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This Story May Put You to Sleep

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Dr. Ahmed El-Bershawi, Pulmonologist and Sleep Expert Named Service Chief of New Hoag Sleep Center Irvine

Thousands of years ago, Homer wrote in The Odyssey, “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”

Therein lies the challenge for millions of people: When it comes time for sleep, they can do anything but sleep.

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have fretted over the importance of sleep – and all too often, their inability to enjoy a good, uninterrupted night of it. Today, discussions about sleep, along with research into its mysterious biomechanics and health benefits, continue unabated. Hundreds of books have been written about the importance of sleep to our physical and emotional well-being; meanwhile, thousands of sleep studies have been conducted. The Google search, “the importance of sleep,” returns millions of hits faster than you can count a single proverbial sheep.

“Sleep is so important. I can’t overstate how vital it is to our lives,” says Ahmed El-Bershawi, M.D., board certified sleep specialist, who recently expanded his practice to Hoag Health Center Irvine and has been named service chief of Hoag Sleep Center Irvine.

“The amount and the quality of our sleep impacts our health. Poor sleeping patterns can be associated with certain cancers. Even today, with everything we know about the human body, sleep is poorly understood.”

The new Sleep Center offers patients the same access to board certified sleep specialists, registered polysomnographic technologists, bedroom labs, outpatient facilities, and the advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies that are currently available at the Judy & Richard Voltmer Sleep Center at Hoag in Newport Beach.

By providing these and other cutting-edge services for sleep disorders – including cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and relaxation techniques – the Irvine center now is able to help people of all ages regain the rhythm of natural sleep.

Dr. El-Bershawi explains that sleep – specifically, getting a good healthy dose daily – is vital to our health. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t understand sleep’s intricate connection to a healthy life, nor the important role sleep plays to help prevent a wide range of disorders, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression, to name just a few.

“Our mission is to ‘Go the Extra Mile’ for our patients,” Dr. El-Bershawi says. “Our patients’ health and well-being is our number one priority, and as a result we are recognized as the regional leader in our specialty due to our commitment to providing the people and communities we serve with the highest quality care, advanced medical technology and superior medical outcomes.”

Dr. El-Bershawi decided to specialize in pulmonology and sleep disorders because they are complex, fascinating, and crucial to our lives. There is still so much to learn about how breathing and sleep issues affect our lives. He estimates about five out of 10 people will have sleep issues at some point in their lives.

“Chronic, insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic,” said Dr. El-Bershawi. “Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep for optimal health, but many struggle to achieve that threshold. Sleep is an action. It affects your daily life. It is attached to everything.”

Dr. El-Bershawi grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the United States in 1996. He married his wife, Ghada Aly, the following year and soon moved to California to be near their family. For the past 12 years they’ve lived in Irvine’s Village of Northwood.

Dr. El-Bershawi’s three daughters attend Irvine public schools, and, in fact, he and his wife chose Irvine specifically because of its nationally renowned school system.

“It is a privilege to work in the community. I’m so happy to be a part of Hoag Health Center Irvine.”

No doubt the feeling will soon be mutual for those in Irvine and surrounding communities who turn to Dr. El-Bershawi for care.

For more information, call 888-590-3714.