The American Sleep Association (ASA) has announced that it will be offering free membership to all individuals who register online. In an attempt to increase awareness about sleep disorders and sleep health in the nation, the ASA has decided to offer all services at no charge to the general public.

The American Sleep Association was formed in 2002 by sleep physicians and scientists who recognized that the majority of individuals with potentially deadly sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea, were undiagnosed and untreated. Over the past five years, the ASA has grown to a membership base of over 2000 members and 350 sleep laboratories.

In 2007, the ASA launched The web site offers a comprehensive repository of information about sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, and parasomnias. Members are able to share information in the live chat rooms and forum boards. A monthly ‘Ask the Sleep Doctor’ session allows the general public to ask candid question to a board-certified sleep physician. Online support groups for sleep apnea and insomnia are available to patients who don’t have access to local support groups. All services have been made free to members in order to promote sleep education and sleep disorder awareness.

This month, the ASA launched a sleep abstract search tool that includes over 20,000 abstracts in sleep medicine and research. The ASA has also announced plans for the following national events: Sleep Apnea Awareness Week, Insomnia Awareness Week, Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Awareness Week, Narcolepsy Awareness Week, Sleep Driving Awareness Day, and Sleep Disorder Awareness Week. Dates for these events can be found at the ASA web site.