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Announcing the formal launch of SleepyHeadCENTRAL!

Today is SleepyHeadCENTRAL’s official opening day! Thank you so much for visiting and for checking out what this sleep health information clearinghouse has to offer!

If you are visiting SleepyHeadCENTRAL, it’s probably because you have a sleep disorder, suspect you might have one, or know someone else who might have a sleep disorder or who has been recently diagnosed.

ABOUT SHC
I hope that I can help you. My name is Tamara Sellman and I’m the curator of this website.

Let me help you with your sleep health!

I have 25+ years experience in research, writing, journalism and publishing; I’m also a practicing registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT), which means I work directly with sleep patients in sleep clinics. In addition, I’m certified in Clinical Sleep Health (CCSH), which means I have been trained to help educate folks on matters of sleep health.

I entered this field after undergoing a sleep study myself and learned, at that time, just how difficult it is for people with sleep problems to educate themselves via the web about the importance of good sleep.

WHY SHC EXISTS
The key mission of SleepyHeadCENTRAL is to provide easy-to-understand, accurate, high-quality updated information about sleep health to you, the ordinary healthcare consumer, so that you can make educated decisions about your own health and well being.

In a perfect world, we would all
ask our doctors about sleep
health. But it’s not a perfect
world now, is it?

Listen… lots of people with sleep problems do not ask their doctors for advice, at first. This may or may not be a good practice, but it is the reality. Many people will go online and ask their friends in social networks about their symptoms first, or they will turn to Google or other general medical sites.

Does this sound like you?

Why don’t any of us just ask our doctors about our sleep problems? Listed below are a handful of many countless reasons why this doesn’t happen:

  • “I don’t have a primary care provider. I have nobody to ask.” 
  • “I have a primary care provider, but I don’t feel adequately cared for by them nor do I trust them.”
    Or, “If I saw my doctor, they would just put me on drugs when all I really want is advice and support.”
    Or, “My doctor would probably just tell me my concerns are imagined.”
    Or, “If I asked about my sleep problems, I would just become lost in the maze of the healthcare system like I’ve been in the past.”
  • “I do not want to deal with the high costs of testing and treatment.”
  • “I’ve heard the tests, labs and devices are scary.” 
  • “I don’t have insurance.”
  • “My problems aren’t related to sleep even if they interrupt my sleep.”
  • “I can educate myself better by looking up the information online.”
  • “I would prefer to learn more about my sleep problems by going online before visiting a doctor so I can feel more empowered and knowledgeable when I actually sit down with them.”
  • “I don’t want to sit at a doctor’s office all day long just to find out what I already know… that I have a sleep problem.”
  • “My life is too full of work and parenting and caregiving for me to make it to a doctor’s appointment, even if I really wanted to go.”
  • “What’s the big deal? I don’t believe sleep is crucial to good overall health and, therefore, I don’t feel the need to see a doctor about my problems.”

If it were up to me, I would send everyone directly to a sleep specialist for their problems. 

However, I’m a realist… I recognize that this isn’t actually the way many, if not most, people pursue their health issues. It’s not always practical or affordable. While I may have a great team of doctors, not everybody is so blessed. I get it. 
So if people are more likely to head to the Internet to learn more about sleep, then why not build a great one-stop location on the web where they can do that? 
That’s the aim at SleepyHeadCENTRAL: to serve as a crossroads where people can visit, time and again, to learn more about sleep health. 

WHAT MAKES SHC DIFFERENT 
As you likely already know, there are some great websites for basic information out there, but there are at least as many (and probably more) sites that offer bad information or mainly exist to sell products and have no interest in actually helping people with their sleep problems. Even the good ones can fall short because they are too complicated to navigate, the information they provide is too clinical for many to comprehend, or these sites are just plain impersonal.

The goal of SleepyHeadCENTRAL is to make it interesting, make it easy, make it personal. You are not the sum of your health problems, you are still a person, an individual with a brain and feelings and attitudes and ideas. That’s the way I’d like to keep things around here. Casual, useful, friendly and service-oriented. A community where people can seek help knowing a real person is on the other end of the line, waiting to serve them.

  • Maybe your aunt has a problem with legs that twitch all night, keeping her awake and making her cranky. 
  • Or you could be worried about your 2-year-old, who snores loudly…. What to do? 
  • Or perhaps you find your spouse roaming the halls in a trance twice weekly… scary…
  • Or what about your brother, who keeps making jokes about falling asleep at the wheel?
  • Or, suppose, you wake up in the middle of the night gasping… what then?
It matters that we care about each others’ sleep habits and problems. Sleep may be a personal and intimate physiological process, but when individuals do not get sufficient quality sleep, the impact of that on the community can be dramatic–even tragic. 
This sign is no joke. It’s posted alongside a
Utah highway to help prevent major accidents.
Poor sleep is a root cause for many public health and safety concerns, including motor vehicle accidents, bad falls, and poor judgment in crisis situations. People lose their jobs or fail in their marriages or have to drop out of school because of untreated sleep problems. And people who are sick with other chronic illnesses, like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension, will not process treatment adequately and to its maximum effect if they have problems sleeping. 
Sleep is the time and space in our lives when we are meant to heal and recharge, after all. 
WHAT SHC OFFERS 
The fact that you’ve read this far down the post means you care about sleep. Hurray! I hope I can serve you in your effort to become more informed. Here are some of the things I’ve set up at SleepyHeadCENTRAL which are already available to you as a visitor. 
  • At the top of the page are tabs that will take you to solid information related to sleep health basics, special population interests, diagnostic and treatment questions, and the many different resources people can turn to for help. I regularly update these and am open to suggestions from site visitors who have recommendations.
  • The blog, updated several days a week, addresses a myriad of common sleep related concerns: insomnia, sleepwalking, apnea, movement disorders, anxiety, jet leg, and more. You’ll also find links to and discussion about sleep health legislation you can participate in, fun spotlights on sleep in culture, quotes from sleep medicine giants, and weekly sleep hygiene tips that just about everybody can act on to improve their sleep habits. Again, I take my cues from visitors: what is it you’d like to learn more about? Contact me and I’ll make sure and build your ideas into the site in a way that helps everyone.
  • In addition, you can find YouTube videos and channels, a feed of recent sleep news articles, links to other excellent online resources. While I cannot address specific problems and am not qualified to diagnose anyone, I can certainly point you in the right direction. Again, these resources are regularly updated.
  • SleepyHeadCENTRAL also offers an opt-in monthly newsletter which offers subscribers free sleep product giveaways; the very latest in sleep news; links to monthly sleep health polls; connections to public sleep health opportunities; and access to sleep health awareness campaigns. This is an easy way to engage with me directly!
  • Future opportunities to chat in Google+ hangouts, Twitter, local live gatherings or webinars are on the horizon as well. 

Reaching out creates a ripple effect, yes?

HOW TO CONNECT WITH SHC
Finally, it’s super easy to interact with SleepyHeadCENTRAL. You have many options! You can:

  • Subscribe to the free monthly email newsletter and enjoy member benefits!
  • Follow the SleepyHeadCENTRAL feed in your favorite newsfeed aggregator
  • Have new blog posts automatically sent to you directly in email
  • Comment on blog posts that you can relate to; I love to hear from my visitors!
  • Send in your sleep health questions to be addressed in the Mailbox section
  • Search the entire website for information about your sleep health interests using the search bar
  • Share your favorite posts in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Blogger and/or LinkedIn
  • Connect SHC with your friends by using utilities from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Google+
  • Email helpful information to friends and family
  • Visit SHC any time you like by bookmarking SleepyHeadCENTRAL in your browser

REMEMBER, SHC IS ME!
Maybe you’ve noticed… there is no advertising on this website because SleepyHeadCENTRAL exists to serve healthcare consumers–that means you! Sponsors, volunteers and donors make up the backbone of support needed to keep the site sustainable, but for you, this information is 100% free and in no way aligned with special interests.

It’s just you and me and a whole lotta other people who care about sleep, all under one digital umbrella. How cool is that?

To learn more about the mission and background behind SleepyHeadCENTRAL, click here.

THANK YOU FOR VISITING!
I’m so glad you stopped by! Do come back again. 
And don’t hesitate to contact me! Have questions? Comments? Insights? Feedback? Want to help? I can be reached directly at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. 
Please tell your friends about SleepyHeadCENTRAL; your word of mouth is gold, in my book.
Sleep well, and may all your dreams be sweet!
Tamara Sellman, curator
Curator Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

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