Spring is in the air. This time of year means different things to different people, depending on where you live. For me up here in the north, the last of the snow is melting, lawns are slowly turning green, and crocuses are coming into bloom.
Another thing that announces the coming of spring - our clocks "spring ahead" an hour. For many people, especially those suffering from a sleep disorder, this can cause problems.
The National Sleep Foundation has designated the week from March 3 to March 9, 2008, as National Sleep Awareness Week. During this week, a nationwide campaign strives to make people more aware of the need for getting adequate sleep and the dangers of sleep deprivation.
National Sleep Awareness week coincides with the change to Daylight Saving Time when the clocks "spring ahead" and we all lose a valuable hour of sleep.
Sponsored by National Sleep Foundation, in partnership with hundreds of government and medical groups and hundreds of concerned citizens, National Sleep Awareness Week strives to teach young and old about sleep and how to get more of it.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests you use this week to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of adequate sleep to health and safety.
- Raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of sleep disorders.
- Enhance the visibility of your organization.
- Focus attention on sleep-related issues such as drowsy driving and school start times.
One problematic sleep disorder is insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation polls, nearly 6 out of l0 men and women - 126 million people - experience at least one symptom of insomnia a few nights a week. That's a startling number of sleep deprived citizens.
A second disorder, sleep apnea, is disabling and sometimes deadly. Two leading sleep organizations join forces to get people to focus on this serious sleep disorder, the National Sleep foundation and the American Sleep Apnea Association.
Edward Grandi, ASAA's executive director, says that probably 18 million people suffer from this life threatening disorder. Unfortunately, many are not aware of the problem, or of its dangers. Nor do they know that it is treatable.
I urge medical personnel, communities and private citizens to get involved in National Sleep Awareness week. Tell others about it. If you suspect anyone may be suffering from a sleep disorder, encourage him or her to get help. Let them know that, in almost all cases, treatment is available.
Stress the dangers of sleep deprivation, including falling asleep at the wheel that takes so many lives every year and costs so much in personal and property damage.
Sleep isn't just the concern of doctors or those who suffer from sleep loss. It can affect all of us, families, friends, and communities. Join the campaign and help control the problem.
Published On: March 04, 2008