Speaker to talk on sleeping disorders for Nursing week

As a part of Nursing Week and the Speaker Series of ISU, Teresa Valerio will give a talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Alumni Center.

Her talk, titled, Sweet Dreams — How Can You Improve Your Sleep will consist of three different presentations. Two will be for nurses and other healthcare professionals and one for the community. All three of the presentations will focus on insomnia but with emphasis on different aspects such as how a person can improve their sleep.

“I am utilizing data from studies about the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia for these presentations,” Valerio said.

In 2007, Valerio decided to survey nurse practitioners in Illinois about their knowledge in managing and evaluating insomnia. She found that nurse practitioners want more information on how to treat a patient with insomnia but have limited sleep health education.

“My clinical practice and experiences in presenting information about sleep problems to professionals and community members has found there is a significant need for sleep health education,” Valerio said.

Valerio’s research is partly based on a book called Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice, which she and other contributing authors put together.

“Many of the leading nurses who research sleep problems contributed to this book to help registered nurses and advanced practice nurses recognize and manage sleep problems in their patients.”

Valerio said she has treated ISU students for insomnia and sleep disorders at Student Health Services for the last three years. Part of her research focuses on how college students’ sleep quality affects other factors like academics, stress and emotional health. She is one of the leading researchers in the study of sleep.

“I am interested in insomnia and other sleep problems because I am a Family Nurse Practitioner that has specialized in sleep,” Valerio said.

“I have been diagnosing and treating adults and children with insomnia for over 10 years. “

Valerio was recently awarded the Illinois Board of Higher Education Nurse Educator Fellowship. She has also had work published in scholarly journals focused on sleep.

Valerio was the first board-certified nurse in the behavioral sleep medicine practice and hopes to educate others on the important issue of insomnia.

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