Sleeptember is a year-round campaign and community designed to create fun and engaging online and community events in order to raise awareness of the public health impact of sleep loss, connect the dots with other common health conditions, raise funds for medical research, and change the sleep habits of individuals and society as a whole.

The campaign is encouraging people to “Go Dark” and take a pledge to turn off the lights and electronic devices a bit earlier this month in order to add 15 minutes of sleep each week or seek other ways to improve their sleep health. People who take the Sleeptember Pledge are entered into a sweepstakes to win an Apple Watch. Other contests and challenges will take place during Sleeptember and the rest of the year to encourage people around the world to get involved, improve their health, and contribute their ideas to the campaign and patient-centered research studies.

“We are a community of people with chronic health conditions, non-profit organizations, and other partners working together to raise awareness of how sleep impacts our health, safety, well-being, and productivity while raising funds for patient-centered medical research,” says Will Headapohl, chairman of the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), which sponsors the Sleeptember, in a release.

The Sleeptember community seeks to crowdsource funds to provide support to researchers to confirm connections and find new discoveries to improve outcomes and interventions for the following:

  • Sleep and Cancer: There is growing evidence that how well you sleep may be related to the development of certain cancers as well as help you recover and respond to treatment if already diagnosed.
  • Sleep and Heart Disease: According to large research studies, sleep loss and sleep complaints are associated with heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Sleep and Mental Health: Sleep problems and particular mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder are closely linked.
  • Sleep and Pediatric Health: The sleep patterns of children are very different from adults, therefore deserving special attention and research.

“The majority of people with sleep issues are still undiagnosed and untreated; however, we believe that many are being treated for common associated diseases and conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, afib, obesity, mental health, workplace accidents, and motor vehicle crashes. We know that if you improve sleep, you improve your overall health and can control or better manage some of these conditions and lower your risk,” says Darrel Drobnich, ASAA president.

Sleeptember is dedicated to increasing awareness, breaking down barriers between traditional patient communities, medical specialties, and creating a new cadre of “citizen researchers” through the use of web technology and a robust social media campaign, including a dynamic community discussion forum, powerful social engagement tools and applications, popular social media engagement, and mHealth smartphone research applications to educate and engage people to promote crowdsourcing opportunities for research and engagement.

“We are grateful to have great partners in the areas of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, COPD, arthritis, and pediatric health and invite new partners to join us and help us make the connections between sleep health and other health conditions, performance, and safety issues,” says Drobnich. “All people need support, information, hope, and good sleep to give them the energy to help them face daily health challenges head on and seek better research and answers to the questions they have.”

Supporters can help make a difference by signing up at Once registered, participants become part of the global movement, participate in educational opportunities, join patient-centered research studies, get support, and utilize their personalized fundraising page to get friends, family, and colleagues to donate to their efforts.

Sleeptember is patient-supported with generous additional unrestricted support from ResMed, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.