Good sleep is necessary for good physical and mental health and a good quality of life. Insufficient sleep is a pervasive and prominent problem in the modern 24-h society. A considerable body of evidence suggests that insufficient sleep causes hosts of adverse medical and mental dysfunctions. An extensive literature search was done in all the major databases for “insufficient sleep” and “public health implications” in this review. Globally, insufficient sleep is prevalent across various age groups, considered to be a public health epidemic that is often unrecognized, under-reported, and that has rather high economic costs. This paper addresses a brief overview on insufficient sleep, causes, and consequences, and how it adds to the existing burden of diseases. Insufficient sleep leads to the derailment of body systems, leading to increased incidences of cardiovascular morbidity, increased chances of diabetes mellitus, obesity, derailment of cognitive functions, vehicular accidents, and increased accidents at workplaces. The increased usage of smart phones and electronic devices is worsening the epidemic. Adolescents with insufficient sleep are likely to be overweight and may suffer from depressive symptoms. The paper concludes by emphasizing sleep quality assessments as an important early risk indicator, thereby reducing the incidence of a wide spectrum of morbidities.
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