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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Podcast Conversation with Darrel Drobnich about Sleep Apnea and the Development of the SleepHealth App.

New conversation with Darrel Drobnich, President of the American Sleep Apnea Association, about his history with sleep health advocacy, his motivation for the greater good, his work at the American Sleep Apnea Association, and partnering with IBM to release a sleep study on Apple’s ResearchKit platform.

Learn more about the American Sleep Apnea Association at, and the

Follow Darrel on Twitter @DarrelDrobnich.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Are You a Healthy Sleeper?

Today is World Sleep Day.  Check out your sleep health.

Remember to complete your SleepHealth surveys.  Each one is extremely important and will only take a couple minutes.  

The more information you provide, the more we will be able to share back with you and the more you will help our research.

Are You a Healthy Sleeper?

Diet and exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle. So is sleep. The problem is, too many people think that sleep is something they can give up to get more things done.
As many as 70 million adults may be putting themselves at risk for injury, health and emotional problems because they aren’t getting the sleep they need.

They are more likely to feel tired and lack energy, have memory and concentration difficulties, and become irritable in stressful situations.  They also may be increasing their
risk for high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, depression

and diabetes.
  • If this sounds like you, here are some tips for healthy sleep:
  • Sleep enough to feel well rested every day.
  • Reduce caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake, particularly before bedtime
  • Don’t eat or drink too much close to bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly and at least a few hours before bedtime.
  • Use relaxing bedtime rituals.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a common problem.  These woes—called insomnia—have far-reaching effects including a negative impact on concentration, productivity and mood.  Occasional insomnia is experienced by more than a third of American adults, and chronic insomnia is known to affect more than one in ten.  Insomnia is characterized by one or more of the following sleep complaints:

·       Difficulty falling asleep 
·       Difficulty staying asleep 
·       Waking too early in the morning 
·       Experiencing non-restorative sleep

Research confirms that people with insomnia have poorer overall health, greater work absenteeism, lower job performance, more negative moods and greater use of healthcare services.  People with chronic insomnia also report a higher rate of on-the-job accidents and using more disability days per month compared to other workers.

Types of Insomnia
·       Acute insomnia—sleep disturbances a few nights per week that can last for up to one month due to a temporary situation such as stress, jet lag, grieving, job loss or relationship change.
·       Chronic insomnia—sleep disturbances that occur an average of three nights per week and last more than one month.
·       Primary insomnia—chronic sleep disturbances after underlying conditions are ruled out or treated.

Why Treat Insomnia?
Insomnia is a risk factor for the onset of depression and can significantly affect your quality of life. Consequences of not getting enough good sleep can include daytime sleepiness, impaired mood, depression, psychological distress, decreased ability to concentrate, difficulty solving problems and making decisions, as well as having an increased risk for injury, driving drowsy, and illness.

Insomnia can often be traced to an underlying cause; therefore, it is critical to identify and treat this problem.  Problems or conditions that can lead to insomnia are:

·       A life crisis or stress
·       Environmental noise
·       Side effects of medicine
·       Depression
·       Chronic illness
·       Jet lag

Diagnosis & Treatment
The first step in the treatment of any sleep disorder is to consult your doctor.  Also, consider keeping a sleep diary for one or two weeks to record your sleep and health habits.  Share your sleep diary with your doctor to help them identify any sleep problems you may have and determine appropriate treatment options.  Most sleep disorders can be successfully diagnosed and treated.  Proper treatment can lead to a good sleep and improve your overall health, safety and well-being.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hi all,

Here's some media articles covering your study.  Together, we can do great things!

Washington Post

Daily Mail

CBS News

Time Magazine
Canada Journal News of The World

Fierce Mobile Healthcare

We need your ideas, feedback and suggestions.

Update from The SleepHealth Study Team 

The whole team wants to thank you once again for being part of this historic endeavor and helping us improve the first patient-led sleep health study ever conducted. 

It's been an incredible week and it represents a year's worth of work by a small dedicated group of volunteers trying to change how research and engagement is done. 

The most important part of this study is completing your surveys and doing the 7-Day SleepHealth Activities every 3 months.  The more you participate, the more information you get back on your personal dashboard and the more data we have to seek new treatments, interventions, and cures.

We know that some have reported minor problems and we are working hard to address them.  Please stick with it and tell your friends. The app if free to anyone over 18, whether or not they have sleep problems or health issues.  Use it just like you would a pedometer or calorie counter to improve your health. 

We want to hear about any issues you have or suggestions and ideas for new features, functionality, survey questions, or research topics.  We will be adding new surveys in the near future, Please join us in our SleepHealth community forum at

The SleepHealth App and study is being conducted by the American Sleep Apnea Association, a 25-year-old and patient-led non-profit based in Washington, DC.  It was conceived, designed and funded solely through the contributions of a small all-patient team of scientists, physicians, advocates and technology experts dedicated to health and data discovery in order to accelerate patient-centered and citizen research.   

All data is de-identified and no one from outside the study team has access to your personal information ever.  We worked with IBM on the development of Watson for ResearchKit and will be using Watson’s sophisticated analytic capabilities to give us and other researchers tremendous possibilities in seeking new discoveries using a tremendous amount of data.
Additionally, the Sleephealth app currently does not have the ability to track sleep from the iPhone or Watch as reported by some media outlets.  Sleep data is collected by self-report only at this time. There are other capabilities available in the Watch and many more functions that we have planned 
 that will be incorporated in later versions.  

This is a whole new way to do research and there will be some trail and error, but with platforms like Apple ResearchKit and IBM’s Watson Health, we can literally put a laboratory in everyone’s pocket. 

Best in health,

The SleepHealth Study Team

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Apple Watch 2 rumors: New technology, better features speculated; device may come later this year

The second generation Apple Watch has been in the rumor mill for quite some time now, with mixed speculations as to whether the company will release it this month or sometime this year.

Apple will be having an event on Mar. 15, where it is speculated to announce some new gadgets including a 4-inch version of the iPhone called iPhone 5se, an iPad that is rumored to be either the follow up of the iPad Air or iPad Pro line, and the 2016 line of MacBook. Some are also speculating that the Apple Watch 2 will be announced on the same date.

Apple Watch 2 rumors: New technology, better features speculated; device may come later this year

How Much Sleep is Enough?


How Much Sleep is Enough?

Every person is unique and so is our need for sleep.  But in today’s busy world, how much sleep should you be getting each night?

Research suggests that most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  Children and adolescents need even more sleep than adults.  The following is a breakdown of the recommended number of hours of sleep people need by age (*including naps):

(0 to 2 months): 10.5 to 18 hours*
(2-12 months): 14 to 15 hours*

(12-18 months): 13 to 15 hours*
(18 months-3 years): 12 to 14 hours*
(3-5 years): 11 to 13 hours*
(5-12 years): 9 to 11 hours*

8.5 to 9.5 hours

7 to 9 hours

As we age, our bodies go through many changes.  It may be necessary to have eyeglasses for reading; hearing may not be as sharp as it once was; and muscles can ache like never before.  Many people also experience changes in sleep, though the need for sleep does not change with age.  However, a good night’s rest may become more difficult as we grow older due to lifestyle changes, chronic medical conditions or untreated sleep disorders.

So, how do you measure how much sleep you truly need?  If you have trouble staying alert during boring meetings, long drives, while reading a book or in other quiet situations when sleepiness is often "unmasked” you probably aren't getting enough quality sleep.  Other signs of chronic sleep deprivation are irritability, difficulty concentrating or making decision, loss of short-term memory or becoming overly aggressive.

Most sleep problems are treatable.  If you have trouble getting the zzzs you need, be sure to see your doctor or other health professional. 

The SleepHealth Team

The American Sleep Apnea Association joins the Sleep Journal as a contributor

The American Sleep Apnea Association joins the Sleep Journal as a contributor

People for Quality Care is pleased to welcome a new contributor to the Sleep Journal - the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). The ASAA is one of the nation’s leading organizations in promoting quality sleep and supporting those with sleep disorders. The organization’s vast knowledge of sleep coupled with their passion for service will undeniably amplify the blog’s capability to provide more information for those interested in sleep as a matter of health, science and career. (If that’s you, subscribe here)

American Sleep Apnea Association: Enhancing the lives of those with sleep apnea
Over the coming months and years, I will share with you my perspective and views on current developments related to sleep health, sleep disorders, public health and other things that may be of interest to you.

Darrel Drobnich

As someone that has been involved national research, advocacy and public education programs related to sleep health for 20 years, I have a deep understanding of the sleep community and what is needed to propel sleep medicine into the mainstream of public health and safety.  I am the son and father of people with sleep apnea and have been a strong patient advocate in both my personal and professional life while working at the National Sleep Foundation and now as president of the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA).
The ASAA is in a unique position to advocate for patients and caregivers and empower them to have a greater say in their treatment and in directing future research on new treatments and cures. 
The best thing that the ASAA has ever done was to remove physicians from its board two years ago and become a truly patient-led advocacy organization.  This removes the inherent conflicts that exist in the professional sleep medicine field and allows us to advocate for what’s best for patients without barriers. 

The modern day healthcare system requires patients to be their own best advocates as they navigate diagnosis, treatment options and insurance payments.  The ASAA believes that patients should also be at the table when companies develop new products, professional groups develop new guidelines, and researchers develop research grants and programs.
This is all necessary because in our view, the sleep medicine field has failed us in many ways.  Much more needs to be done to identify patients with sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, and get them properly treated and on the road to better health.  We have heard for 30 years or more that 80% of people with obstructive sleep apnea are still undiagnosed and untreated.  For those that are diagnosed, only 50% stick with CPAP for the first year or so.  Those numbers have to increase greatly beyond a year or two, but no one really knows because sleep centers don’t follow up with those patients that drop out of the system. 

However, we strongly believe that these people are still in the healthcare system, but identified as patients with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, or stroke.  That’s if they are lucky enough not to die in a fall asleep automobile crash or of a heart attack.  These all have to be recognized as great failures in promoting public health and safety.  It’s up to patients to direct their own destiny through directing advocacy, education and funding our own research programs.

The ASAA has put a wonderful team of people that have been successful in business, startup ventures, medical practices, research programs and advocacy that are working together to expand our national programs and empowering patients.  Simply put, this is not the same old ASAA.  We want to be the true voice of patients and stakeholders.
We don’t see ourselves as a sleep organization, but a public health organization with something to prove.  We will expand our focus to beyond sleep apnea to include insomnia and other sleep health issues as well and work with partners to connect the dots between sleep and other comorbid health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, mental health, pediatric health among other things. 

We want to build an army of patients, caregivers, physicians, researchers, and volunteers that want to advocate for greater recognition of sleep as a healthy behavior, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and the mitigation of the consequences of sleep loss in the workplace, classroom and on the highway. 

The ethos of the new American Sleep Apnea Association is “patient led…and patient supported.”  Come join the fun. Learn more about ASAA at,

Darrel Drobnich
President, American Sleep Apnea Association

Interested in sleep as a matter of health, science or career? Subscribe to the Sleep Journal blog today!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Welcome to the SleepHealth Mobile App Study

Welcome to the SleepHealth Mobile App Study

The SleepHealth Study Team is interested in your feedback, thoughts and suggestions on how we improve the app for version 2. Unlike other studies you can talk directly to the study team here. 

What do you like? What don't you like? What features would you like to see? What survey questions would like to see added? We invite you to join us and other users in our Community Forum to talk directly to the study team and get help with any sleep issues that you may have. 


Darrel Drobnich
American Sleep Apnea Association