Raising Our Voices for Sleep Research on Capitol Hill

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, sleep experts and people living with sleep disorders joined together on Capitol Hill to educate policy makers about the importance of sleep research and to help ensure critical funding for sleep research.

The day kicked off with an educational Congressional Briefing co-hosted by the Sleep Research Society and Project Sleep in the Cannon House Office Building. The briefing highlighted emerging breakthroughs in our understanding of sleep’s critical role on everything from disease risks to the U.S. economy and quality of life.

Congressman Bill Pascrell from New Jersey shared his passion for the importance of sleep-related initiatives in his remarks.

“I will continue to fight for sleep research… Listen to your scientists.”

– Congressman Bill Pascrell

Congressman Pascrell accepted the Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his efforts to advance sleep and sleep disorders research and improve public health. Congressman Sam Graves from Missouri was also honored with the Distinguished Public Service Award.

Key speakers also included Dr. Jim Kiley of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Julie Flygare, JD, Founder & President of Project Sleep, Dr. Janet Mullington and Dr. Allan Pack on behalf of the Sleep Research Society.

Watch Julie Flygare’s Congressional Briefing Presentation:


After the briefing, sleep researchers and patient advocates visited their respective legislators’ offices in small groups. There was wonderful synergy between the advocates and researchers.

Senator Elizabeth Warren with researchers.

“Julie Flygare is very much a dream patient advocate. We were lucky to have her and Project Sleep with us on Capitol Hill.”

– Patrick M. Fuller, PhD., Associate Professor of Neurology​, Harvard Medical School

“It was an honor to be on Capitol Hill alongside such rockstar researchers and to learn from them while also advocating for sleep research together. I think we made a great team!”

– Michelle Zagardo, patient advocate

In addition, Project Sleep helped to coordinate a letter-writing campaign, collecting over 100 letters from individuals supporting sleep research in 36 states across the country. These powerful letters were hand-delivered in-person, boosting our ability to reach many more Congressional offices.

“People with sleep disorders deserve to be heard by policy makers, which is why Project Sleep is proud to be elevating the experiences of those living with these conditions in collaboration with the Sleep Research Society. By joining together, we will make sleep a national priority.”

– Julie Flygare, JD, Founder & President, Project Sleep

Thank you to everyone who supported this effort from across the country. Your participation is making an important impact. Get involved by signing up for Project Sleep’s e-newsletter.


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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Thank you all for your hard work on behalf of Narcolepsy and other sleep disorders!

    Great post. I really enjoyed learning more about the advocacy work you did, was honored to have a way to get involved (through the letters), and loved watching Julie’s speech.

    Thanks for this awesome recap of your impactful work!!!


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