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For Immediate Release: September 19, 2002

NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
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For Immediate Release: September 19, 2002

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Launches New and Expanded "Star Sleeper" Web Site

Online resource promotes importance of adequate sleep for children with games for kids, tools for teachers and parents

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) today launched Mission Z, a new and expanded Web site to educate young children - their parents, teachers, and pediatricians - about the importance of adequate nighttime sleep for children. The site, hosted by Garfield, the Campaign "spokescat," features an online mystery for children to solve, along with other games and downloadable features that provide information about the importance of sleep. The site also contains special resources for parents, teachers, and pediatricians to use in helping children get the sleep they need. The Web site is located at http://starsleep.nhlbi.nih.gov.

The site is a part of the NHLBI's "Sleep Well. Do Well. Star Sleeper Campaign," a 5-year educational initiative of the Institute's National Center on Sleep Disorders Research and Paws, Inc., the corporate entity behind Garfield. The Campaign is working to educate young children - and the adults who most influence them - that children need at least nine hours of sleep each night for their health and safety and to do their best in school and other activities.

According to NHLBI Director Claude Lenfant, M.D. "The goal of the Campaign and its Web site is to provide fun and engaging experiences that will help children understand that sleep is important. If they adopt this philosophy when they are young, we will have a better chance of protecting them against drowsy driving crashes and other serious accidents when they become adolescents."

The Mission Z portal, which was designed by Paws, invites 2nd and 3rd graders to join the Garfield Star Sleeper Squad and help rid the earth of an alien force that is preventing everyone from getting any sleep. Visitors to the site can also play other interactive games, download Star Sleeper screensavers, and check out Star Sleeper gear, including a 48-page Fun Pad filled with games and puzzles and a 14-inch Garfield plush doll, complete with bunny rabbit slippers and Star Sleeper "jammies".

The Web site also provides information to help parents and educators understand more about sleep's importance for children and pass this on to their young charges. A portal for educators offers elementary school principals and teachers sleep-oriented lesson activities and other tools to help them incorporate sleep into classroom activities and parent outreach.

Tools for parents include information on why sleep is important and how to help your children get adequate sleep each night on a regular basis - for example, by establishing a relaxing bedtime routine for children that includes a regular bedtime preceded by a warm bath or a bedtime story.

About the Sleep Well. Do Well. Star Sleeper Campaign: In February 2001, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute launched the Sleep Well. Do Well. Star Sleeper Campaign to educate America's children - and their parents, educators and health care providers - about the fact that children ages 7-11 need at least nine hours of sleep each night on a regular basis to do their best at whatever they do. The Campaign is co-sponsored by PAWS, Inc., the corporate entity behind Garfield the Cat. Garfield is the Campaign's official "spokescat." Founding partners also include the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For more information on NHLBI's Sleep Well. Do Well. Star Sleeper Campaign, visit the Campaign's Web site at http://starsleep.nhlbi.nih.gov.


NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Federal Government’s primary agency for biomedical and behavioral research. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NHLBI press release and other materials including information about sleep and sleep disorders are available online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.

For the Media

NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
Ask for press officer on duty

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