Posts Categorized: Sleep Therapy

Sleep Apnea and Justice Antonin Scalia

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The unfortunate loss of a great man and an overlooked problem.

The consequence of sleep apnea that affects over 20 million Americans.

As our nation mourns the death of a great judicial leader we are again reminded that the link between death and sleep apnea is real and it is becoming ever more important to treat for it.

According to the Associated Press and many other recent news articles detailing of what Justice Scalia suffered from many significant medical conditions led to his death including obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease among other ailments.

The attending physician for members of Congress, Rear Adm. Brian P. Monahan, wrote a letter listing more than half a dozen ailments, including sleep apnea. This along with many other studies and sources are showing that sleep apnea and not getting enough rest significantly shows how the human body becomes more susceptible to high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, weight gain, and many degenerative diseases that can be easily prevented with the proper sleep therapy. How many more years could we have had with Justice Scalia and many wonderful leaders, family members and friends who have such a impact in our lives with the proper treatment.

Some of the latest sources show that this is a huge problem for many people and out country. The cost is in tired eyes, many major long term health problems and around $16 billion dollars in the national health care bill. There are about 70 million Americans who suffer from sleep problems, and among those who do suffer about 60 percent have a chronic disorder. (Source National Institute of Health)

Another case in point is the early death of football star Reggie White. He was a rather young man (age 43)

Some common factors to determine if you have sleep apnea is neck circumference, excessive weight, being male (twice as likely than female), family history, having a narrow airway, use of alcohol, use of sedatives, smoking, and nasal congestion.

Treatment can include elimation of alcohol and sleep medications, weight loss, and a change in sleep position. Use of a CPAP/BIPAP machine which is the most common long term method, and is highly recommended by doctors. Sometimes surgery has been used to correct defects in respiratory tracts. Surgical is typically left for the most sever of apnea when there is an apparent abnormality and failure of CPAP.

How much money can we save on high blood pressure medications, energy stimulants, and other medications used to treat the effects of sleep apnea? If you are being affected by sleep apnea, how much more energy will you have through out the day? How easier with the energy from a restful nights sleep would someone be able to lose weight? Most importantly, how much longer will you live by an easy to do treatment for sleep apnea, what else could you do with added years to your life? The possibilities are endless.

Sleep apnea is real. It is a problem for not only the person suffering from it but for their family as well. The solution is simple, take time to educate yourself. Go to a qualified sleep doctor, and use the experts in CPAP/BIPAP sleep therapy and enjoy the rewards.

Learn now and live a long and energetic life.


August: Anne’s thoughts on sleep

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Did you know that we spend a third of our life sleeping? Did you know that we need to spend this time sleeping to rejuvenate our body, minds and soul? Healthy Sleep is essential for maintaining good heath, just as healthy eating and proper exercise is important for our bodies to function as our Lord intended them to.

This is my 20th year working in Sleep and particularly helping people with their Sleep Apnea equipment. My passion for helping people sleep was kindled years ago when a lady came in to the sleep lab I was working in at that time. I was a new Sleep Technologist and the equipment was nothing like we have now, it was big and bulky and only a handful of uncomfortable masks to choose from, but the process was the same as today.  We treated the collapsed airways with positive air pressure until breathing and oxygenation was healthy again.  This particular lady I recall was extremely tired, falling asleep in her wheel chair and very grumpy. She had very little color in her cheeks, no desire to move, and no motivation to hold a conversation with me during the sleep study preparation. She moaned and groaned as I tried to get her to follow our protocols, stating “I will never fall asleep here as long as I live.” She was out within 3 min!! Her Sleep Apnea was very severe. She snored loudly, stopped breathing over 100 times an hour, and her oxygen dipped to deathly looking levels. I quickly put her on the CPAP machine, a large breathing machine at the time with nobs and a one size fits all mask!! Not quiet, but in those days we worked with what we had. I started the pressure on 5 cm and adjusted it up until the airway miraculously popped open and she went into the most beautiful dream pattern I had ever seen at that time!

See, when someone doesn’t get enough good sleep, the body will compensate and go into the stages of sleep the body needs when they are able to sleep again!! As a young technologist then I said to myself “wow, this really works”, and this is the day I fell in love with Sleep therapy.  The next day the lady awakened with a smile, color in her cheeks, chatting at me and said she had not had a dream in years!!

Today I often think of this special lady that kindled my love for this career in Sleep and pray she is still using her CPAP and doing well. I encourage everyone to take a special look at their own sleep and their loved ones, and realize what a blessing good healthy sleep is and to understanding that sleep is so important to our health.  There is help, special doctors and specialists, like myself, that help people with their CPAP equipment.  It is very important to get your equipment checked at least every 6 months for hygiene purposes and because the masks and machine’s need to periodically be replaced and to see your doctor once a year about your sleep prescription too.  Thank you, Anne Turner

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma… by Justin Peterson

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Categories: Sleep Therapy

People who work in sleep medicine have always been troubled by the public’s lack of awareness about sleep apnea. If you ask your average person about sleep apnea, you’re likely to get a response like “Oh, I think my uncle used to sleep with some kinda machine but he hated it!’

While the public is still largely unaware of the dangers that sleep apnea (a disorder characterized by persistent pauses in breathing during sleep) poses, awareness about the disorder has been slowly building within the community of healthcare professionals. But while sleep apnea is normally associated with disorders such as obesity and hypertension, there is also a growing awareness of the association between sleep spnea and glaucoma.

“Glaucoma is not just one eye disease, but a group of eye conditions resulting in optic nerve damage, which causes loss of vision. Abnormally high pressure inside your eye (intraocular pressure) usually, but not always, causes this damage” (, 1998-2012, pp.01). Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and can be very difficult to detect before the damage is irreversible.

New studies have found that there may be a correlation between Glaucoma and sleep apnea. One such study found that out of 83 randomly selected OSA patients, 33% suffered from some kind of glaucoma (Harby, 2003). 33% is an extremely significant number, especially when compared to glaucoma’s prevalence in the general population of just1.5% to 2.5%.

“Our study rationale looked at OSA because it causes profound changes in oxygenation, circulatory hemodynamics, and inflammatory factors,” says Dr. Rick Bendel of the Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville, Florida. “All of these may influence optic nerve integrity and possibly intraocular pressure, as well.”

Dr. Bendel recommends that all sleep apnea patients be screened for glaucoma. “OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) may be a modifiable risk factor that is easily treatable,” he told an audience at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Since some forms of glaucoma can be so insidious, screening sleep apnea patients for glaucoma could serve to increase early diagnosis in patients before major damage has been caused. It is clear that Opthamologists and Sleep Centers need to start working together, in an effort to help identify possible patients who could be suffering from either of these devastating disorders.


—Justin Peterson


  1. Mayo Clinic Online Articles: Glaucoma. (1998-2012). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.
  2. Harby, K. (2003). One Third of Sleep Apnea Patients in Study Diagnosed With Glaucoma. Medscape Medical News. All rights reserved.





2012 MS Walk Corvallis, Oregon

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Categories: Sleep Therapy

On Saturday, April 21, 2012, Corvallis is hosting its yearly Multiple Sclerosis Walk. Participants will be meeting at Jackson Plaza – NW, Jackson Ave & NW 1st Street, Corvallis, OR 97333. Registration is at 9:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. Program, 10:00 a.m. Walk.

A Turning Leaf Home Medical Equipment’s owner Anne turner is a sufferer of MS. She will be standing tall and strong in support of medical science finding the cure. MS is an unpredictable and more often than not a disabling disease that affects the central nervous system.

The MS walk is a chance for people to stand together at a specific time and place to support the 7,200 people who live with this disease in Oregon and southwestern Washington. The purpose of the walk is to help raise funds critical to support cutting edge research, facilitate professional education, drive change through advocacy, and provide programs and services to help people with MS.

People who want to join the walk, volunteer, or donate to the cause can visit , call 503-223-9511, or email

The secret to the “Fountain of Youth” is getting good sleep

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Anne Turner’s Healthy Sleep Tips For a New You in a New Year

  1. Keep your schedule regular. Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday of the week including weekends.
  2. Increase your exposure to sunlight during the day. Sunlight, even on overcast days, activates your body and raises your energy levels. It is essential to get outside at least for a few minutes every day if for nothing else, to maintain a positive mental outlook. But there’s more to it than this. There is a whole science behind how our bodies function in light versus darkness. Here’s the basic gist: when we increase exposure to natural light during waking hours we reduce our bodies’ production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin and thus, the body stays awake and alert. Conversely, when we limit light in the hours leading up to sleep, our bodies’ produce melatonin which is the hormone necessary for inducing sleep. In addition, if you live in regions that do not get much natural light, or you work on a different schedule, you may find the use of a medical light therapy device helpful to simulate ideal, health inducing, daytime conditions.
  3. Decrease light at least an hour before your scheduled bed time. Keep your room dark when you sleep. Instead of a night light, keep a flash light handy beside your bed for those times when you need to get up and use the restroom. You can also control the light levels in your bedroom or in your living room or both with variable or low wattage bulbs. Furthermore, you can also experiment with red light bulbs in your bed room. Some people have found the use red light to simulate the red glow of a fireplace. And there is nothing more relaxing than the soft glow of a fire.
  4. Limit your screen time in the evening hours. Screens are devices that stimulate your brain such as television sets, computers, laptops, iPads, notebook computing devices, and even cell phones. What over exposure to these devices do is that they excite brain function and inhibit the body’s natural process of relaxation that occurs after the sun sets. Relaxation in the hours leading up to lights out is essential for restful period of sleep. In order for a body to remain healthy, it requires a healthy, or regular, sleep routine. A healthy sleep period is necessary for our bodies to rejuvenate, restore, and prepare for the next day.
  5. Create your own “dream room.” Your bedroom should be reserved for a good night’s sleep and for good sex. Spend time finding the right bed. They are not all the same. There is no one size fits all. Pillows are important; especially, if you are using a CPAP machine. Did you know that a cool room can also help promote sleep? Take a warm bath. Warm baths are great for getting you in the mood and for sleep too! Noise. Limiting or silencing noise is also important. If, however, you can’t move away from a noisy environment like an airport or a train track or subway or your partner’s constant snoring invest in a good pair of earplugs or a sound (reduction) machine. A white noise generator is helpful for many people in supporting healthy sleep routines. And for those who have been putting off their sleep apnea treatment for the sound that many CPAP machines make, wait no more, because there are fancy white noise machines for that too. Believe me, I know what you’re going through, my hubby’s Respironics Auto CPAP soothes me to sleep every night when the lights go out. Remember, it is necessary at lights out to have a routine or a psychological association or “no brainer activity” to cue your mind in to the fact that it is time, to relax, to wind down, and to crawl into bed and shut down. Lastly, avoid all actions like family feuds or financial or whatever stressor that could possibly hype you up in this crucial time of the day. Because, simply put, lack of sleep has been proven to decrease your cognitive ability. Thus making your ability to problem solve much more stressful the next day, when you wake.
  6. Take care of yourself and make am important change in the new year for sleep. Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Management, Weight Control, Smoking cessation, and Limiting Alcohol are all important factors for sleep. Everything that we do to our bodies and every substance that we put into our bodies impacts our ability to maintain a healthy productive sleep routine. There is a multitude of insomnia causing agents in our daily lives. Consuming too much caffeine or too much alcohol or nicotine or sugar are huge factors of insomnia. Stress and anxiety are also prime culprits of causing insomnia. Eating, before bed, may induce sleep for some, but for others it leads to indigestion, and thus is a factor for insomnia. Lastly, and I can’t say this enough, take care of yourself, and please take the time to get to know what your body needs to maintain a healthy productive sleep routine.


A Turning Leaf turns to medical supply markets

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‘We didn’t push for this, but so many patients are requesting it’

By Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor – 11.01.2011

LEBANON, Ore. – When provider Anne Turner added diabetes supplies to her product mix this summer she found a ready pool of customers: her CPAP patients.

“With awareness and the growth of obesity, diabetes and (sleep apnea), we feel we can touch more of the patient population by incorporating the two,” said Turner, president of A Turning Leaf.

A Turning Leaf celebrated its one-year-anniversary in September. The company has seven employees and Turner’s husband has been able to join as a full time employee.

The provider hired a diabetes coordinator to handle billing and educate patients. Some print and radio advertising, as well as word of mouth, has gotten the news out, said Turner.

“When I see a CPAP patient, I let them know we do diabetes supplies too,” said Turner. “Right now, we are getting two or three new patients a day.”

A Turning Leaf offers a full line of durable medical and mobility equipment through its two locations here and in Salem. Patients like the one-stop approach, said Turner, who also added incontinence supplies, something she never thought she’d do.

“We didn’t push for the incontinence, but so many patients are requesting it,” she said. “I know there isn’t big reimbursement but it puts us into some of the extended care centers and while we are doing that we can educate on sleep apnea as well.”

Despite the tough economy, Turner said they are doing more home visits and customer outreach. Looking back on her first, year, she has no regrets about getting into the business.

“We are having a lot of fun, and I enjoy what I do,” said Turner. “Things are good here on the West Coast.”