Merck, maker of Belsomra, and the National Sleep Foundation this week announced the launch of a new educational program that highlights personal stories about sleep for four individuals from across the country. Beyond Tired highlights these individuals’ struggles and triumphs on, as they strive to refocus on their sleep and how it fits into their busy schedules. By sharing their experiences, both the good and the bad, the program aims to motivate other insomnia sufferers to renew efforts to improve their sleep.

“Insomnia can be an isolating and frustrating condition, and a vicious cycle, because sufferers often struggle with the effects of inadequate sleep into the next day,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), in a release. “We hope that, by following these people’s journeys, others struggling with sleep will connect with their experiences and seek help or try new things in their own lives.”

Beyond Tired documented each insomnia sufferer’s daily schedule, including sleep routines and habits, and how each person’s busy life was affected by his or her insomnia. Participants consulted with a sleep expert from the NSF for personalized advice; implemented new sleep tips; and documented their trials, reflections, and outcomes along the way. Some ideas helped them, and, as expected, some approaches didn’t work. Some days and nights were better than others. But all four have a renewed sense of the importance of making their sleep a priority. Their personal stories have been brought to life through short videos, blog posts, and photos on the site.

  • Zac is a husband, father of two, and co-owner of a children’s theater company with his wife Tania. Zac feels his lifestyle contributes to his inability to fall asleep.
  • Jessica is a mother of two 2-year olds and realtor who struggles to stay asleep at night. She often wakes up in the middle of the night and has difficulty getting back to sleep.
  • Julie has struggled with insomnia for more than 20 years and her lifestyle, working as both a teacher and small business owner, has made it challenging for her to focus on sleep.
  • Jana is a mother of four (including twin girls) and a savvy social media user who runs her own blog and graphic design business. Jana struggles to both fall asleep and stay asleep.

“Merck is excited to collaborate with the National Sleep Foundation on Beyond Tired, as part of our ongoing commitment to sharing resources and tools to help patients manage their insomnia,” says Eric Luthi, executive director and global brand leader, Insomnia marketing, Merck Global Human Health. “Each Beyond Tired story reinforces the need for open and constructive discussions about creating an individualized approach that must be prioritized and tailored over time.”