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Video: NSF Enlists Renowned Women's Health Expert to 'School' America on Sleeping Smart
Date:5/19/2009

Dr. Donnica Moore Translates Sleep Facts from Fiction

WASHINGTON, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Sleep Foundation announced today that, together with sanofi-aventis U.S., it has joined forces with renowned women's health expert Dr. Donnica Moore to debunk common myths and misperceptions about sleep. The partnership is part of an ongoing initiative, Sleeping Smart, which helps educate Americans about the importance of a good night's sleep. Additionally, the campaign motivates sufferers to talk to a healthcare professional to determine whether treatment is appropriate and to learn about the safe and appropriate use of prescription sleep medications.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/sleepingsmart/36362/

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090519/NY19145 )

"Considering the current economic environment, many Americans are having trouble falling or staying asleep. People may think that their sleep problems aren't severe enough to talk to a healthcare professional," said Donnica Moore, MD, president, Sapphire Women's Health Group and women's health expert. "Yet, anyone who has been experiencing symptoms of insomnia for more than a month, or who finds that sleep problems are interfering with their daily life, should speak with a healthcare professional, especially before self-medicating."

As part of the Sleeping Smart campaign, Dr. Donnica debunks common sleep myths through a series of online videos available on the campaign Web site: www.sleepingsmart.org. The short videos incorporate KlickableTV(TM) technology to create an interactive user experience. Sleep sufferers can click through the videos to reveal additional tips and information to help them sleep smart. In one video, Dr. Donnica encourages visitors to click around a bedroom to pinpoint common items that can hinder sleep. Additionally, the site provides facts about insomnia, additional tips for getting a good night's sleep and a discussion guide to help facilitate a conversation with a healthcare professional.

"Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise to our overall health and well-being," said David Cloud, CEO of The National Sleep Foundation. "Unfortunately, only 42 percent of Americans agree that sleep is the most important (25%) or at least equally important to diet and exercise (17%). Since there are so many misperceptions about sleep, our goal with this campaign is to set the record straight while educating people about the importance of a good night's sleep and motivate them to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if treatment is appropriate."

    Setting the Record Straight:

    Myth                      Fact

    Sleep is not important.   Sleep is vital to our health and
     People can get by on a    well-being, and is just as important
     few hours.                as diet and exercise. Although
                               individual needs may vary, adults
                               typically need between 7 to 9 hours
                               of sleep per night.

    Men and women are         Insomnia is nearly twice as common in
     affected the same way     women than in men, and women are more
     by insomnia.              likely than men to report insomnia to
                               their healthcare professional.

    Insomnia is not a         Insomnia can be a serious medical
     serious medical           condition characterized by difficulty
     condition and has no      falling asleep, difficulty staying
     consequences.             asleep (waking up often during the
                               night and having trouble going back
                               to sleep), waking up too early in the
                               morning, or feeling tired upon
                               waking. Some potential consequences
                               of insomnia are decreased work
                               performance, depression or mood
                               changes and increased risk of
                               automotive crashes.

    If I can't sleep, I can   OTCs may be appropriate, but it's
     pick up something at      smart to discuss any treatment
     the pharmacy. I don't     options with your healthcare
     need to see a healthcare  professional before you
     professional. After       self-medicate.
     all, over-the-counter
     (OTC) medications are
     safer than prescription
     sleep aids.

    Prescription sleep aids   When taken as prescribed by a
     are not safe and may be   healthcare professional, sleep aids
     addictive or cause        can safely and effectively treat
     dependency.               insomnia. There is a lower risk for
                               dependency and tolerance with the
                               newer prescription sleep aids
                               compared to traditional
                               benzodiazopines.

    I can have alcohol or     Sleep medications should not be used
     wine with my sleep aid    with alcohol or other drugs. Sleep
     - it will help me get     aids should also not be taken before
     to sleep faster.          driving or operating machinery, or
                               before taking a bath or shower, among
                               other things.

As with all medications, it is important to take sleep aids only as directed by a healthcare professional. This means following his or her instructions about how to take, when to take and how long to take sleep medicine. Sleep aids should not be taken with alcohol, before driving or operating machinery, or before taking a bath or shower, among other things. Be sure you're able to devote 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again.

Tips for Sleeping Smart

  • Establish a regular bed and wake time
  • Avoid nicotine altogether and avoid caffeine close to bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise regularly (but complete the workout at least 3 hours before bedtime)
  • Establish a regular relaxing "wind-down" bedtime routine
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
  • Discuss the appropriate way to take any sleep aid with a healthcare professional

Are you sleeping smart? For more information and to view the interactive videos visit www.sleepingsmart.org.

About Insomnia

Insomnia can be a serious medical condition characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep (waking up often during the night and/or having trouble going back to sleep), waking up too early in the morning and feeling tired upon waking.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), approximately 30 million Americans are affected by chronic insomnia. Higher prevalence rates for insomnia are found in clinical practices, women, especially postmenopausal women, and the elderly.

Patients with chronic insomnia report higher rates of absenteeism and demonstrate poor work efficiency compared to normal sleepers. Insomnia can lead to stress and reduced productivity, and thus may be costly to the workplace.

About Donnica Moore, MD

Donnica Moore, MD, is a highly regarded women's health expert and advocate: as a physician educator and as a media commentator. Dr. Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of the comprehensive, highly illustrated book Women's Health for Life (DK, 2009).

About NSF

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving greater understanding of sleep and sleep disorders. NSF furthers its mission through sleep-related education, research and advocacy initiatives. NSF's membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine as well as other professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients and more than 1,000 sleep clinics and healthcare facilities throughout North America that join the Foundation's Sleep Care Center program. For more information, visit, www.sleepfoundation.org.

    Press Contact:
    Lindsey Karp
    (212) 445-8393
    lkarp@webershandwick.com


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SOURCE National Sleep Foundation; sanofi-aventis US
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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