Beyond Tired insomnia campaign kicks off

- With the end of daylight savings time approaching on November 1, everyone will be looking forward to gaining that extra hour of sleep. However, for the nearly 24 million adult Americans living with insomnia, the change will likely be of no help. That's why the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with Merck, is kicking off a new campaign that is highlighting the true stories of four insomnia sufferers from across the country to help inspire and support others dealing with the condition.

Sleep, or the lack thereof, is the topic of this new campaign, called Beyond Tired. One of the insomnia sufferers featured in Beyond Tired is Zac Taylor. Taylor struggles with insomnia daily.

"I was only getting two to three hours a night. and for a father of two, a husband, and, I own a business, that wasn't enough sleep for my daily routine. I found myself hitting a brick wall every day," said Taylor.

Taylor worked with a sleep expert from the NSF to prioritize his sleep and try different tips and techniques to help improve his sleep. Although he has tried things in the past that had not worked, Taylor remained motivated throughout the process and learned some new ways to cope with insomnia.

"I think a first important step for Zac was recognizing that he's not alone. Oftentimes, people who have insomnia, they're lying awake in bed at night, and it can feel like you're the only person in the bed who's awake," said sleep disorder expert, Natalie Dautovich, PhD, who is a National Sleep Foundation Environmental Scholar and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. "But through beyondtired.org, Zac was able to connect with other people who also have difficulties sleeping and he was able to share his story."

Taylor's efforts, along with those of three others, are chronicled via day-in-the-life short videos, blog posts and photos at BeyondTired.org. The website features each person's personal sleep struggles, on-line meetings with sleep specialists, triumphs, challenges and achievements. Taylor hopes sharing his personal story, both the good and the bad that comes with living with insomnia, will inspire others to prioritize their sleep habits.

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