Contact the office of your House Representative and ask them to join an official sign on letter requesting annual support for sleep, circadian, and sleep disorders public health and medical research activities.
Scroll down for instructions on how to take action.
Each year, Congress crafts annual spending bills, including the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations Bill and the Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill. Both of these bills fund federal medical research programs with a strong interest in sleep. Congress needs to encourage further research for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and in the case of the DoD research program, add sleep disorders to a list of conditions that deems them eligible for study.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also been unable to support public health activities dedicated to healthy sleep for some time due to a lack of dedicated resources. For FY 2021 the community is requesting $5 million to support a new CDC Chronic Disease Awareness and Education Program, which can support sleep public awareness, professional education, and surveillance activities in a meaningful way.
The congressional sign on letter for FY 2021 asks the Appropriations Committee to prioritize support and resources for additional research and public health activities focused on sleep disorders. In order for the letter to be effective, Congresswomen and men serving in the House of Representatives need to “sign on,” to support this letter. House Representatives will only join this letter if they are asked to do so by you (their constituent) and the more legislators that join the letter, the more likely it is that sleep-specific recommendations will be included.
Please reach out to the staff member that handles healthcare (the Health Legislative Assistant) in your House Representative’s DC office and ask the congressperson to join the sleep community’s FY 2021 appropriations sign on letter. Be persistent and follow up over the next few weeks. Congressional offices are receiving numerous requests at this time, but they will follow through if you check in with them regularly.
Reach out to sleep community advocacy staff, Dane Christiansen, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (please provide Dane with your name and address at that time so we can identify your House Representative).
Dane will provide you with the contact information for your Congressperson’s Health Legislative Assistant (you may already know this contact if you have participated in advocacy activities in the past).
Please e-mail the Health Legislative Assistant a copy of the sign on letter along with a brief personal message like the one below:
Dear [Staff Member’s Name],
My name is [your name] and I am a constituent from [hometown]. I am also a [title] at [your institution] and an advocate for the sleep and circadian research community. I hope your office will join the attached sign on letter, which supports the community’s appropriations recommendations for FY 2021. To join this letter, please contact Anthony Theissen in the office of Congressman Schiff at Anthony.Theissen@mail.house.gov or x5-4176.
Thank you for your time and for considering this request.
Sincerely, [Name and either home or professional address]