An important part of one’s daily routine, sleep is vital for physical and mental health. Good quality sleep is important to maintain critical body functions, restore energy, and allow the brain to process new information. Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of serious health conditions like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression. In order to promote healthy sleep patterns and routines among people, “National Sleep Awareness Week” is observed from March 14-20, 2021 in the United States. Sponsored by the National Sleep foundation, the week-long campaign is a perfect platform to draw public attention to different sleep-related issues, its types, causes, and its role to increase the overall health and well-being of people. Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect the ability to sleep on a regular basis. Generally caused by a wide range of physical and psychological factors, these conditions can prevent a person from getting restful sleep. A comprehensive evaluation by a sleep disorder specialist can help identify the correct causes and suggest treatment modalities for these disorders. Billing and coding for sleep disorders is a challenging task. Outsourcing these tasks to a reliable medical billing company can help providers stay current on the changing medical codes and billing rules, and ensure proper payment for the services rendered.

Reports from the American Sleep Association (ASA, 2019 statistics) suggest that about 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder. Millions of people don’t get enough sleep as they suffer from different types of sleep disorders that are damaging to their health. Sleep disorders fall into different categories like problems with falling asleep or staying asleep, problems with staying awake, problems with sticking to a regular sleep schedule, or sleep disruptive behaviors. The 2021 week-long campaign aims to shed light on this aspect and encourage people to make a conscious effort to improve their sleep habits and ultimately improve their health.

People get the opportunity to learn why sleep is important, how good sleep can improve health, and whether or not their sleeping habits may be a problem that needs to be checked on. The activities would prompt the public to reflect on their personal sleep habits and make a conscious choice to prioritize sleep in their lives. Common symptoms associated with sleep disorders are excessive daytime sleepiness, and having trouble falling asleep at night. In certain other cases, people may fall asleep at inappropriate times such as while driving. Other related symptoms include – irregular breathing, irregular sleeping patterns and wake cycle, and unusual or bothersome movements or experiences during sleep.

As per ASA recommendations, the ideal time of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours, while for a teenager it is 8 to 10 hours and for a child aged 6-12 years, it is 9 to 12 hours. At the same time, a child between 3 and 5 years of age should sleep 10 – 13 hours, while kids of 1-2 years should sleep 11 – 14 hours. Infants 4 -12 months old should sleep for 12 – 16 hours. Sleep specialists and other physicians may recommend a sleep study test called “Polysomnography” to diagnose different types of sleep disorders.

Medical billing and coding for sleep medicine is quite challenging, as there are several rules related to reporting the procedures accurately. Sleep specialists who diagnose and treat different types of sleep disorders need to document the same using the correct medical codes. Medical billing services offered by reputable providers can help in accurate and timely claim submission for appropriate reimbursement. ICD-10 diagnostic codes for sleep disorders include –

  • G47.0 – Insomnia
  • G47.1 – Hypersomnia
  • G47.2 – Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • G47.3 – Sleep apnea
  • G47.41 – Narcolepsy
  • G47.42 – Narcolepsy in conditions classified elsewhere
  • G25.81 – Restless legs syndrome

National Sleep Awareness Week coincides with the “World Sleep Day” held on the 19th of March every year – which both aims to raise awareness about sleep and its relative importance on an individual’s overall health. The 2021 campaign theme is – “Regular Sleep, Healthy future”. This theme advocates and highlights the need of regular sleep to improve overall health.

According to nsf.org, the campaign commences with the beginning of “Daylight Saving Time” – when most Americans lose an hour of sleep. The change to daylight saving time reminds people to incorporate beneficial changes in their sleep routines in order to improve overall sleep health.
Over the span of two decades, the scope of the campaign widened with NSF providing valuable information to promote the benefits of optimal sleep and how it affects an individual’s overall health, well-being, and safety. Every year, NSF also releases its annual Sleep in America® Poll results on the public’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors about a sleep-related topic along with expert guidance and shareable tools and tips that can help people improve their sleep health.

People can actively participate in Sleep Awareness Week® and spread awareness on social media platforms by using the hashtags – #CelebrateSleep, #SleepAwarenessWeek and #CelebrateYourSleepHealth and tag NSF in their posts. They can post stories of sleep statistics; and share posts about the importance of sleep to spread awareness about good sleeping habits. People can challenge or encourage their friends and family to see if they need an assessment of their sleeping habits.