time and brings together over 750 sleep centers and 100 government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to plan and implement several public awareness and education projects. Activities have included sleep health fairs, lectures, and a public policy and sleep leadership forum. The NSF also conducts the Sleep in America poll, an annual telephone survey that gauges how and when Americans sleep, and created a multimedia educational tool called Cycles of Sleeping and Waking with the Doze Family that illustrates information about sleep and includes a website, print materials, and CD-ROM.
Although the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) are primarily professional societies, they also have contributed to increasing the awareness among researchers, health care providers, and the general public. For example the SRS is a cosponsor of the Trainee Day at annual meeting of Associated Professional Sleep Societies, recently published the Basics of Sleep Research guide, and established the Sleep Research Society Foundation, which annually supports up to six $20,000 grants. The AASM professional initiatives and public education efforts include among others, the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) Compliance Campaign, establishing accreditation programs for sleep technologists and behavioral sleep medicine training programs, and assisting in the development of new clinical practice guidelines. Other private organizations such as the American Sleep Apnea Association, Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, and Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine have also created smaller public education tools such as patient education brochures, support groups, and online videos.
The public education efforts coordinated by the CDC provide additional models that could be used to increase awareness about the health implications of chronic sleep loss and disorders. The CDC has extensive experience in health education and has developed very effective programs in such diverse areas as obesity, colorectal cancer screening, and adolescent health.
The CDC’s public information campaign to encourage physical activity includes a website that covers the importance of physical fitness including the health benefits, how much exercise is needed, how to overcome barriers to exercise, and specific tips for becoming more active. The website includes references to documents and other organizations that are resources for individuals interested in this topic (CDC, 2006).
The CDC also partners with other related government and private entities to make these public health campaigns even more effective. For example, the Screen for Life campaign is a successful multimedia colorectal