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Improved academic performance, fewer car accidents involving young adults (a major cause of death in this age group), better overall moods, and improved health: we could all agree that these are things that we should strive for, but is there a clear answer as to how to obtain them? What if it were simply a matter of encouraging better sleep habits, and heeding the metabolic and physiological demands of adolescents and young adults?

According to Dr. Conrad Iber, this is exactly what it boils down to, which means change is feasible. He explains why that change has yet to see widespread implementation, and what challenges need to be overcome in order for them to happen. The need for change in this respect becomes even more pressing in light of the results of a study out of Fairfax, VA, which showed that adolescents who regularly got fewer than five or six hours of sleep are at a higher risk of suicide.

Dr. Iber also discusses the latest developments in sleep medicine, including the increased use of in-home sleep monitoring devices, the prospect of diagnostic monitoring and neuropharmacological alterations to sleep schedules, prioritizing the sleep health of shift workers, weight gain and its contribution to a variety of diseases, and the general trend toward greater acceptance of the importance of good sleep health. Press play for the full conversation.

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