Happy Sleep Week!

I’m so excited National Sleep Awareness Week is here (March 4-11th)!  In preparation, I attended two sleep-related events last week on behalf of Wake Up Narcolepsy (WUN).

On Thursday, I represented WUN at the National Sleep Awareness Roundtable (NSART). This was my second year attending this meeting.  NSART is a national coalition of government, professional, voluntary, and other organizations whose mission is:
– To raise awareness about;
– To increase the understanding of; and
– To reduce the public health and safety impact of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders by improving communications and collaboration among local, state, and federal agencies; professional organizations; and the public.

NSART is coordinated by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Membership organizations include prestigious physicians groups, influential government agencies and non-profit organizations (see membership list).

It was truly an honor to be included in the discussion.  We brainstormed various ways to promote sleep awareness. Members were excited to hear about SLEEP WALK 2012 and expressed interest in joining us!NSF Conference:

On Friday and Saturday, I attended the National Sleep Foundation’s Conference, which has two tracks – a Public Health & Safety Track and a Health Care Professional Track.  Both tracks had fascinating sessions, so I switched between the two. There were keynote speakers and a fabulous Annual Awards Dinner!

The Awards Dinner honored researchers including narcolepsy specialist Dr. Michael Thorpy! Congratulations to Dr. Thorpy for his NSF’S Lifetime Achievement Award.

The dinner also featured a wonderful presentation about the sleep and dreams of various animals. Did you know that dolphins sleep with only half their brain at a time while the other half remains conscious enough to breathe and to look out for predators and obstacles?  After about two hours, the dolphin switches sleep sides so the other side of the brain can sleep.  I wonder what it feels like to have half of your brain sleeping… Fascinating!

Dr. Thorpy Awarded NSF’s
Lifetime Achievement Award 2012
Public Health & Safety Track Ballroom
Julie Flygare at NSF Conference
Dolphins’ half sleeping brain waves

In closing, NSF announced it’s Annual Sleep in America poll on March 3rd, 2012. This year’s poll focused on an important subject – the sleep habits and work performance of transportation professionals, including pilots, train operators, truck, bus taxi and limo drivers. Press release here.


  1. manicramblings on March 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Wow we both had busy weekends! So much information! I love the Dolphin story! I can use that next week to share with the kids at the PJ party! Thank you! You are always so inspiring!
    ~ Marcia

    ( I don't think I have ever used so many exclamation points before but I meant very one of them! ^_^ )

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