Sleep "Hotel" Opens in Utah

Sleep "Hotel" Opens in Utah


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Ed Yeates reportingTrying to reverse the national epidemic of sleep deprivation in this country is becoming a big business.

In fact, a fourth sleep center is opening along the Wasatch Front. But instead of a hospital, this one is in a hotel.

One section of the Country Inn and Suites here has been converted into one of the country's first hotel based medical sleep centers. Why? Let's go inside and find out.

When you think about sleeping so medical researchers can diagnose and treat sleep disorders, a hotel setting makes a lot of sense.

Instead of small, cramped, clinical rooms in hospital based sleep centers, this one takes on a whole new image.

What's really different, is the atmosphere. The bedroom is far from clinical. We're talking about comfort, quiet music, your own bathroom, the kind of environment that encourages sleep."

The expertise is here. And the control room which monitors patients looks the same. But the hallways, the bedrooms -- this is a sleep center ala mode.

Stanford University professor Dr. William Dement, known as the father of sleep medicine, is in Salt Lake for the opening.

He says you could build 20 sleep centers here and still only scratch the surface in dealing with all the problems of sleep deprivation.

William Dement, M.D. / Stanford University School of Medicine: "I WOULD LABEL THIS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY. I MEAN WE'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH THIS. IT'S SORT OF LIKE AIDS."

Sleeping at the wheel, on the job, in classrooms. Dr. Dement says it's all increasingly symptomatic of a nation that does not get enough sleep.

And in the schools..

DEMENT: "THE FACT THAT WE DON'T TEACH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ABOUT SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND REM SLEEP AND JUST THE FUNDAMENTAL SIMPLE FACTS OF SLEEP - IS AN ABOMINATION."

Salt Lake's three other sleep centers are full. Dr. Dement expects this new one will be as well treating at least 15-hundred sleep deprived patients per year.

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