Advocacy Toolkit: Strategies

Our common goal is to advance sleep care and enhance sleep health to improve lives; one of the main ways this can be achieved is through advocacy efforts of individuals. As an advocate, we appreciate your commitment to addressing issues affecting patients with sleep disorders and commend your decision to take part in these advocacy initiatives.

What should I know when starting my advocacy efforts? 

While communicating with legislators, it is important to remember that they are bombarded by individuals and organizations constantly on the countless number of issues affecting the world today. To make an impact on your legislator, remember: 

  • State your relationship: Be sure to clearly state that you are a constituent and live in the legislator’s district  
  • Be personal: Legislators and their staff are more apt to pay attention to a personal letter or phone call than a form letter with no personalization. 
  • Pick your battle: Focus on one or two issues instead of every concern you may have.  
  • Be clear and concise: State your case in a brief and understandable manner; do not use acronyms or jargon. 
  • Be prepared: Do any necessary research to be able to address any questions your legislator may have and address counterarguments to your position. 
  • Be helpful and thankful: Offer assistance for follow-up and thank your legislator for their time and/or support.  

How do I contact my legislator? 


Any opportunity to meet your legislators face-to-face will provide the most impact for you and your cause. When the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate are in session, meetings must be held in the legislator’s Washington D.C. office; when not in session, the legislator may meet with you in their state office. Only schedule meetings with your legislators; do not attempt to speak with elected officials for wh