Peter Fatianow first became interested in the possibilities of a retail store focused on sleep while working for an integrated delivery system in the Midwest that was acquiring sleep labs. "I was fascinated about what was going on in that business," he says, and although he wasn't working directly with the sleep labs, they prompted him to begin researching sleep topics. "I found that 100 million people have sleep problems; there are forty million or so with obstructive sleep apnea, and untested obstructive sleep apnea has a significant impact on other health issues, like diabetes and heart disease."
Fatianow wondered why sleep obstructive sleep apnea is so widely undiagnosed. "It's because the education is not there," he now explains. "There are people who are tired all day long -- who fall asleep behind the wheel, nap during the day, have to drink pots of coffee, and they have no idea why. And either they don't go to the doctor, or the doctor just gives them some medication, like sleeping pills.
"And if you do know about obstructive sleep apnea," he continues, "then you have in your mind that you're not going to a strange bed to be observed with all these electrodes stuck to your head, and you're not going to wear a CPAP mask, so therefore you'll do nothing. And even if you do want to do something, you have to go to the doctor and get past the sleeping pills, get referred to a sleep specialist who refers you to a sleep lab, who then refers to you to the company that gives you the CPAP machine."
The idea of Somnia is to bypass all of that. But the store isn't just a clinic for obstructive sleep apnea -- there are also plenty of products to make your bedtime environment more conducive to good sleep, including natural supplements and services.
"Finding the best mattress does matter," notes Fatianow. "Finding sheets that help you cool down, and noise control and air quality products, or light control products."
There are also specific products for those who travel frequently and pregnant women, and Somnia will also offer sleep coaching services for children, all in one place.
"The main purpose of Somnia is to help people find ways to get a better and healthier night's sleep," Fatianow says. "We looked at each and every product, and there's a huge education component to the store."
And if you do suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, the store has many sleep screening tools available for free, plus home sleep testing units that you can rent (for a lower price than what you'd typically pay with insurance).
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