The sleep science community has planned events and industry incentives as a way to promote awareness of sleep apnea

By Lori Sichtermann

April 18 is marked, annually, as Sleep Apnea Awareness Day—a global recognition of the results of a five-patient study published in 1981 by Colin Sullivan, the inventor of CPAP technology.

The original study results were published in the British medical journal The Lancet and entitled “Reversal of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Applied Through the Nares.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), “The use of CPAP revolutionized the treatment of a condition, providing a non-invasive means to eliminate the severe oxygen desaturations and resulting sleep fragmentation that occurs when someone has sleep apnea. This treatment improves the quality of life by providing a restful night’s sleep and there is evidence that it has a positive impact on other conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and depression.”

To honor Sleep Apnea Awareness Day, numerous companies and organizations within the sleep science community planned special events to promote the importance of Sullivan’s findings, and the impact CPAP therapy has had on sleep research and therapy.

For example, Sleep Group Solutions (SGS), Hollywood, Fla, is honoring Sleep Apnea Awareness Day by participating in a nationwide campaign that promotes the dental treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. The company states that throughout the past week, dentists have been privy to sleep medicine lectures at a discounted rate, along with discount opportunities for oral sleep devices from Respire Medical.

“This is an important week for raising awareness of sleep apnea, and we are going above and beyond to make sure dentists are educated and implementing a sleep protocol, as many are the first line of defense in providing treatment,” says John Nadeau, vice president of Sleep Group Solutions, in a release. “This year, SGS is doing a nationwide campaign that offers dentists access to live lectures at a substantial discount of $695, and a $25 voucher off your first case at Respire Medical.”

Additionally, Better Rest Solutions, creator of the SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaning and Sanitizing Machine, announced that it will donate $5 to the ASAA for every SoClean 2 system sold from April 15 to May 15 in recognition of Sleep Apnea Awareness Day.

“We understand, first-hand, the health issues associated with sleep apnea, as many of us at Better Rest Solutions have dealt with the effects of sleep apnea ourselves either directly or indirectly,” says Mike Schmidt, president of Better Rest Solutions. “We are excited to contribute to the ASAA in recognition of Sleep Apnea Awareness Day.”

Zyppah Inc, Los Angeles, also announced that, in honor of Sleep Apnea Awareness Day, it will donate $5 from every unit sold of the company’s limited edition Pink Hybrid Oral Snoring Appliance between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015 to the Susan G. Komen campaign, which supports breast cancer awareness, a cause, the company states, that is synonymous with sleep apnea awareness.

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Lori Sichtermann is associate editor of Sleep Review. Email comments or questions to [email protected]