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I propose a program on the future of sleep. Sleep disorders may affect more than 20% of the audience and most of it is untreated. Sufferers are sharing the highways with us, piloting our airplanes, standing at blackboards and whiteboards, hosting talk shows, and performing surgeries. Untreated sleep disorders are associated with increased risk of stroke, heart disease and premature mortality.
Sleep disorders are diagnosed in a sleep laboratory, where technicians perform a sleep study. The patient is covered with electrodes, oxygen levels are measured through a sensor placed on their finger and technicians observe the patient throughout the night using video and infrared cameras. Two years ago, I did a sleep study that showed that during the night, I stopped breathing hundreds of times for sometimes as long as a minute. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. It pumps air through the patient's nose at a prescribed rate calculated during the sleep study. My CPAP stays next to my bed, and a long piece of medical tubing connects the CPAP to a type of face mask that fits over my nose. Wearing the CPAP requires a learning curve. In my case it took a couple weeks to get used to being tethered to the machine, but the quality of my days has been worth those long first nights.
The United States may reach new heights in health, productivity and love of life as this health issue becomes more recognized. Fatigue and sleep are such big issues in our society, I am convinced that your audience will find this a compelling and informative program.
posted 4 years, 2 months ago
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