Save the date for the third annual World Narcolepsy Day on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021! Led by 27 patient advocacy organizations across 6 continents, World Narcolepsy Day unites the international narcolepsy community to inspire action, increase public knowledge, and elevate the voices of the 3 million people living with narcolepsy worldwide.

Due to low awareness and inaccurate movie portrayals, the majority of people living with narcolepsy are currently undiagnosed. Without diagnosis and care from a sleep specialist, narcolepsy symptoms can be misinterpreted as laziness or a character flaw, and they can limit education and employment opportunities. Public education is critical, which is why Project Sleep is proud to co-lead this global movement.

Clinicians and researchers are encouraged to raise awareness in your communities this September.

Seven easy ways sleep specialists can take action for World Narcolepsy Day

1. Contact your local media.

Let your local news stations know about World Narcolepsy Day. Share this flyer and offer yourself as an expert resource for any coverage. Consider asking a patient to share their story as part of a news segment, as the media is all about hearing medical experts alongside human “heart” stories.

2. Spread the word to patients.

No one should feel alone with narcolepsy. Help foster connections and community by posting the World Narcolepsy Day flyer in your office and printing out a few copies for patients.

3. Use your platform.

If you have access to contribute content via educational platforms such as podcasts, blogs, or health websites, World Narcolepsy Day is a great opportunity to share your professional expertise. For example, last year, Dr. Brandon Peters published this great article.

4. Invite a trained speaker.

Personal stories are invaluable education tools. Contact Project Sleep to connect with a trained Rising Voices of Narcolepsy speaker who can share their compelling first-person presentation for your office or group via a virtual or in-person brown-bag lunch event.

5. Say cheese.

Show the narcolepsy community that you support them by wearing your white coat while taking a photo or making an animated GIF via the new Virtual Photo Booth, which will be open Sept. 1 through Sept. 23rd.

6. Get your gear.

This year’s t-shirts are out of this world! Order 2021 World Narcolepsy Day t-shirts for you and your colleagues or family. This is a fundraiser supporting Project Sleep, so your support is greatly appreciated!

7. Get social.

Leading up to World Narcolepsy Day, use Project Sleep’s infographics and ask simple trivia questions about narcolepsy to your social media followers. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WorldNarcolepsyDay and tag @project_sleep when educating your social networks.

Project Sleep, one of the 27 co-leading organizations, will host online activities and events throughout September including the virtual photo booth, international story-sharing sessions and a media training. To learn more about Project Sleep’s World Narcolepsy Day events and resources, visit the World Narcolepsy Day webpage.

Thank you to all our sleep specialists and clinical staff for joining us in raising awareness on World Narcolepsy Day and for all you do for people with narcolepsy and their families every day!

Julie Flygare, JD, is president and CEO of Project Sleep, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about sleep health and sleep disorders.