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Sleep Health Awareness Advocates Encourage Others to Hit the Snooze Button

We all know lack of sleep makes you feel overwhelmed and tired. But what happens when it starts to impact every aspect of your life? Our Jetske Wauran spoke with one Sioux Cityan who's struggling with narcolepsy. He's now joining an international movement to raise awareness.For the last thirty years, Brian Swaine has suffered from uncontrollable sleep attacks. Some days are easier, but other days can be difficult for him.Now, Brian says he hopes his story will shed light for others to understand the importance of making peace with sleep. "You have no control over your sleep cycle." "We as narcoleptics go into the REM sleep really quickly," said Swaine. For the last 30 years, Brian Swaine has been suffering from narcolepsy. A neurological disorder that disrupts the body's sleeping pattern. But it's more than just losing a few hours of sleep. "It's lost time from your life as well. That's what hurts me the most because I've had it for such a long time and I've lost so much time through my attacks," said Swaine. The fatigue that a narcoleptic feels is equivalent to the normal person being awake for 48-72 hours. "It's fragmented sleep. We're tired all the time," said Swaine. Brian says it wasn't until he discovered Julie Flygare.The Founder of Project Sleep and a leading narcolepsy spokesperson who was featured on The Doctors Show in May 2014. "I founded Project Sleep as non-profit to raise awareness about sleep health and sleep disorders," said Flygare. In 2007, Flygare was diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy, a sudden feeling of muscle weakness triggered by laughter, fear or anger. "People often think sleep is not important, and that we can abuse sleep," saig Flygare. Over the years, Flygare has made a positive impact across the nation through speaking events at universities. That's why she's launching the Project Sleep Event. "An international invitation for anyone to take the weekend and sleep in, instead of events that require energy and getting out of the house- we want to focus on the bedroom and on sleep," said Flygare. And as for Brian, "Being able to walk is something we take for granted. But a narcoleptic doesn't because we don't know when we're going to have to have an attack and fall down, so we don't even take walking for granted," said Swaine. And if you'd like to participate, go ahead, hit snooze the button. Project Sleep-in takes place this weekend, March 6th through the 8th.

For more information on Project Sleep, please visit: http://project-sleep.com/

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