On the same steps where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech, over 125 participants gathered last Sunday (March 3, 2013) to share their dream for America to get a good night’s sleep. The third annual National Sleep Walk brought together doctors, organization leaders, patients and sleep supporters from as far away as Buffalo, NYC and Boston.
At 10:30 a.m., I welcomed the crowd and introduced prominent pediatric sleep doctor, Judith Owens, M.D. M.P.H. of Children’s National Medical Center, who offered words of encouragement to the sleep community.
Next, Nia instructor and dear friend, Sue Dambrauskas led us in a fun Nia-style warm-up. It was surreal to look around at the surrounding monuments honoring our nation’s iconic leaders. Sleep was on the big stage and I was loving every second of it!
At 11:00 a.m., we walked in matching t-shirts to the WWII Memorial and back, carrying posters, making new friends and celebrating sleep. A few sleep walkers were decked out in AMAZING sleep wear!
After the walk, we re-grouped at the Lincoln Memorial for refreshments and the Sleep Spirit Awards Contest. Congratulations to Kristin, Peter, Jenna, Shannon and Vilma – who each won a signed copy of my memoir!
Thank you to all those who attended this event, especially my dear friend Gail who has attended 3 years in a row! Thank you to our affiliate organizations and sponsors – American Sleep Apnea Association, Children’s National Medical Center, the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network, Narcolepsy Network, Naturs Design Inc.(manufacturer of RemZzzs), and Wake Up Narcolepsy – for helping to make this a FREE event for all.
Thank you to my boyfriend Alex for his support every step of the way – from carrying heavy boxes to driving down illegal pathways at my insistence that the Park Police “won’t mind”; from responding calmly when the Park Police DID mind (oops!) to tucking me into bed after the walk; from running around taking photos to editing a pro-style video.