Sleep Media Center

Journalists and communications professionals are important allies in Project Sleep’s mission to raise awareness about sleep health, sleep equity, and sleep disorders. Media professionals are well-positioned to cover sleep in the news in ways that resonate with audiences, convey accurate information, and empower individuals to take action to improve their sleep.

Media Reference Guide

Project Sleep’s Sleep Disorders: A Toolkit for Journalists is a new style guide to help media professionals accurately cover sleep health and sleep disorders in the news. The toolkit includes:

  • Statistics and fact sheets
  • Language and image suggestions
  • Example stories
  • Actionable next steps & key talking points

How Journalists Cover Sleep Matters

General sleep health tips are fantastic but it’s important to also educate audiences that if they are prioritizing sleep and still having trouble sleeping at night or staying awake during the day, they could have a sleep disorder and need to consult a doctor specializing in sleep medicine.

Did You Know?

Sleep disorders affect one in five Americans, yet the majority are undiagnosed and without access to treatments and support. Sleep disorders are serious medical conditions.

Responsible Coverage of Sleep Health Includes Sleep Disorders

Millions of Americans with undiagnosed sleep conditions are facing these conditions alone, thinking their challenges are something they should be able to control, a sign of laziness, or a character flaw. Unfortunately, reading sleep health tips alone without mention of sleep disorders leaves these individuals feeling like they are failing, without next steps for diagnosis or treatment. This is why responsible journalism about sleep health must include sleep disorders.

Helpful Information For Journalists

What are Sleep Disorders?

An estimated 70 million Americans chronically live with sleep or circadian-related conditions, yet the majority are without diagnosis or proper treatment and care. Untreated sleep disorders can be linked to an increased risk for accidents, anxiety, memory issues, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and strokes. 

Sleep and circadian-related disorders are often invisible and may be hard to detect. Sleepiness may manifest as issues with behavior, mood regulation, memory, concentration, or sustained attention.

Sleep Disorders Talking Points

Here are some key talking points to consider as you plan coverage about sleep and sleep disorders:

  • Sleep disorders are real and cannot be mitigated by healthy sleep habits.
  • Sleepiness is often hard to see, often manifesting as issues with behavior, mood regulation, memory, concentration, or sustained attention.
  • If you think you or a loved one could have a sleep disorder, it’s important to consult a board-certified sleep specialist.
  • The majority of people living with sleep disorders are undiagnosed and unaware of available treatment options.
  • Treatments are available for many sleep disorders and can improve or resolve symptoms allowing people to regain quality of life.
  • You are not alone living with a sleep disorder! Community, education, support, and resources are available through organizations like Project Sleep.
  • Not all sleep issues are within personal control. Systems-level factors such as school start times, shift work, health care, housing, living wages, and other social and economic barriers create sleep inequities that impact many people’s abilities to access a good night’s sleep, and disproportionately affect people in minoritized communities.

Key Next Steps for Audiences

Here are actionable next steps for your audience to take if they think they or a loved one could have a sleep disorder. Because many primary care clinicians are unfamiliar with sleep disorders, we recommend individuals connect with the Sleep Helpline, take the Sleep Disorders Screener and consult a board-certified sleep medicine physician.

  1. Connect with the Sleep Helpline™
    Project Sleep’s Sleep Helpline is a free national helpline providing individualized support to people facing sleep issues and sleep disorders. Whether uncertain about a potential sleep problem, diagnosed with a sleep disorder, or acting as a caregiver or healthcare provider, Resource Specialists offer trusted information and connections to certified sleep centers and support organizations. Contact the Sleep Helpline.
  2. Take the Online Sleep Disorders Screener
    Sleep Disorders Symptom Checklist-25 (SDSCL-25) is an important new self-assessment tool to help individuals identify signs and symptoms of 13 major sleep disorders. This is a decision support tool and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but can be a helpful resource to people searching for answers around their sleep. The online survey takes 3-5 minutes to complete and can be found at:
  3. Consult a Board-Certified Sleep Specialist
    While most people’s journey to a sleep disorder diagnosis will likely begin with their primary care doctor, it’s important to consult with a board-certified sleep specialist. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine, health care, education, and research. The AASM recognizes accredited doctors and sleep centers. For more information visit:

News topics with sleep disorder tie-ins:

  • Fatigue v. sleepiness
  • Burnout, work productivity, gig culture, shift work
  • Ignored and overlooked women’s health issues
  • Mental health concerns
  • Health equity and health disparities
  • Invisible illnesses, hidden disabilities
  • Stimulant shortage, insurance coverage for medications and access issues

Annual Sleep Awareness Days Calendar

Sleep is important every day, but here are some official days to highlight sleep and sleep disorders. Dates may vary year-to-year, these are estimated dates.

  • Festival of Sleep Day – January 3, 2024
  • Rare Disease Day – February 28, 2024
  • National Sleep Awareness Month – March 2024
  • National Sleep Foundation’s National Sleep Awareness Week – March 10 – 16, 2024
  • Suddenly Sleepy Saturday – March 9, 2024
  • National Napping Day – March 11, 2024
  • World Sleep Day – March 15, 2024
  • Sleep Apnea Awareness Day – March 20, 2024
  • Project Sleep’s Sleep In – March 2024
  • World Health Day – April 7, 2024
  • Biological Clock Day – April 28, 2024
  • World Day for Safety and Health at Work – April 28, 2024
  • Mental Health Awareness Month – May 2024
  • Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (Australia) – May 5, 2024
  • Insomnia Awareness Night – June 21, 2024
  • Chronic Disease Day – July 10, 2024
  • Circadian Awareness Day – July 24, 2024
  • Student Sleep Health Week – September 2024
  • World Narcolepsy Day – September 22, 2024
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Awareness Day –  September 23, 2024
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) – October 2024
  • World Mental Health Day – October 10, 2024
  • Non 24 Awareness Day (Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder) – November 24, 2024
  • International Day of People with Disability – December 3, 2024

Check out our Guide for Journalists

Sleep Disorders: A Toolkit for Journalists is a new resource provided by Project Sleep to help media and communications professionals accurately cover sleep health and sleep disorders in the news. This style guide includes:

  • Language suggestions
  • Image suggestions
  • Sleep disorder fact sheets
  • Example patient stories
  • Actionable next steps for your audience

Project Sleep In the News

ABC News Live

Other Resources

We publish many resources each month, including articles, blogs, podcasts and more, covering sleep health, sleep equity, and sleep disorders from various angles including storytelling and expert interviews.

View our latest resources and news here.


If you are a member of the working press and need a video, please reach out to us and we will make every effort to respond as soon as possible.

View our video content here.

How We Can Help

Project Sleep is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about sleep health, sleep equity, and sleep disorders. As a national leader in sleep advocacy and awareness, Project Sleep recognizes the media as one of our greatest allies in educating people about sleep and sleep disorders. We regularly work with journalists and media professionals to tell stories that accurately reflect real-life experiences to resonate with audiences. Project Sleep can provide background information for stories and sources of people living with sleep disorders, sleep researchers, and medical professionals.

If you are a journalist with a media inquiry, please contact Project Sleep’s media team at:

Get Support

Project Sleep’s Sleep Helpline™ is a free national helpline providing personalized support and resources for people facing sleep issues and sleep disorders. Reach out to speak one-to-one with a Resource Specialist, available Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern Time). Leave a message 24/7 and we’ll get back to you on the next business day.

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