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Introduction


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Introduction


In our culture, sleep is not respected very much at all. As a matter of fact, we are often programmed with the idea that to be successful we need to work, sleep less, and we can catch up on all the sleep we want when we’re dead. To say sleep is not respected is really an understatement.
— Shawn Stevenson, Sleep Smarter

Sleep is one of the most overlooked parts of our lives, yet is one of the most common characteristics that we all value tremendously.  Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced sleep deprivation as a public health epidemic.  It is estimated that between 50 and 70 million Americans are sleep deprived. Sleep affects us more than we think it does and almost a quarter of Americans are suffering from the lack of knowledge about sleep.  The topic of sleep has always been reported as a mystery... Why does no one talk about sleep?  Why is everything such a secret in the snoozing world?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why I’m making a website on sleep.  No, I do not have a sleeping problem, nor am I a science major interested in studying sleep post-undergrad.  I am by no means a doctor or a sleep specialist.  I originally became interested in this topic after I came across a very compelling article in Time magazine about a British composer named Max Richter, who orchestrated an album that people fall asleep to.  His concerts run from 12am-8am and his fans don’t dance to the music... They fall asleep to it.  When they wake up, they discuss how they felt before and after sleeping.  Ever since reading that article, I developed a strong interest in the whole concept of sleep and thought it would be a good topic to cover for my 8-month senior capstone project at Saint Michael’s College.

Press Snooze touches upon sleep as a whole, reaching subjects such as: the science of sleep, dreaming, sleep aids, the importance of napping, the relationship between sleep and electronic devices, sleep technologies, and tips on how to combat this constant battle between sleep and always being connected.  My goal is to inform the public on how sleep deprivation can affect every aspect of their lives and to make them understand that putting sleep on the back burner is not the right solution.