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The Sleep Wellness Institute today opens its second sleep center location … in Mequon, WI.  With the addition of the second location, Sleep Wellness now offers 14 sleep study rooms and physician directed care that is provided by six highly regarded sleep medicine physicians.

The physicians are:  Don Harden, MD, Medical Director; JoAnna Galezowska, MD; Marc Rasansky, MD; Gary Leo, DO; Michael Connor, DO; and Dima Adl, MD.

One convenient telephone number may be used to access services at both the Mequon and West Allis locations?:  414-336-3000. And information on The Sleep Wellness Institute is available online at www.sleepwellandlive.com.

The Mequon sleep lab is the former Columbia St. Mary’s sleep disorders center located at 11725 N. Port Washington Road.  We and Columbia St. Mary’s have formed a partnership to provide convenient, high quality sleep disorders services to patients throughout southeastern Wisconsin, as well as clear, concise, and prompt reports to referring physicians.

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Well, you can’t say they give up easily.  Once again, the makers of Nyquil cough and sleep medicine are once again running commercials that display loud snoring as normal sleep behavior.  It doesn’t make any difference that the “sleeper” is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees … the fact remains that the kind of snoring Nyquil uses as an example of someone apparently sleeping soundly, is also the kind of snoring that is a symptom of someone who is not sleeping well at all … it is a common symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the sleep disorder that afflicts 18 million Americans.

If you’ve seen the commercial, and Drew’s snoring seems all too familiar to you, ask yourself this question:  “Do I feel rested during the day?”  It you can’t answer “Yes,” it’s time to see your doctor.

Come on, Nyquil.  “Man” up and find a better way to get your point across.  There’s nothing cute or funny about sleep apnea.

In the highly competitive world of marketing one’s products, the folks at Vicks have unintentionally (I hope) made a blunder in promoting their night time cough medicine, Nyquil.

Nyquil’s current ad features people asleep and snoring rather loudly.  Unfortunately, it looks more like an advertisement promoting sleep apnea.  One man, in particular, fits the sleep apnea profile to a “T.”  He’s overweight, nearing middle age, and snoring like a freight train.

This is not intended as a comment on Nyquil’s effectiveness.  Rather, this is a comment about how an advertising agency apparently sold a client on using one of America’s increasingly common and dangerous health problems to sell a product that has nothing to do with that health problem.

Not a very good idea.

Have you been told that you might have sleep apnea and are wondering whether or not it’s worth the time and expense to find out?  Here are some important reasons why you should:

  1. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause death.  38,000 Americans die every year of complications due to sleep apnea.
  2. Sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate cardiovascular disease.
  3. Sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate diabetes.
  4. Sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate high blood pressure.
  5. Sleep apnea can cause stroke.
  6. Sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate asthma.
  7. Sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate depression.
  8. Sleep apnea’s loud snoring and choking/gasping for air at night can damage and even ruin relationships.
  9. Sleep apnea can make you so exhausted that you can’t perform at work.
  10. Sleep apnea can cause extremely dangerous drowsy driving.
  11. And if that’s not enough, sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction.

Add to all of that the fact that sleep apnea sufferers experience frequent morning headaches and frequently nocturnal urination, and you’ve got a whole host of reasons to consider sleep apnea as something you don’t want to let go untreated.

And here’s another reason:  most cases of sleep apnea can be treated rather easily and effectively!

The Reggie White Sleep Disorders Research and Education Foundation has developed a free iPhone application that enables users to determine if they are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

The “app,” called Sleep Well, combines three screening tools used by sleep specialists to determine an individual’s risk of having or developing the sleep disorder that affects 18 million Americans. It provides immediate feedback once users provide answers to questions regarding their sleep habits, snoring, fatigue, and health factors. iPhone users may find and obtain the app at http://appshopper.com/healthcare-fitness/sleep-well.

The app also includes a feature that will list nearby sleep disorders centers for users.  According to Foundation Executive Director Steve Gardner, sleep disorders centers can be added to the app’s directory upon making a one-time $100 donation to the non-profit organization.  Co-founded shortly after the former Packers Hall of Famer died prematurely at age 43 by his wife, Sara, and the Sleep Wellness Institute, Wisconsin’s oldest and largest independent  sleep disorders center, the foundation’s goal is to spread the word about the dangers of sleep apnea to people of all socio-economic groups and help provide treatment to those who otherwise would be unable to access the healthcare services needed to treat obstructive sleep apnea, the disease that contributed to White’s death.

The Sleep Wellness Institute, Inc., will open its third CPAP2GO store  on Thursday, Oct. 1, in West Allis.  CPAP2GO specializes in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, masks and supplies used to help many people with obstructive sleep apnea.  The CPAP2GO stores are the only retail CPAP stores in Wisconsin operated by a sleep disorders center.  The first store opened in Franklin last year, and a Waukesha location opened in April.

The newest store, at 2931 S. 108th Street, will be open Monday through Saturday, with evening hours Monday through Friday.  It will be staffed by specially trained employees and will feature the “30/30 Advantage” – an in-stock supply of more than 30 masks and a free 30-night comfort and fit guarantee.  Much of the equipment will be covered by most health insurance plans.

The store will be managed by Cody Glorioso, who is the director of the Sleep Wellness Institute’s durable medical equipment department.  The store’s telephone number will be 414-761-CPAP (2727). A website, www.cpap2go.net, provides more information for customers.

The Sleep Wellness Institute is Wisconsin’s largest independent sleep disorders laboratory.  It is fully accredited to diagnose and treat sleep disorders among adults and children by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The Sleep Wellness Institute, Wisconsin’s largest independent sleep disorders laboratory, now offers a free, online service that allows web users to determine if they are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

The screening service is a combination of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Berlin sleep apnea questionnaire, and a body mass (BMI) calculator.  The Epworth helps determine a person’s daytime sleepiness level, while the Berlin is focused on behaviors that are typical of sleep apnea.  The BMI calculator is based on height and weight … a BMI of 30 or greater is considered one of the risk factors for sleep apnea.

The interactive screening tool can be found on the Sleep Wellness Institute’s website on the home page.

Sleep apnea is a common, yet serious sleep disorder that can lead to or exacerbate other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and more.  It affects approximately 18 million Americans and is typified by snoring, pauses in breathing during sleep, and daytime exhaustion.

Steve Gardner

A question we are often asked is “I snore, so do I have sleep apnea?”

Loud snoring is certainly one of the signs of sleep apnea.  But an important point is that while all people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea, in addition to snoring, include pauses in breathing during sleep, gasping and choking, and can include frequent overnight urination, morning sore throat, and morning headaches.  Equally important is how you feel during the day.  If you snore at night and feel exhausted during the day, then you might have sleep apnea.

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is very helpful in determining if you need to see your doctor or a sleep specialist.  Basically, you should read the following questions and answer 0, 1, 2, or 3.  0 means that there is NEVER a chance in dozing during this situation.  1 = a SLIGHT chance of dozing; 2=a MODERATE chance of dozing; and 3=a HIGH chance of dozing.

The questions are:

  • Do you doze off while sitting and reading?
  • While watching television?
  • Sitting in a public place, i.e., a theater or meeting?
  • As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break?
  • Lying down to rest in the afternoon?
  • Sitting and talking to someone?
  • Sitting quietly after lunch (without alcohol)?
  • In a car while stopped in traffic?

Total your scores for each question.  If your total score is:

0-7: you have a normal amount of sleepiness

8-9: you have an average amount of sleepiness

10-15:  you may be excessively sleepy depending on the situation and you may want to seek medical attention

16-up:  you are excessively sleepy and should seek medical attention

This simple test can be helpful in determining if you need to seek help.  If you score in the upper ranges, print a copy of the test and take it with you to your doctor.

Steve Gardner

The Sleep Wellness Institute

Tips courtesy of CPAP2GO in West Allis, Waukesha and Franklin, Wis (Milwaukee area).

  1. Wash your CPAP mask daily (warm soapy water or Citrus II mask cleaner and wipes).
  2. Check your filter every other week — clean or replace if dirty.
  3. Do not over tighten your mask; it may cause leaks.
  4. If you are tightening your mask because of leaks or comfort, your seal may be broken or needs to be replaced.
  5. Replace your mask and accessories every 6 months.
  6. Follow up with your physician as instructed.
  7. Keep in contact with your CPAP provider to ensure your success.
  8. Use distilled water for your water chamber.
  9. If you have any dryness in your nose or throat, try increasing the humidity.
  10. Use your CPAP all night, every night … and while napping

Visit CPAP2GO on the web at www.cpap2go.net

Cody Glorioso

DME Director

Lance Allan of TODAY’S TMJ4, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, is one good sport!  Not only does he do a great job of reporting sports news, he’s also a great sport, himself, for being willing to be “roasted” in a benefit for the Reggie White Sleep Disorders Research & Education Foundation on April 18 at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee.

The evening is sure to be great fun, and proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s mission of providing sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment to people whose socio-economic status makes it impossible for them to access the healthcare services they need.

For more information on the Roast, and how one lucky person can actually participate in roasting Lance, please visit the Foundation’s website.