National Bed Federation (NBF) executive director Jessica Alexander is to join a newly formed advisory board taking The Sleep Council into a new era. She joins a panel of experts who aim to shape the future of sleep support nationally.

Established in 1995 as a not-for-profit organisation, The Sleep Council served as the consumer-facing arm of the NBF for 25 years, before merging with The Sleep Charity earlier this year. The two organisations had been working increasingly closely together to raise the importance of sleep on the public health agenda, launching a joint sleep manifesto at Westminster in March.

Says Jessica: “This represents a significant step forward for The Sleep Council which, is ‘grown up and leaving home’ to merge with The Sleep Charity.

“The importance of sleep and quality sleep in particular is much better understood and appreciated than it was 25 years ago, and the two organisations, combined, will be able to achieve the goal of improving the nation’s sleep much better working together. I’m immensely proud to have been asked to be a member of the new advisory body and to be able to fly the flag for the importance of beds to achieving optimum sleep quality!”

Chairing the advisory board is professor Heather Elphick, a consultant in paediatric respiratory and sleep medicine, and a trustee of the charity. She is joined by an 18-strong team of professionals whose expertise spans sleep, sport science, nutrition, menopause, mental health, sleep research, primary care, public health, sensory processing, CBTi and medical sleep disorders.

The voluntary advisory board, named The Sleep Council, will provide advice as well as challenging and scrutinising key issues and programmes.

Says Vicki Dawson, CEO of The Sleep Charity: “As we expand our services and move into new sectors, it was important for us to ensure we were supported by a panel of professionals and we are delighted that Jessica has agreed to join us. Her experience, knowledge and insights will be invaluable as we drive forward with our mission.”

The Sleep Charity joined forces with The Sleep Council in July as part of a five-year plan to raise the profile of the importance of sleep. The NBF has agreed to continue its financial backing for the charity during the first two years of the merger.