Sleep deprivation basically turns people into drunk, depressed buffoons incapable of accomplishing even the smallest tasks, remembering information or even discerning friend from foe. The CDC has gone so far as to deem insufficient sleep a public health epidemic and, the way things are going, we may soon see PSA’s starring an exhausted Smokey the Bear begging us to get shut eye or a Very Special Episode of Game of Thrones in which a sleep-deprived Arya has a Jesse Spano-style breakdown.
In 2014, the CDC, American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society launched the “Sleep Well, Be Well” campaign, in hopes of improving the poor rest habits of Americans. Now, Public Health England, an arm of the UK’s Department of Health, is releasing a national effort to boost the health of their middle-aged citizens; sleep will be a main target.
The seven-step campaign will urge citizens to stop smoking, drink less, exercise more, and sleep more regularly (according to Sleep Council UK, more than one-third of the population sleeps for less than six hours per night). Officials are taking aim at the middle aged in particular, as they recently deemed the demographic as "highly neglected" when it comes to matters of health.
The campaign will include, among other things, simple instructions for better sleep (turn off electronics, dim the lights, and so on) as well as advice on healthy eating and smoking cessation. Above all, the purpose of the campaign is to let citizens know that they are in charge of their own futures.
"Physical and cognitive decline are not inevitable," the release read. "Only 20-30 per cent of what we think of as 'ageing' is biological; the rest is 'decay' or 'deterioration', which can be actively managed or prevented."
In other words: Only you can prevent poor habits.