Alerting the public, healthcare providers and policymakers to the life-and-death importance of adequate sleep is central to the mission of NSF. NSF is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Americans who suffer from sleep problems and disorders. This means helping the public better understand the importance of sleep and the benefits of good sleep habits, and recognizing the signs of sleep problems so that they can be properly diagnosed and treated.
NSF programs include:
1. Far-reaching public education and awareness initiatives such as National Sleep Awareness Week® and Drowsy Driving Prevention WeekTM. As an independent, nonprofit, NSF partners with many government agencies and organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Transportation to raise awareness of the importance of sleep and alertness. Ongoing media relations activities generate millions and millions of media impressions each year. NSF also produces educational materials for the general public, such as our award-winning news magazine sleepmatters, our weekly online newsletter the NSF Alert, an assortment of educational brochures, videotapes and more.
2. Government relations and advocacy efforts to address legislative and regulatory issues related to sleep, alertness and safety, such as drowsy driving prevention and later school start times for high school students. . In addition, NSF advocates for federal funding of public health research and educational initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health. Government relations staff works regularly with federal agencies as well as members and staff of key congressional committees to increase public health and safety related to sleep.
3. Support of research through NSF’s Pickwick Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. To date, NSF has awarded more than $2.3 million to young Pickwick Fellows. In addition, our highly respected and often quoted annual survey, the Sleep in America poll, reports how sleep impacts America’s health, lifestyle, safety and productivity. The poll covers specific topics and populations. The 2008 Sleep in America poll addressed sleep, productivity and the work place. Past polls have focused on women, teens, adults, children and the aged to name a few.
4. Outreach to healthcare providers to enhance primary care givers' understanding of sleep-related problems and effective treatments and to provide sleep medicine clinicians with educational tools to help them make positive changes within their communities. Publications targeted toward medical professionals include Sleep Medicine Alert, a newsletter showcasing a variety of topics including obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, and "white papers" on topics such as insomnia and melatonin.
5. The National Sleep Awareness Roundtable (www.NSART.org) is a national coalition of governmental, professional, voluntary, and other organizations whose mission is: 1) to raise awareness about; 2) to increase the understanding of; and 3) to reduce the public health and safety impact of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders by improving communication and collaboration among local, state and federal agencies; professional organizations; and the public.
Through its collective efforts, NSART will work:
- To increase public awareness about sleep, sleep disorders, and the consequences of sleep deprivation;
- To promote science-based public policies;
- To advance basic, clinical, applied, and population-based research; and
- To promote recognition of and access to care for all individuals with sleep disorders.
NSART is a program of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
What You Can Do
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) relies on grants, sponsorships, memberships and other contributions to help us provide comprehensive education and awareness programs. In addition, we actively collaborate with other concerned organizations - sleep centers, support groups for patients with sleep disorders, safety organizations, and many more - to help spread our important messages and improve public health.