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Raising Awareness

Raising Awareness

Each and every day provides unique opportunities to spread awareness of sleep and sleep disorders, a challenge that many of our member-volunteers zealously accept. Whether one has spent a week or many years struggling with an undiagnosed sleep disorder, they can help spread the word about sleep and sleep disorders ranging from quality of life issues to safety and health risks.

Raising awareness usually begins in small but important ways. Mention your diagnosis in conversations with the people you encounter day to day. Each person you educate has the potential to spread the message to all the people they know.

While knowledge and awareness among medical professionals have increased in recent years, there’s still a long way to go. Surprisingly, many people don’t discuss sleep with their physicians, and most physicians don’t ask.

It’s important to have a basic understanding of the more common sleep disorders. The National Sleep Foundation and Talk About Sleep websites, and others, offer comprehensive information about sleep and sleep disorders.

While Narcolepsy Network primarily serves people with narcolepsy, we encourage our members to approach the topic of sleep as broadly as possible in raising awareness. Many groups seek speakers for their meetings, from Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs to AARP chapters, schools, and social groups. There are also regional meetings of professionals, from neurologists to family practitioners and school nurses that can benefit from increased knowledge of sleep disorders. Or, consider scheduling a talk on Sleep and Sleep Disorders at your local public library or writing an article for your local newspaper.

Our annual conference includes workshops on how to raise awareness in your community.  We hope you can join us!

Want to connect with another member who is more experienced in increasing sleep awareness? Contact us.

School Awareness

Narcolepsy onset typically occurs during the adolescent years. Excessive daytime sleepiness is usually the first symptom to present and will be most pronounced during periods of physical inactivity. Where else but school do you find adolescents and teens inactive for long periods during the day? This makes school the most important place to screen for narcolepsy in order to promote early recognition leading to diagnosis.

Thus was born Narcolepsy Network’s awareness brochure, Narcolepsy in the Classroom. We have sent this brochure to over 8000 school nurses throughout the US but we’ve just scratched the surface. There are over 17,500 school districts in the US, each with multiple schools, and thousands of private schools to reach. You can help by providing a copy of our brochure to school nurses, guidance counselors, and other key administrators at your local schools. We have also prepared a list of Fast Facts for handy reference when discussing this brochure with school personnel.

Click on the links below to save, download and/or print this brochure today!

The Dream Quilt

Sleep activist and NN member Michelle Hemingway combined her creative and artistic talents with a desire to increase sleep awareness by developing a project called The Dream Quilt. Members of the sleep community – professionals and patients alike – designed and donated the squares that make up each quilt. Since that time, we have made two additional quilts from 2016 and 2017. These quilts will be displayed at the SLEEP meeting, medical association conferences, and anywhere else that NN travels, including to member’s communities upon request. If you are interested in contributing to the quilt, email Melissa Patterson.

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