Rest Assured: Hoag Brings Sleep Center to Irvine

We know about diet, exercise, stress reduction and the dangers of smoking. But many of us don’t realize how important sleep is to preventing obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression and other illnesses.

“It is a deceptively simple message – that to get healthy you need to get sleep,” said Ahmed El-Bershawi, M.D, a board certified sleep specialist and service chief of the Hoag Sleep Center in Irvine. “Unfortunately, chronic insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic.”

For two decades, the Judy & Richard Voltmer Sleep Center at Hoag in Newport Beach has helped more than 5,000 patients get the sleep they need to improve their health and quality of life.

This spring, Hoag Health Center Irvine will begin offering the same cutting-edge services for sleep disorders currently offered in Newport Beach, including cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and relaxation techniques to help people regain the rhythm of natural sleep.

The new Sleep Center will offer the same access to registered polysomnographic technologists, bedroom labs, outpatient facilities, and the advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies that are currently available only in Newport Beach.

“Medicine has identified more than 100 sleep disorders,” Dr. El-Bershawi said. “Some are well-known, like sleep apnea and insomnia. But many patients with sleep problems don’t realize that they have it and can be fully treated."

Sleep problems are so misunderstood that fewer than 6 percent of people with sleep issues bring them up when they talk to their doctors about other things that ail them. They figure that a health condition keeps them from sleeping, when often it’s the other way around.

"Sleep is a function of the brain, so when we sleep, our brains do, not our bodies.” said Dr. El-Bershawi. “A sleep specialist can ‘teach’ your brain how to fall asleep effectively.”

A specially tailored program might involve biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy and other medical interventions to restore the most restorative part of your health routine.

What it will not include is a reliance on sleeping pills.

“When people self-medicate by using over-the-counter sleep aids or rely on a ‘night cap,’ to help them sleep, they are actually doing more harm than good,” Dr. El-Bershawi said. “Sleep is a vital, but overlooked, aspect of health. By expanding the sleep center services into Irvine, we will help South County residents regain control over their health, their mental function and their well-being.”

For more information, call 888-807-9973.