5 April 2013

The Big Sleep for M.E. is back for 2013!

Following the great success of last year’s event, The Big Sleep for M.E. is back for 2013. And this year with your help, it’s going to be even bigger and better! This fun and inclusive awareness and fundraising event for the UK Centre of Excellence for ME, includes a mass sleepathon that runs throughout ME Awareness Week 6 – May, as well as an opportunity to hold your own ‘sleep inspired’ event, such as PJ parties, PJ Pride Days and Sleepwalks, Sleep-cycles and more, so that even more people can get involved.

The ‘Sleepathon’ is extremely easy and flexible to take part in and means that anyone, even those with severe ME, can do their bit. All you need to do is lie back, make yourself comfortable, and, if you really want to, sleep! Do it at home or anywhere that takes your fancy, either on your own or as a group. And if you feel like it, dress up for the occasion. If fundraising, just get people to sponsor you, and for awareness, just let others know you’re taking part. The same applies if you are holding your own ‘sleep inspired’ event.

Whilst the Sleepathon takes part during ME Awareness week this doesn’t mean you can’t have your own sleepathon or ‘sleep inspired’ event at other times of the year. We need to keep up the pace if we’re going to beat ME!

The Big Sleep for ME has expanded massively since last year, and to get in the party mood it will be running a number of competitions and special events, including ones for children. There’s even a special Kids’ Den webpage for children with activities and competitions. It’s a fun way for them to get involved and keep them busy.

The event now also has its own online shop where you can buy Big Sleep merchandise such as sleepwear, tops and, the very popular Big Sleep Bear, that comes complete with his very own nightcap. For those on a budget, there are free stickers and transfer downloads.

The Big Sleep for ME was set up to fill the need for a completely inclusive ME event that anyone, including those with severe ME, could take part in. Given the limitations severe ME imposes, a great deal of thought went into what kind of event could take place. In the end, the solution was so obvious. Since, many with ME have to spend a lot of time lying down either on a sofa or in bed and some sufferers are completely bedbound, why not turn this into something positive and have a mass sleepathon. The Big Sleep for ME was born! Whilst the event now encompasses all manner of ‘sleep inspired’ events and is about having fun, it also has a serious side which is to not only raise much needed awareness and fundraising for the Centre, but also to increase awareness of ME generally.

There are so many ways to get involved and the fantastic thing about The Big Sleep for ME is that everyone, from sufferers to healthy supporters, can unite together to do something positive for ME.

If you want to find out more, the event’s website is a good place to start. The event also has its own Facebook page and is on Twitter, you can also email them. If you fancy taking part, the team has set up a group JustGiving page which you can join to make it even easier for you, and there are extensive online tools and information to help as well. You need to register to take part, but as thank you, you’ll be entered into a Free Prize Draw. The team have introduced this to keep track of everyone and plan for future years.

If you can’t take part, but would like to support the event you can always sponsor someone you know, or make a donation to The Big Sleep for ME fundraising group via its JustGiving page or by texting BSME99 to 70070 with the amount you would like to give (for example BSME99 £5 to 70070).

With special thanks to Julia Cottam from our ‘Let’s do it for ME’ team for thinking this up, and for all the hard work she’s put into developing and launching this inclusive and positive venture, as well as to everyone taking part.

We can all make a difference to ME!