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Adventures in Sleep

Do We Help Keep People Healthy or Treat Disease?

Published July 12, 2010 10:06 AM by Amy Reavis
With the increase in unemployment here, we have seen more people refuse studies. Patients don't want to spend money on as many tests and do not have the money for their new higher deductibles. But people are spending more on things to help keep them healthy.

It made me think that maybe we need to start calling sleep studies preventative medicine. Think about it. If we catch sleep apnea early, we can help keep patients from having the long-term effects of sleep apnea and sleep deprivation. Many people are looking for new and interesting ways to stay healthy rather than cure illnesses.

Around here, there are multiple chiropractors with massage therapists, yoga studios, personal trainers, and doctors of naturopathic medicine. There's also a big influx of MDs and DOs practicing complementary medicine. I think this change in the medical environment is in part due to people not having insurance or spare money. They are looking to save money by being healthier. Having a great night sleep should fall right into this same focus.

So maybe if we change our mindset to a wellness practitioner rather than a person who helps to diagnose and treat a problem, we might be able to educate a different group of people about sleep. We might help the 50- to 70-year-old active population think more about their sleep health and maybe reach a different type of patient who needs a sleep study.


I like your idea. If you present this to patients as such, something should click. Once they realize the list of illnesses they can prevent, they should want to have their studies done. Education is key for our physicians also.  I try to educate the public any time the door opens. I even signed on for a spot in the talent show for our family reunion, and used that time to educate a crowd of about 75 relatives on the subject of OSA.  On the next family reunion, I found out that several people had had sleep studies done in their various states across the country. All of them were positive for OSA and were using their CPAP. I present it in a way where they can clearly see that they have no other choice but to have the study done. "No" is not an option, neither is "procrastination" an option. I make sure they fully understand what risks they're taking without having a study done.

Debra Francis, RRT-NPS, Sleep Tech July 26, 2010 10:50 PM

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About this Blog

    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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