NSF Announces New Initiative to Help America Start Sleeping Smart

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Survey Shows America is Not Making the Grade When it Comes to Sleep Smarts

Washington, DC, July 29, 2008 – The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announced today that, together with sanofi-aventis, it is launching a new campaign called Sleeping Smart which will educate the millions of Americans who have sleep problems about the importance of a good night’s sleep, proper sleep habits, help them understand the consequences of insomnia, and the safe and appropriate use of prescription sleep medications. The campaign will also motivate sleep-sufferers to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if treatment is appropriate.

As part of the campaign, results of a new survey of American adults released today showed that while nearly 60 percent of those at increased risk for insomnia* say that their symptoms affect their daily activities at least a few days a week, only about half of those at increased risk for insomnia have actually initiated a conversation with their healthcare professional about their sleep issues.

“More often than not, sleep sufferers are hesitant to talk to their healthcare professional because of lack of information or they don’t think their problem is serious enough,” said Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, NSF board member; associate director, Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology; and professor, Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience. “ Sleeping Smart will address common myths and misperceptions about insomnia, sleep habits and treatment options to educate and motivate sufferers to address their sleep problems.”

America’s Sleep Report Card

According to the survey:

  • More than one-third of Americans are at increased risk for insomnia.*
  • While most respondents can identify the consequences of insomnia (e.g., increased risk of automotive crashes, decreased work performance, depression or mood changes) they don’t have a clear understanding of what insomnia is.
  • Two-thirds of those at increased risk for insomnia don’t consider themselves to have the condition, which may further perpetuate reasons for not seeking help.   
  • Practicing a healthy sleep routine prior to actually getting into bed may help promote a good night’s sleep. However, many people at increased risk for insomnia engage in stimulating activities an hour before getting

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