Sleep Policy in Progress! Reporting Back from Washington DC

On Monday, Feb. 9, 2020,  Project Sleep and the Sleep Research Society co-hosted an Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill bringing together patient advocates and sleep researchers to urge Congress to support critical sleep research and awareness efforts. The following day, Project Sleep’s President & CEO, Julie Flygare, JD joined sleep researchers to discuss sleep research with key leadership at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Advocating for Sleep on Capitol Hill

On Monday, Feb. 9, patient advocates and sleep researchers conducted dozens of meetings with federal lawmakers in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The sleep community educated lawmakers on the impact of sleep loss and sleep disorders, and advocated for sleep and sleep disorders research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Veterans Administration, and the Department of Defense. Likewise, the sleep community urged Congress to re-invigorate vital public health initiatives focused on sleep at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The patient advocates shared their personal stories of long delays to proper diagnosis and the life-long challenges of living with invisible and under-recognized sleep conditions. These participants came from across the country and represented conditions including sleep apnea, narcolepsy and circadian sleep-wake disorders. In addition, representatives from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) participated.

Our Hill Day Photo Album

Talking Sleep Research at the National Institutes of Health

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Project Sleep’s President & CEO, Julie Flygare, JD, joined SRS representatives for some fantastic meetings at NIH. First, our group met with leadership of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), including NIDA’s Director, Dr. Nora Volkow. Next, the group met with National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) leadership, including NINDS’ Director, Dr. Walter Koroshetz.

Both meetings were incredibly insightful, discussing exciting new sleep research being supported by these Institutes and additional priority areas for spurring even more progress and collaboration in the future. The sleep researchers continued on to conduct additional meetings with other NIH Institutes.

Meanwhile, Flygare returned to Capitol Hill for a very special opportunity to meet her Representative, Congressman Adam Schiff, who has been an incredible champion advancing sleep policy priorities these past three years. Flygare was thrilled to have the opportunity to thank Congressman Schiff for his commitment to the sleep community, share more about Project Sleep’s vision “to make sleep cool,” and of course, snap a photo! Read more about Julie’s experience on her blog here.

Get Involved Now!

These in-person events were just the beginning and YOU play a critical role in our next steps. Take action TODAY in our current urgent advocacy alert (deadline is March 6, 2020).

On Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET, please join us for an important Webinar. You’ll learn about the community’s sleep policy priorities and how to take action. If you can’t join us live on March 3rd, RSVP anyway to get the recording afterward. We will help everyone who RSVPs to get in touch with their members of Congress this March!

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