The Power of Community: Supporting One Young Man with Narcolepsy Lifts Us All

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These are unprecedented times in the wake of COVID-19. I am sending virtual hugs, healthy vibes and restful nights to each of you. During a time when things feel pretty heavy, I wanted to share a heart-lifting story from my past week.


In late February/early March, Project Sleep (in conjunction with the Sleep Research Society) conducted a big “action alert” asking advocates to reach out to their Representatives across the US. The community rallied together incredibly, and as a result, a remarkable 41 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives signing onto an important letter advancing our sleep research and awareness priorities!

That was huge for the House side, but next we needed to work on the Senate side.

Team Missouri:

On the Senate side, we conducted a more “targeted” effort, preparing a letter to Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, because he serves as the chairman of an important subcommittee that will make decisions regarding the possible CDC sleep awareness efforts. 

Last week, I contacted a few Missouri patient advocates to ask them to consider signing onto the letter to their Senator Blunt, and one advocate, Karin offered to gather additional Missouri advocates to sign on! She asked how many names might be impactful… I reported back that a dozen or two dozen would be amazing. 

Corresponding with Karin:

And then yesterday, I opened my email to find that Karin had rallied an incredible 47 individuals and families in Missouri to sign onto the letter, all in support of one young man in their community living with narcolepsy with cataplexy. Karin wrote:

Julie:  Please add the attached list of advocates from the state of Missouri in support of this letter. 

We have a young man in our lives who is living with narcolepsy with cataplexy, and any funds which can be obtained to educate professionals and the public about these types of disorders has our full support. 

I wrote back to Karin:


Thank you so much for this message and incredible news!! WOW! You’ve collected so many names, you did such a tremendous job and this list of supporters will go so far with Senator Blunt’s office.

Getting your email also brings me to tears today, because, of course, it is such a challenging time for so many people and so much feels out of our control. So to see you and your community rally behind this young man’s experience this way, and organize with us to advance research and awareness for a brighter future, it truly means everything and lifts my heart. 

I was already feeling emotional when I received Karin’s reply:


10 Ways to Combat Coronavirus [Podcast 88]

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During this coronavirus pandemic, Kathy and I will be discussing:

  1. Which vitamins and supplements everyone should be taking
  2. What is the easiest and best defense in fighting this infection?
  3. Which immune-boosting benefit most people are missing out on?

Download mp3  |  Subscribe


  1. Good quantity and quality sleep.
    1. Sleep Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired
    2. NKC lower 73% with sleep deprivation study
  2. Good nasal breathing
    1. Nitric Oxide from nose increased oxygen uptake in lungs by up to 18%
    2. Nitric oxide and antimicrobial properties
    3. Dr. Weil’s Relaxing Breath video
    4. Curb your sugar craving podcast
    5. Unstuff Your Stuffy Nose ebook
  3. Vitamin D
    1. Dr. John
    2. Vitamin D and disease reduction chart
    3. Vit D Dr. Gominak interviews
    4. School children taking Vit D – lower flu and asthma rates study
    5. Vitamin D and lower cancer risk study
    6. Vitamin D activates genes to activate natural killer cells
  4. Vitamin C
    1. Linus Pauling Institute
    2. Reduce rates of colds
    3. ICU sepsis death rates much lower with Vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine
  5. Vitamin K
    1. In Foods – Dr. Axe
    2. Fermented foods – Dr. Axe
  6. B complex vitamins
    1. B6  foods – Dr. Axe
    2. Folate (B9) foods – Dr. Axe
    3. B12 foods – Dr. Axe
  7. Environmental toxins
    1. Toxin podcast
    2. Honest Review of Branch Basics Cleaner
  8. Probiotics
    1. Fermented foods – Dr. Axe
    2. Probiotics – Dr. Axe
  9. Thymic Protein A (TPA)
  10. Wash your hands with soap and water.
    1. Alcohol based 60 to 80% range – Dr. Mercola
    2. Don’t touch eyes, nose or mouth
    3. College student touching face study
  11. Heat – Dr. Mercola

The post 10 Ways to Combat Coronavirus [Podcast 88] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

from Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and SnoringBlog – Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring…

5 Ways to Combat Coronavirus

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During this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many of my patients are asking me how to lower one’s risk of catching this virus, or optimizing your body’s defenses if you do catch this infection. Besides the standard list of basic recommended hygiene principles (frequent hand washing, using masks, social distancing, etc.), here are 5 additional simple things you can implement right away. These 5 tips will strengthen your immune system and prevent or minimize the effects of a coronavirus infection. 

  1. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. There are many studies showing that sleep deprivation lowers your body’s ability to fight infections. One study found that natural killer cells (NKC) are lowered by 72% compared to baseline after sleep deprivation. Here’s a good review article on sleep and immune function. If you have untreated obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to address this condition ASAP.
  2. Make sure you’re breathing through your nose. The nose and sinuses make a gas called nitric oxide (NO), which has two important benefits. This substance helps to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. It’s been found to increase oxygen uptake by up to 18% in the lungs. Mouth breathing bypasses this important benefit. NO also has documented antiviral and antibacterial properties. It’s not uncommon to see increased rates of upper respiratory infections in mouth breathers.
  3. Make sure your vitamin D levels are at healthy levels. The vast majority of people in the US are severely vitamin D deficient, mainly due to lack of sunlight exposure. There are countless studies showing significantly lower levels of illness when levels are higher than 40 to 60 ng/mL. Here’s a chart showing the various health benefits of having adequate vitamin D levels. Here’s another study showing that schoolchildren taking vitamin D had lower rates of contracting influenza A, as well as lower asthma rates.
  4. Doctors generally look down on taking vitamins, but there are numerous studies showing significant health benefits of high doses of vitamin C. Here’s one study showing that vitamin C reduced rates of catching the common cold as well as lowering severity and duration of symptoms. Patients with sepsis in the ICU were found to have much lower rates of death (8.5%) if given vitamin C, thiamine and hydrocortisone, versus the control group (40.4%). Search for vitamin C and colds or infections and you’ll find many other articles that support its use. Dr. Mercola has an excellent review of how to combat the coronavirus.
  5. Use this opportunity to re-evaluate what you eat, the water you drink, personal care products you use, and toxic exposures in your house and workplace. One slightly dangerous chemical (such as

Coronavirus Update for Our Patients

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At Sleep Dallas, the health and well-being of our patients and team members has always been of utmost importance. We understand the concerns and uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to being responsive to the needs of our community as the situation evolves and more information is provided.

We want to inform all of our patients that we are continuing to see patients at this time and reassure you that we are taking all the necessary precautions recommended by the CDC and local health agencies in the area. In a small, controlled environment such as our offices, it is easy to quickly and swiftly implement new emerging protocols as those recommendations become available. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We will keep you updated on any changes and continue to provide a safe, healthy and relaxing environment.

We do request that any patients with symptoms associated with COVID 19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) or who have been in close contact recently with anyone with these symptoms to please notify us so that we can reschedule your appointment. For those patients who fall into a higher risk category (elderly or pre-existing conditions) for severe responses to COVID-19 who would like to reschedule their appointment, we please ask that you notify our office as soon as you have made this decision. Our goal is to provide the top-level customer service and care you have come to expect from us and we want to guarantee we have the appropriate staffing to do so. We will also be practicing social distancing (such as not shaking hands) as a means of decreasing possible transmission of COVID-19.

We appreciate your effort in helping our community limit the spread of this disease. For more information about the COVID-19, visit the In the meantime, we hope you and your family are healthy and look forward to seeing you soon.

The post Coronavirus Update for Our Patients appeared first on Sleep Dallas Blog.

from Sleep Dallas Blog…

“Soooo, you can just, like, fall asleep?!” Spoken Poetry on Narcolepsy

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“Soooo, you can just, like, fall asleep?!”

This video moved me to tears. Please watch and share Kara Sulzer’s powerful spoken poetry on living with narcolepsy. Kara cuts right to the heart of so many key aspects of living with narcolepsy so quickly, discussing the symptoms, the social misperceptions and the BEST question she ever received. 

Watch this video on YouTube.

Thank you to my friend, Sleep advocate and Rising Voices of Narcolepsy speaker, Matthew Horsnell for bringing Kara’s video to my attention.

from Blog – Julie Flygare…

A Tongue Pacemaker for Sleep Apnea: Hope or Hype?

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One of the most common questions I get asked by patients and my online community is, “What’s the newest or cutting edge option for treating obstructive sleep apnea?” Internally, I cringe at this question, since it’s like asking what’s the best way to get from your home to work? The answer is…it depends. You can walk, use a skateboard, cycle, drive a car, or even fly there by helicopter. Even the car answer can range from a basic Toyota subcompact to a Lamborghini. All these options have their pros and cons. Some are not very practical, such as flying by helicopter.

It’s understandable that people with obstructive sleep apnea are always looking for better ways of treating OSA, not having to use a pressurized mask (CPAP) for the rest of their lives. Others are reluctant to consider surgery, even when they are good candidates. There are also too many good dental options to choose from. All these mainstream treatment options work to various degrees with various pros and cons.

One recent option that’s been available to sleep apnea patients in the past few years is the tongue nerve pacemaker. The official term is called hypoglossal nerve stimulation, where a pacemaker-like device is implanted in the right upper chest wall, and an electrical cuff is placed around the nerve that protrudes your tongue (the hypoglossal nerve). A sensor lead is placed below the pacemaker device to detect breathing efforts. The device senses when you are making an effort to breathe, and creates an electrical signal to push your tongue forward, opening up your airway being the tongue and soft palate. Click here to see a graphic.

This sounds like a novel idea, but it was first described many years ago by Johns Hopkins researchers in the 1990s. It didn’t take hold for mass sleep apnea treatment until 3 start-up companies were created in the United States in 2006 years of 2007. ImThera is being used in Europe and is currently in clinical trials in the United States. Inspire and Apnex performed clinical studies in the early 2010s. I had the privilege of being involved in the early studies with Apnex. 

Inspire received FDA approval in 2014. In their landmark New England Journal of Medicine publication, they found that in the 126 patient study, the average AHI at 12 months dropped from 29.3 to 9.0, a 68% difference. The overall response rate (> 50% drop in AHI and final AHI < 20) was 66%. The Epworth Sleepiness Score dropped from 11.6 to 7 (< 10 is considered normal). Functional Outcome of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ) scores increased from 14.3 …

Sleep Talk: Episode 52 – PTSD

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Episode 52: PTSD

Many people experience trauma in their lives, and a significant proportion develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traumatic experiences can have a significant effect on sleep, causing sleep disturbance, nightmares and a fear of going to bed. There are evidence-based treatments available that can help to reduce the impact of PTSD on sleep. To discuss PTSD, its impact on sleep, and approaches to treatment we spoke with Assoc Prof Andrea Phelps, Deputy Director of Phoenix Australia at The University of Melbourne.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk – Talking all things sleep.

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Audio Timeline / Chapters:

  • 00:00 – 02:21 Introduction
  • 02:21 – 27:58 Theme – PTSD
  • 27:58 – 29:05 Clinical Tip
  • 29:05 – 31:41 Pick of the Month
  • 31:41 – 33:30 What’s Coming Up?

Next episode: Fly-in-Fly-out workers

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interview:

Assoc Professor Andrea Phelps is the Deputy Director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in treating posttraumatic mental health problems. Andrea has led a number of major Phoenix Australia projects including the Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (2007, 2013 and most recently this year).  Andrea has also led research into innovative treatments for trauma populations, including imagery rehearsal therapy for posttraumatic nightmares.

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) and a board member of the Sleep Health Foundation. She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists and is involved with Monash University with teaching and supervision commitments. She is one of the founders and clinic directors at Yarraville Health Group which was established in 1998. In addition to her expertise in sleep disorders, her other areas of interest and expertise include smoking cessation, psychological adjustment to chronic illness, and grief and loss issues.

Dr David CunningtonDr David Cunnington is a sleep physician and director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, and co-founder and contributor to SleepHub. David trained in sleep medicine …

Can Vaping Make Sleep Apnea Worse?

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In an effort to curtail the damaging effects of smoking traditional cigarettes, smokers and non-smokers alike are taking up e-cigarettes, popularly known as vapes. With 8 million Americans regularly vaping, and traditional cigarette use reaching a record low in 2018, a CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) study indicates that vaping numbers are on the rise. While many folks turn to e-cigarettes as an alternative to burning tobacco, the number of first-time tobacco users is also increasing and largely consists of young adults

Contrary to the prevalent belief that vaping offers a healthy alternative to smoking, the recent e-cig epidemic introduces a slew of new toxins to inhale, followed by various health problems for consumers. Individuals who use vapes face serious health risks, including lung damage, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and heart attack, due to the contents of the vapor in e-cigarettes. The vapor contains nicotine, as well as toxic chemicals and metals, some of which are too recently introduced to discern the true long-term consequences of inhalation. In addition, vaping inhalation, much like traditional cigarette smoking, impacts your sleep cycle by creating inflammation in the nose and upper airway. 

What is Vaping?

Electronic cigarettes, or vapes, heat a liquid solution made up of nicotine, chemicals, and other additives to produce an aerosol for inhalation. Vaping imitates the behavioral elements of smoking a traditional cigarette which appeals to cigarette smokers seeking a healthier alternative. It also broadly appeals to young adults who crave both the flavoring and nicotine buzz provided by vapes, without the harsh sensation caused by inhaling traditional burning tobacco. 

The liquid present in e-cigarettes, which comes in refillable cartridges or disposable pods, contains nicotine, chemicals, and metals, some of which produce toxic compounds like formaldehyde. Consumers of the e-liquid inhale ultrafine particles, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and toxic flavorings like diacetyl disguised as a convenient, healthy alternative to smoking. While the number of chemicals present in e-cigarette vapor does not rival the 7,000+ chemicals in traditional burning tobacco, research links the toxins present in vape aerosol to lung disease, heart disease, and cancer of the throat and nasal passageways.

Inhaling e-cigarette nicotine, equivalent to that found in traditional cigarettes, can result in all of the same consequences, including addiction and withdrawal. As a highly toxic stimulant, nicotine also causes increased blood pressure and spiked adrenaline levels, headaches, nausea, persistent cough, nasal blockage, heartburn, and diarrhea. While the number of chemicals in e-liquid may not amount to that of traditional cigarettes, they still put consumer health in jeopardy. 

Vaping Effects on Sleep Quality

The presence of nicotine in both

The Connection Between Cancer and Sleep Apnea [Podcast 87]

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It’s unavoidable that all of us will experience cancer at one time or another. If you have not experienced cancer, it’s likely that you know someone that has suffered or even died from cancer. 

In this episode, Kathy and I discuss the importance of good sleep as it relates to cancer. This is an important topic that everyone needs to hear if you want to significantly lower your risk of cancer.

Download mp3  |  Subscribe

Show Notes:

Cancer statistics

OSA and cancer review article

Two cancer and OSA studies: Wisconsin cohort and Spanish Study

Intermittent hypoxia and cancer review article

Cancer VEGF

Hypoxia Induceable factor (HIF)

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)

IL6 and OSA

Endothelial dysfunction and OSA 

Taiwanese study on cancer and parasomnias, OSA, insomnia

Shift work breast cancer, colon cancer

Estrogens podcast

Vitamin D podcast

Beta blocker and lower cancer

Love Medicine and Miracles book

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers book

Pillar Implants for snoring and OSA

Environmental Working Group (EWG)

Dirty Dozen foods on EWG

Relaxing breath video by Dr. Weil

5 steps to lower your risk of cancer:

  • Eat clean healthy organic foods
  • Don’t smoke and minimize toxin exposure
  • Optimal, regular sleep
  • Stress control
  • Optimize upper airway and jaw size, starting from pregnancy and childhood.

The post The Connection Between Cancer and Sleep Apnea [Podcast 87] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

from Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and SnoringBlog – Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring…

A Moment I’ll Cherish Forever: Meeting my Representative Adam Schiff

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On Tuesday, Feb. 10th, I had the opportunity to meet my Representative, Congressman Adam Schiff and thank him in-person for championing the sleep community priorities in Congress for the past three years. I was in Washington, DC for Project Sleep and the Sleep Research Society’s February Hill Day on Monday, Feb. 9th. See our event recap and photo album!

But let me back up. In 2017, I had no idea that upon sharing my story and my passion for Project Sleep with my Representative’s health staffer, that his office would end up championing our cause on Capitol Hill.

But that’s exactly what happened: Congressman Schiff stepped forward to lead multiple important “Dear Colleague” letters — that other Representatives (on both sides of the aisle) have signed onto in support of advancing sleep & sleep disorders research via NIH, DoD, and the VA and sleep awareness via CDC. Read more about our efforts here.

YOU have helped make these efforts a success by reaching out to your Representatives to ask them to sign onto these letters. So collectively, all of our efforts combined are making a difference. And how do we know our efforts are making a real difference? Multiple amazing researchers have shared with me they believe our advocacy is helping them secure important research grants. Wow! 

Get involved! You play an important role in our next steps, starting with an advocacy webinar on Tuesday, March 3 at 2pm ET! RSVP here, even if you can’t make it live on March 3rd, RSVP anyway to receive the webinar recording. We will help everyone who signs up to take action!

Sleep touches every one. It is not a partisan issue. Our only opposition is lack of awareness. Sleep is an underdog cause in our society, which is why I love this challenge and why having policy makers like my Representative Adam Schiff on our side, it means the world to me.

As I left the office, Congressman Schiff thanked me for my advocacy. It was a moment I’ll never forget and I wish YOU had been with me to receive this thanks in-person too. Raising our voices matters!

from Blog – Julie Flygare…