Public Policy Research

It is the goal of the Division of Sleep Medicine to establish a broad and significant public policy-oriented research program focused on the importance of sleepiness and fatigue to issues relevant to public safety.

While there are a number of organizations that focus on influencing public policy on sleep issues, these are almost entirely dependent on outside sources of scientific research data, which is scarce due to an inadequate amount of research being done in this area. No other institution in a position to do so has made a clear effort to address this lack.

The Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine is working to develop an organized and systematic program for research in areas of sleep relevant to public policy, and thus to make a dramatic impact on public safety and awareness. The largest Division of Sleep Medicine faculty research program focused on this area is the Harvard Work Hours, Health and Safety Group. The Division is also pleased to promote the December 2010 report by McKinsey & Company on "The Price of Fatigue: the surprising economic costs of unmanaged sleep apnea" (pdf 328kb).

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