A production of WGBH Educational Foundation and the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine.

Healthy Sleep: Understanding the third of our lives we so often take for granted is a Web site that aims to help the general public understand sleep and to get the sleep they need. It is based on the belief that sleep is of equal importance to two other key aspects of health: proper nutrition and regular exercise. Together, these three—nutrition, exercise, and sleep—form the three pillars of health.

However, while nutrition and exercise are widely understood and discussed—few individuals would dispute their important role in health—sleep is often misunderstood and neglected, at a terrible cost on both the individual and societal levels.

This situation is changing. The momentum for a new understanding and appreciation of sleep is growing. In large part, this is a result of the burgeoning scientific field of sleep medicine and the related field of circadian biology. In particular, the last quarter-century of research in this field has revolutionized our understanding of sleep and the body’s internal clock, and even greater insights seem certain to come.

Based on this research, and created in collaboration with experts in the field of sleep medicine, this site aims to illuminate the relevance of sleep, explain the underlying science of sleep, and, most importantly, provide practical information for getting the sleep you need.

A production team of video, multimedia, and editorial staff worked to create the videos, essays, and interactive activities on this site—at the direction of researchers and physicians at the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine (DSM).

The site includes over 60 minutes of video, 20 illustrated essays, three interactive activities, and many additional references, resources, and links. All of the material on this site has been written by professional science writers at WGBH Educational Foundation and the module editor of the DSM, and produced by multimedia producers at WGBH Educational Foundation. The site's content has been reviewed by members of the DSM faculty, as well as by an external editorial board.

The Web site is one of the activities of the DSM’s Sleep and Health Education program. This effort, which aims to improve knowledge about sleep on the individual and societal levels, will encompass future publishing and outreach activities, including additional Web modules on specific topics in sleep.

This site was originally launched on January 2, 2008, revised October 1, 2021 and is maintained by the Division of Sleep Medicine.

To see a complete list of the personnel involved in and responsible for the creation of this site, please visit the credits page.

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