Talking to Your Doctor About Sleep Issues

Feeling like you might be more than “just tired?” Wondering how to talk about sleep issues with your primary care provider? You’re not alone. In Talking to Your Doctor About Sleep Issues, guests shared insights from clinical and patient perspectives on discussing sleep issues and daytime sleepiness with general practitioners, and how to get referred to a sleep specialist.

Sleep disorders affect one in five Americans, yet the majority remain undiagnosed and without access to treatments and support. Millions are facing sleep issues alone, thinking their challenges are something they should be able to control, a sign of laziness, or a character flaw.

Feeling sleepy or fatigued during the day after a full night’s sleep, on a regular basis, can be a sign of a sleep disorder. But there are many reasons people may feel chronically tired, and it can be difficult to pinpoint underlying causes. Often, conversations around sleep with healthcare providers lead to inconclusive test results or misdiagnoses. With information on effective language, sleep disorder symptoms, screening tools, and diagnostic procedures, we believe more people can reach an accurate sleep disorder diagnosis sooner.

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Julie Flygare, JD

Julie Flygare, JD, serves as President & CEO of Project Sleep. Flygare is an internationally recognized patient-perspective leader, an accomplished advocate, and the award-winning author of Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy. On March 22, 2022, she delivered the TEDx Talk, “What Can You Learn from a Professional Dreamer?“

Joshua Roland, MD

Joshua Roland, MD, studied psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he developed an interest in sleep and its role in mental health and well-being. Before attending medical school, he worked in clinical research conducting studies on sleep pharmacotherapies. Dr. Roland completed his residency at Drexel University College of Medicine and then did a sleep medicine fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. He practiced sleep medicine at UCLA, and worked on guidelines for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as well as serving on the California Sleep Society board of directors. He currently is the medical director of River at Thirty Madison.

Kristen Cascio

Kristen Cascio is a clinical social worker and world traveler from Boston. She was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea at age 31. Kristen now hopes to raise awareness while encouraging others to never feel self-conscious about their diagnosis. As a speaker with Project Sleep’s Rising Voices program, she shares her story to increase public knowledge around sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.

Lauren Oglesby, MPH

Lauren Oglesby serves as Programs Manager for Project Sleep, and is a public health educator and advocate focused on healthcare and resource accessibility. Recently diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea at age 44 after experiencing symptoms for years, she shares her story to validate and empower others in self-advocacy and healthcare navigation.

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