Press Release – LIVONIA, MI, May 15, 2017—For the majority, when it comes to thinking about health and wellness and making a change for the better, diet and exercise come to mind. However, there is a third component to living a positive and healthy lifestyle, and it plays a bigger role than most people think, it’s sleep!
The National Sleep Foundation, an organization on a mission to improve health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy, hosts an annual, week-long event, Sleep Awareness Week, designed to help the public consider how sleep or lack thereof affects daily life and to reinforce the multitude of benefits reaped from consistent, healthy sleep.
It took place this year from Sunday, April 23rd- Saturday, April 29th and the theme was Sleep Better, Feel Better. Local nonprofit organization, Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc., spent the week hosting and taking part in events that promoted this campaign and making sleep a priority.
“National Sleep Awareness Week brings attention to the fact that proper sleep is vital to our nation and sleeplessness is a real public health concern,” says Nancy Maxwell, Executive Director, Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc. “With the support of our community and sponsors, Sweet Dreamzzz was able to impact over 275 children and their families with our sleep education program. Our sleep education intervention has the potential to change the sleep health of a child and ultimately the trajectory of their education.”
Not only was it National Sleep Awareness Week, but it was also National Volunteer Week. It started with Sweet Dreamzzz™ hosting a sleep kit packing event, where eight volunteers from HAP participated in packing 1,825 sleep kits over the course of two days for upcoming programs. A Sweet Dreamzzz Sleep Kit contains a sleeping bag or blanket, night shirt, toothbrush, toothpaste and reading book and is handed out to elementary-aged children following the completion of a R.E.M. (Rest.Educate.Motivate.) Sleep Education Program.
“As adults we don’t always consider the importance of sleep, but for children it is even more important that they get the time they need to recover, rebuild, and refresh so that they’re ready for the next day,” said Tom Spring, director of wellness for HAP. “HAP is supportive of any group that spurs wellness and well-being initiatives for children and adults, especially a misunderstood wellness piece like sleep.”
Sweet Dreamzzz continued to spread healthy Zzz’s throughout the week by hosting a R.E.M. sleep program at Garfield Elementary School in Livonia. This program served 275 K-4 students and was sponsored by Whole Foods who donated over $10,000 as part of their Community Day Initiative. The Livonia Lions Club also played an integral role in this program by volunteering to pack sleep kits, set-up the program and distribute the sleep kits to the students on program day. Additionally, TWO MEN and A TRUCK of Wixom, delivered the sleeping bags, blankets and sleep kits to the school. Blanketed With Love donated all of the blankets.
“We have too many students coming to school sleepy, not able to focus, and who exhibit poor behaviors. When I heard of Sweet Dreamzzz, I thought it would be a proactive way to address this issue,” said Paula Kohler, Principal, Garfield Elementary. “I hope that our students learned that establishing positive sleep habits is something they can have control over. The message they heard, coupled with the sleep kits they received will allow them some control and responsibility over getting a good night’s sleep.”
Founded in 1998, Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc. is a nonprofit organization committed to improving children’s health, well-being, and academic performance by providing sleep education and bedtime essentials to economically disadvantaged students and their families. Based in Livonia, MI, Sweet Dreamzzz educates children and families about the benefits of healthy sleep and establishing a bedtime routine using innovative programs including its R.E.M. (Rest. Educate. Motivate.) Sleep Program, Parent Sleep Education Workshop, and Early Childhood Sleep Education Program. Since its founding, Sweet Dreamzzz has served more than 55,000 at-risk children and families. For more information, please visit www.SweetDreamzzz.org.