13. ^ "National Sleep Foundation |". 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  14. ^ "Sleep Disorders eBook". 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  15. ^ "National Sleep Foundation public polling and index archive". National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  16. ^ McGuinness, Christine. "Home". Drowsy Driving - Stay Alert, Arrive Alive. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  17. ^ "Winners". Communicator Awards. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  18. ^ "SleepTech Network | National Sleep Foundation". 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  19. ^ "News & Events | National Sleep Foundation". 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  20. ^ "National Sleep Foundation". Nonprofit Explorer. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  21. ^ Liu, Yong (2016). "Prevalence of Healthy Sleep Duration among Adults — United States, 2014". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 65. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6506a1. ISSN 0149-2195.
  22. ^ a b Duff, Wilson A (29 June 2005). "Many new drugs have strong dose of media hype". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d Holguin, Jaime (29 March 2005). "Sleep Study A Pipe Dream?". CBS News. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  24. ^ "The National Sleep Foundation and Merck Urge Insomnia Sufferers to Prioritize Sleep and Move Beyond Tired". National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  25. ^ Cohn, Jonathan (March 31, 2016). "Drugs You Don't Need for Disorders You Don't Have: Inside the Pharmaceutical Industry's Campaign to Put Us All to Sleep". HuffPost.
  26. ^ "My Pillow / Truth in Advertising". website. Truth in Advertising (organization). 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2017-03-19.

External linksEdit