DARIEN, IL — Submissions are now being accepted for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s 2021 “Sleep is Essential” High School Video Contest. Entrants will compete for a cash prize and raise awareness about the importance of sleep for teens.

High school students can enter the contest by submitting an original video that is 15 to 60 seconds long to help teens understand that sleep is essential. A panel of judges will review videos for originality and quality as well as the appropriateness, relevance, and accuracy of the messages.

“Along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, sleep is one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Getting the sleep that your body needs is essential for your health, well-being, and mood,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar.

Sleep helps you perform your best at school. When you get good sleep, your memory is sharper, and you think more clearly and creatively. Sleep also energizes you for peak performance in sports, making you faster, stronger, and more accurate. Finally, sleep keeps you safe by helping you to avoid motor vehicle accidents caused by drowsy driving.

The AASM recommends that teens between 13 and 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health. However, CDC data show that nearly 75% of U.S. high school students report sleeping fewer than 8 hours on an average school night. These students are experiencing chronic sleep restriction, which can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health, academic and athletic performance, and mood. Chronic sleep loss also can influence teens’ decision-making, putting personal and public safety at risk.

Factors that can prevent teens from getting sufficient sleep include social media usescreen-based media usage at nightlate-night binge-watching, and early school start times.

Applicants should upload their video entry to Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube with the hashtag #EssentialSleep2021, and must submit to the AASM a public link to the video along with a completed entry form by Feb. 16, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. EST. Contest winners also will be asked for an MP4 file of their video.

The 2021 AASM High School Video Contest rules and eligibility information can be found on the AASM website. Teens can complete the contest request entry form to get started.

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals.