Archive for the ‘Solutions to Sleep Problems’

Scary Sleep Habits To Break

Sleep habits can strengthen or weaken your sleep Duration, Timing, Quality (DTQ). When we build and regularly practice positive sleep hygiene, we set ourselves up for optimal sleep health success. Avoid these scary sleep habits to be better prepared for the upcoming holiday season.

Inconsistent Bed/Wake Time
What time we lay down to sleep and wake up to begin our day says a lot about a person. Are you a night owl or morning bird? Do you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night or do you consider yourself lucky when you get half that?

As habitual creatures by nature, we greatly benefit from consistency. When we regularly follow bed and wake time routines, our bodies positively respond to those patterns, making it naturally easier to slip into our sleep cycle and provides more restful slumber. Long term benefits include reduced daytime sleepiness and more energy in the mornings. The key here is following your routines each day of the week, including weekends.

Technology Usage In Bed
While it’s tempting to scroll through our phones when we lay down to sleep, screen time severely hinders our ability to get quality sleep. Blue light suppresses our melatonin production and gives a false sense of daylight, which keeps our brain alert and weakens our ability to fully benefit from our sleep cycles. Keep phones and tablets out of the bedroom and turn off the TV at least 30 minutes before bed.

Late Night Eating
Say it isn’t so! Sadly, late night munchies aren’t just bad for our waistlines. Eating too close to bedtime, particularly spicy, fatty, greasy, or sugary foods, can keep you awake longer and disturb your sleep throughout the night. With the risk of heartburn and upset stomach too high to ignore, aim to eat dinner 3-4 hours before bed and keep any late night snacks to healthy portions of protein or carbs.

Caffeine & Alcohol Before Bed
Calling all coffee drinkers! Caffeine keeps you awake and causes restlessness at night so be sure to limit caffeine intake after 2 p.m. Don’t forget any sneaky caffeine contributors, like chocolates, soft drinks, protein bars, and ice creams. Another drink to avoid? Alcohol. That glass of wine may help you drift off to sleep initially, but it hinders your ability to get restorative sleep as the wine is metabolized. Avoid the late night glass of wine or enjoy it a little earlier in the evening.

Let’s Tackle Sleep Apnea Together

Congratulations on taking steps toward better sleep!

What’s Next?

Our convenient Mobile Sleep Test, which is available at no cost to you, will help us determine whether you would benefit from treatment for sleep apnea. You’ll soon receive a call from a SleepCharge Coordinator to schedule your Mobile Sleep Test at a location near you and at your convenience. Our SleepCharge Coordinators have helped thousands improve their sleep and feel better.

Contact Us

If you’d like to schedule your Mobile Sleep Test right away, please feel free to call us at 1-877-615-7257, option 1.


Sleep Apnea refers to the blockage of your airways by the soft tissues of the throat that occurs when you’re asleep and interrupts breathing. The sleep deprivation resulting from sleep apnea impacts your body, mind and emotions and has been shown to contribute to a number of chronic illnesses. But, not to worry, we’re here to help!

Rather than have you travel to a sleep lab, a SleepCharge clinician will bring the sleep lab to you, on your schedule. This is the most comfortable and convenient way for our physicians to acquire the diagnostic information they need to make the right recommendation. If therapy for sleep apnea is recommended, you’ll receive all the equipment and support you need to be successful, including personalized calibration and fitting during your Mobile Sleep Test appointment.

Let’s Tackle Sleep Apnea Together

Congratulations on completing your SleepCharge Evaluation and taking the first step toward better sleep!

What’s Next?

Our staff of sleep experts has reviewed the information you provided and has recommended a convenient Home Sleep Test, which is available at no cost to you, and will help determine whether you would benefit from treatment for sleep apnea. You’ll soon receive a call from a SleepCharge Coordinator to schedule delivery of your Home Sleep Test. Our SleepCharge Coordinators have helped thousands improve their sleep and feel better.

Contact Us

If you’d like to request immediate shipment of your Home Sleep Test, please feel free to call us now at 1-877-615-7257, option 1.


Sleep Apnea refers to the blockage of your airways by the soft tissues of the throat that occurs when you’re asleep and interrupts breathing. The sleep deprivation resulting from sleep apnea impacts your body, mind and emotions and has been shown to contribute to a number of chronic illnesses. But, not to worry, we’re here to help!

Rather than visiting a sleep lab, a Home Sleep Test is a more comfortable and convenient way for our physicians to acquire the diagnostic information they need to make the right recommendation.  Download our Home Sleep Test Instruction Manual for more details.

How to Prevent the Cold or Flu by Getting Better Sleep

If you’re looking to avoid the cold or the flu, make time for sleep!

Did you know that you can avoid getting sick by improving your sleep patterns?

Sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on immune function, and chronic sleep loss increases your vulnerability to infectious diseases.  The Sleep in America poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that on average that children and the elderly, identified as high-risk populations, do not meet the low range of recommended hours of sleep each night.

In a recent study performed at the University of San Francisco and the University of Pittsburgh Medical centers, sleep time of 164 male and female volunteers was measured continuously for 7 days.  The subjects were then quarantined and exposed to drops of the cold virus and observed for 5 days.  Scientists found that those subjects who averaged less than 5 hours to 6 hours of sleep a night were over 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of a cold compared to those subjects who slept 6-7 hours a night who did not show an increased risk for developing a cold.

Listen to how getting better sleep can help prevent infection and disease

FusionHealth’s Medical Director, Dr. Parina Aggarwal shares tips on how to get the rest needed to avoid getting sick. Click the play button below to listen to the audio or the download link to download the audio file.

Podcast Part 1

Schedule sleep like any other daily activity. Put it on your “to-do list” and cross it off every night, but don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is completed — stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.

To pave the way for better sleep, follow these simple yet effective healthy sleep tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.  Set an alarm to remind you to stop doing what you are doing to start getting ready for bed.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.  Examples include deep breathing, mediation, reading, listening to books on tape or relaxing sounds.
  • Exercise daily.  Exercise increases deep sleep.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden “sleep stealers,” like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
  • Turn off electronics before bed.  Electronic devices can trick the brain to thinking it is daytime.

Your health depends on it!

What should you do if you are currently on treatment for sleep apnea and get a cold?  

Upper respiratory infections such as the common cold make it more difficult to use Positive Airway Pressure (PAP), which is an effective treatment for sleep apnea.  If you are being treated for sleep apnea:

  • Use decongestants ONLY as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.  If you are taking blood pressure medications, ask your doctor to prescribe a decongestant for you as some will cause your blood pressure to elevate.
  • Consider a heated humidifier to restore moisture levels in your nasal passages to help you sleep easier and wake up more refreshed.
  • Use a full face PAP mask as opposed to a nasal mask to make it possible for the continuous airflow to actually work.
  • Clean the mask with mild soap and water and clean the tank and tubing with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
  • Sleep with your head and upper back propped up to avoid an increase of mucous to build up.
  • Try a hot shower before bedtime to loosen up your congestion and sinus passageways.
  • Use saline nasal spray to moisture the lining of your nose.

FusionHealth offers technology-enabled sleep health management programs that identify, treat and continuously manage employees at risk for sleep issues. The value of a well-rested workforce extends across an organization from safety and risk mitigation to improving employee productivity, retention and health. Contact us for more information on joining our programs.

1. National Sleep Foundation, Sleep in America Poll,
2. Aric et al. “Behaviorally assessed sleep and susceptibility to the common cold.” SLEEP 38. 9 (2015):1353-1359

The Gift of Healthy Sleep

The holidays can be a wonderful, but stressful time of year when many struggle with getting a good night’s sleep.

We wanted to give you the gift of healthy sleep this holiday season, so we created recommendations to make the holidays restful. Click the video below to enjoy a message from Dr. Parina Aggarwal, FusionHealth Medical Director, then click on the button below the video to download a checklist.

Happy Holidays!

Download the Checklist for
Healthy Holiday Sleep

New Year, New You – Sleep for Weight Loss

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity for you to tackle your weight loss issues and trim off the pounds you’ve been carrying around. No matter how committed you are to losing weight, there may be certain factors that are holding you back. Research suggests when a child or adult does not get enough sleep at night, he or she is at risk for being overweight. In addition, it may be difficult to lose weight if you are not getting the right amount or quality of sleep every night. So how is your sleep holding you back? Watch the video below to learn two major reasons you are likely not losing weight.

It is vital that you acknowledge your sleeping patterns if you are committed to losing weight and keeping it off in the long term. As stated in the video, it is important that you know how many hours of sleep you are getting per night and determine if your quality of sleep is getting affected. You may be doing everything right to lose weight but won’t get the results you expect because you are overlooking the importance of a full night’s sleep.


Bad sleep habits have a known link to weight gain. While we highly suggest establishing good sleep habits at a young age, it is never too late to make a change. Even regularly active people should maintain a consistent bedtime in order to prevent obesity and weight gain. Data shows that there is a correlation between a later bedtime and an increase in body fat. Good habits you can adopt right now include creating a bedtime routine, designing and using a sleep sanctuary in your home, and removing ALL electronics from your bedroom.

Whether you need help along the path to achieving a “new you” this year, or you think your quality of sleep is not as good as it could be, FusionHealth can help you reach your goals. From stress and pain to sleep apnea and insomnia, we can address the factors that are harming your sleep habits to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Sustain the positive health effects of healthy sleep with our team on your side in 2016.

1. Sleep Journal, Volume 38, Issue 10: Possible Link between Bedtime and Change in Body Mass Index
2. Temple Street Hospital
3. Chen X, Beydoun MA, Wang Y. Is Sleep Duration Associated With Childhood Obesity? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obesity. 2008;16(2):265-74.
4. Hale L, Guan S. Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2014
5. The National Sleep Foundation: Maintain Healthy Weight

Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

Reported by the LA Times

FusionHealth’s Dr. Durmer was recently featured in a Los Angeles Times article concerning strategies for better sleep. As poor sleep rises to epidemic levels in our culture, it’s more important than ever to get consistent, deep, restful sleep.

One factor Dr. Durmer stressed was the effects of caffeine and nicotine, which are often underestimated. He described the impact of these substances as much greater on sleep than even prescription pharmaceuticals. Instead of grabbing that third or fourth cup of coffee at 2pm, try going for a walk outside in the sunshine for 20-30 minutes.

Another element to be aware of is the amount of alcohol in your system when you’re trying to go to sleep. While it may hasten the onset of sleep, it is also a natural inhibitor of REM sleep. REM sleep is important for helping the brain fine-tune what was learned during the day as well as managing memory storage. “It’s very difficult to wake from that kind of sleep and feel refreshed because it is a very active physiological state,” he explained, “as alcohol is metabolized by the liver during the night, REM sleep can suddenly rebound and cause disturbing dreams, confused arousals and impaired sleep cycle dynamics leading to a poor night of rest”.

Dr. Durmer also had advice about napping. For adults, routine naps can be a symptom of an ongoing, undiagnosed chronic sleep disorder that interrupts sleep quality. For those who rely on naps to provide a few more hours of quality rest, it is helpful to limit napping time to 90 minutes since most of us will not shift into a REM cycle within 90 minutes, which may lead to feeling less rested on awakening.

Other tips for better sleep included limiting screen use at night, keeping a bedtime routine, and understanding the effects of your medications.

See the Los Angeles Times for full article.

How to Maximize Sleep Efficiency

Reported in

FusionHealth executives, Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, Chief Medical Officer, and John Letter, President and Chief Operating Officer, were recently interviewed for an article featured in The piece focused on the dangers and economic implications of sleep deprived employees in the manufacturing industry.

Letter described how sleep is especially important for those who work on a production line due to the demands of their positions. “Workers that perform meticulous and repetitive jobs need to be especially acute,” he explained, “because the personal safety, long term disability and company liability risks associated with mistakes can be far more costly than the immediate loss of productivity.”

Fatigue related to sleep disorders like sleep apnea are some of the main culprits that lead to work related accidents and drops in production. “Sleep disorders erode the most important part of your ability to be productive, which is your awareness, your creativity, your ability to judge things properly and make decisions on the fly,” Dr. Durmer explained.

“Analyzing a workforce using a human factors approach is really the missing link to making major improvements in working populations,” Dr. Durmer continued. “People need the natural restorative power of sleep to perform optimally, but a large percentage come to work every day unprepared to function at their best due to undiagnosed sleep disorders.”

FusionHealth offers technology-enabled sleep health management programs that identify, treat and continuously manage employees “at risk” for sleep problems and sleep deprivation.  We know that the economic value of a well rested workforce extends across an organization from safety and risk mitigation to improving employee productivity, retention and health.

See for the full article.

CNN Fit Nation Driver Requests FusionHealth for Sleep Apnea Treatment Again

Several years ago, after a routine surgery, Glenn Keller found that he was dizzy and short of breath.  One of the doctors suggested a sleep study to find out why.  At the time, Keller also said he had high blood pressure and was out of shape and overweight.

At the sleep study, Glenn discovered that he had Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA affects approximately 20 million Americans. The condition causes the back of the throat to collapse hundreds of time during sleep, blocking the airway and causing people to gasp for air. It increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, and diabetes, which all impact healthcare costs, quality of life and safety at work and on the road.

Keller is a professional long-haul truck driver and his livelihood depends on staying awake, alert and in compliance with DOT regulations.

Back in 2012, Keller was also taking part in the CNN Fit Nation Challenge and started his sleep apnea treatment with FusionHealth.  Since then, Glenn has had a remarkable and inspirational transformation.  He lost over 100 pounds and prioritizes quality nutrition, exercise and sleep in his life.

Here’s more from Glenn Keller on his sleep apnea treatment:

Q: What has resulted from this experience?

A: One of the best things that could have ever happened to me was coming in contact with FusionHealth. Some people might call it a coincidence, but there was nothing coincidental about it. We needed to cross paths, and as a result the things that I desire to do, the things that I dream to do, I believe they are going to take place now. [Its the] people at FusionHealth who make sure I’m getting the rest I need and I’m as healthy as I need to be, to do the things that I need to do.

Q: What has the treatment done for you?

A: I’ve heard about some of the apprehensions that drivers have about being treated with a CPAP machine and I think, “If only they knew.”  If memory serves me correctly, before treatment, I had apneas and stopped breathing nearly 100 times per hour.  After treatment, in most instances, it is less than 3 per hour.  Most, if not all, drivers are like I was.  They don’t realize the rest and sleep they are missing by not having their sleep disorder treated.  I remember my very first night of treatment and how I felt when I woke up the next morning.  I realized what I had been missing and no longer wanted to be without restful sleep.  The treatment I receive from FusionHealth keeps all my numbers in line.  There are no risks of being out of line because FusionHealth monitors my PAP treatment remotely.  When it’s time for my DOT Physical, FusionHealth already knows and they supply my company with my compliance records.

Q: Where are you now?

A: I feel really good about where I am now.  I took action which resulted in me losing 100 pounds.  I was hoping that it would be enough to no longer have sleep apnea.  I probably should have been disappointed to learn that I still have sleep apnea, but I wasn’t.  I’m a professional driver and I understand how important my sleep health is.  I was not disappointed because I knew my sleep disorder would continue to be treated by FusionHealth, the best and most caring people in the industry to treat sleep disorders.

Q: What happened with the follow-up by CNN?

A few months ago, I was contacted by a Senior Producer at CNN International.  They were planning a story on sleep health and my name came up.  He mentioned their plans of having a sleep test done.  I immediately pointed out that my previous test had been performed by FusionHealth and my treatment was being handled by FusionHealth.  I mentioned my recent weight loss and that I was planning on being retested again.  I humbly, but strongly suggested they work with FusionHealth because that’s who has been doing an amazing job of working with me for the past few years.  I talked about my exceptional Care Team that monitors my progress and pointed out how they were able to do the monitoring remotely.  As soon as I hung up the telephone with the producer, I called FusionHealth.  My primary motive for this was that it would be a great opportunity to possibly let millions of other drivers and trucking companies know about FusionHealth and the phenomenal job I know that they do in treating professional drivers.  I was so excited to see the pieces come together and how respectful the people at CNN were of my suggestion to use FusionHealth.

Q: What’s next for Glenn Keller?

A: My goal is to continue to lose weight and if my sleep apnea is a direct result of my weight, then I know my days on treatment may be numbered.  I say that knowing there could be other reasons for having a sleep order, which is why it is of the utmost importance to be examined and diagnosed.  I believe there are an estimated 70 million people with sleep disorders and an estimated 80% of them have not been diagnosed.

My sleep health and personal health are a real priority for me.  I recently ran a 5K with some of our wounded soldiers in Orlando. A week later, I completed a bike ride in Burleson, Texas.  As often as I can, I try to share my story of weight loss and sleep disorder treatment in hopes of more people, especially drivers, becoming healthier and happier individuals.  I also share that in addition to diet and exercise, sleep really is the third pillar of health. As I continue to run, bike and workout, I remember Dr. Durmer [FusionHealth’s Chief Medical Officer] explaining to me back in 2012 when I was part of The CNN Fit Nation Challenge how important it is for your body to recover from workouts and that can only be accomplished with proper sleep and rest.  My gift of speaking has led me to be certified as a Ziglar Legacy Speaker and Trainer.  I am very proud of this because Mr. Ziglar impacted the lives of over 250 million people.  My heart’s desire has always been to make a difference in the lives of others and I plan to do so by enlightening and empowering them.

See more of Glenn Keller’s Story here:
Driver and CNN Fit Nation Participant Shares how FusionHealth Improved his Life

See the videos of his feature on CNN below:

Tired all of the time?

Improving your health could help you sleep better