National Sleep Foundation Sponsoring Mom 2.0 Summit

Natalie DautovichThe National Sleep Foundation is “taking its show on the road” and furthering its mission to educate the public about the importance of a good night’s sleep by sponsoring the seventh annual “Mom 2.0 Summit,” scheduled for May 1-3, 2014 in Atlanta, GA.

National Sleep Foundation spokeswoman Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D. will present revolutionary research findings about the science of sleep and discuss the critical role sleep plays in health and wellness at the Mom 2.0 Summit, a sold-out professional conference bringing together more than 550 leading bloggers, women entrepreneurs, and marketers representing the parenting, entertainment, food, politics, technology, social change, business, travel, design and related categories.

“New findings in sleep science underscore the fact that sleep is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle and plays a critical role in our brain health,” points out Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundation’s Environmental Scholar. “New research published this fall in the journal Science suggests that sleep may serve a vital ‘housekeeping’ role, giving the brain a daily ‘tune-up’ that flushes away the day’s waste during the night so you wake up refreshed.

“Recent research highlights the amazing benefits of sleep for our health,” Dautovich adds. “The past year has seen exciting advances in sleep science, with dramatic new studies giving us an even greater understanding of both the function and benefits of sleep.”

Dautovich will discuss a number of highlights from recent sleep research during the summit, including new findings that help to explain why humans devote roughly one-third of their lives to sleep. “For the first time, researchers at the University of Rochester have been able to demonstrate direct, experimental evidence of sleep’s most basic purpose, to ‘clean’ the brain of harmful toxins and restore proper cognitive functioning,” she explains. “The researchers centered on the role of microscopic, fluid-filled channels that clear toxins from the brain. The system, dubbed the ‘glymphatic system,’ works in a manner similar to the body’s lymphatic system, by removing waste-laden cerebrospinal fluid from the brain.”

A second area of research that Dautovich will address at the summit is the link between sleep and obesity. “Recent research highlights the amazing benefits of sleep to our health,” Dautovich points out. “Poor sleep continues to be tied to numerous negative mental and physical health outcomes, and evidence supports a link between sleep loss and obesity but until now, the mechanisms underlying the association have not been clear. A recent study suggests that a lack of proper sleep affects our ability to make healthy food choices. The results point to brain mechanisms by which insufficient sleep may lead to the development and maintenance of obesity.

“A third new area of research points to the value of sleep in maintaining our relationships, with insufficient sleep linked to decreased ability to resolve conflicts and accurately assess a partner’s emotions,” Dautovich continues. “Researchers found that a poor night’s sleep was associated with more relationship conflicts the following day.”

Recent findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2014 Sleep In America Poll highlight the importance of routine and prioritizing sleep for the modern family, according to Dautovich. “The 2014 Sleep In America Poll showed that there is a need to prioritize sleep in modern families and empower parents to promote sleep health in their homes,” she relates. “A recent study demonstrated that seven-year-old children with more regular bedtimes performed better on cognitive tests. Furthermore, changing from non-regular to regular bedtimes was associated with decreased behavioral problems.”

Dautovich also will address the role of the bedroom environment in achieving deep, sound and restful sleep. “The recent advances in the science of sleep concerning brain functioning, body health, relationships and cognitive behavioral functioning in children underscore the value of creating a bedroom environment that promotes good sleep,” she comments. “The immediate bedroom environment has the most direct impact on our sleep, by affecting our ability to relax our minds and bodies.”

The National Sleep Foundation and its Official Licensed Products program are helping people create bedrooms that contain all of the essential elements for a restorative night’s sleep. “Comfortable bedroom furnishings can be the foundation for a good night’s sleep,” Dautovich says. “Bedroom comfort is based in part on the quality of bedding, such as mattresses, bed pillows and mattress toppers. Comfortable beds ease the transition into sleep. The overall ambiance of the bedroom is important for cueing calmness and relaxation: pillow and mattress protectors can play a powerful role in creating a healthy sleep environment by protecting against allergens and irritants that could disrupt sleep.” Other important environmental factors that play a role in promoting sleep include light and the level of internal and external noise.

The Mom 2.0 Summit helps advance the NSF’s objectives to educate consumers about the importance of sleep and how to create a bedroom environment that is conducive to a better night’s sleep. “The National Sleep Foundation and its Official Licensed Products program are working to bring Americans useful sleep health information and the best sleep products on the market,” NSF chief executive officer David M. Cloud explains. “As part of our continuing effort to spread our message that creating the perfect bedroom environment can help families sleep better, the National Sleep Foundation is pleased to be hosting a suite at the Mom 2.0 Summit, the premier event for established ‘mommy bloggers’ and social media influencers. We will offer a number of talks by sleep health experts; and representatives from our Official Licensed Product Partners—including Serta, Marpac and Pure Care—will be in the suite to mingle, network and discuss bedroom products with the attending bloggers.”

Participation in the Mom 2.0 Summit is the latest in a series of educational activities undertaken by the National Sleep Foundation in its ongoing efforts to educate the public about the health benefits of sleep. Last year, the NSF sponsored BlissDom ’13, a conference for women bloggers, public relations and social media professionals held in Dallas. Participants registered overwhelmingly positive reactions to the National Sleep Foundation’s BlissDom suite, which included various informational presentations as well as an ongoing “slumber party.”

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About The National Sleep Foundation: The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, health professionals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities.