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Washington Hospital Now Hosting Sleep Disorders Support Group

Tri-City Voice, April 15, 2008 

Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired? Do you snore? If so, you could have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that keeps you from getting a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep can seriously impact your health. Yet millions of Americans walk around each day half asleep or worse – suffering from chronic illnesses – because they aren’t getting enough sleep.

To help improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by sleeping disorders, a new monthly support group is now being conducted at Washington Hospital. The AWAKE (Alert, Well and Keeping Energetic) Support Group is for patients and family members with Obstructive Sleep Apnea or anyone who is interested in learning more about sleep disorders.

“Sleep apnea is a common problem, but unfortunately it often goes undiagnosed and untreated,” says Dr. Nitun Verma, medical director of the Washington Township Center for Sleep Disorders. “Only one in 10 people with obstructive sleep apnea get help so the goal of this group is to help spread the word about sleep apnea and connect local patients to education and support services.”

During the first meeting, Dr. Verma will help facilitate nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) equipment checks with a licensed respiratory therapist and help patients get used to using these devices.

“The support group meetings will have a workshop format,” says Dr. Verma. “People will have an opportunity to share their experiences with people that suffer from similar conditions and receive valuable information from experts in the field of sleep apnea.”

The first AWAKE Support Group for Sleep Disorders session will take place on Wednesday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to Noon at the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, Room A, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. The first session will also include a raffle with prizes. Future sleep support meetings will take place the fourth Wednesday of every month with times alternating between 11 a.m. to Noon and 6 to 7 p.m. Call (510) 744-6726 for more information.