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Upstate physician helps lead World Sleep Day recognition

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- Antonio Culebras, M.D., neurology consultant for the Sleep Center, located at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus, has been named co-chair of the sixth annual World Sleep Day, to be celebrated Friday, March 15. The international event is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM), and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.

“Improved diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders could decrease fatal or serious traffic accidents by approximately one third,” said Culebras. “Through global awareness, the World Sleep Day committee hopes people will address sleep issues and seek treatment for their own safety and wellbeing.”

Each year, World Sleep Day works to bring attention to the restorative, health-boosting effects of sleep. The theme of World Sleep Day 2013 is “Good sleep, healthy aging.”

According to WASM, research has shown that sleep is as vital to healthy growth in childhood -- as well as aging well in late adulthood -- as good nutrition and regular activity. Lack of sleep, or poor quality sleep, is known to have a significant negative impact on health, both in the short and long term. Poor sleep has been associated with obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancers, as well as many psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety.

World Sleep Day 2013 is sponsored by WASM, an international organization comprised of health care professionals primarily active in the field of sleep medicine. The goal of the World Association of Sleep Medicine is to advance knowledge about sleep and sleep disorders among health care personnel and among the public worldwide.

Culebras authored “Sleep and Stroke,” which is now the most-read full-text journal article by neurologists (Medscape from WebMD, Feb. 11, 2010, Neurology Edition, Email Newsletters, New York, N.Y.). The article reviews how the risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes are modified by sleep and sleep apnea.

The Sleep Center at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus, celebrating over 20 years of service, is a fully-accredited sleep center that offers both pulmonary and neurology-focused diagnoses and treatment for sleep disorders and daytime alertness to both pediatric and adult patients. The Center’s staff includes professionals with expertise in pediatrics, pulmonology, neurology, sleep medicine, respiratory therapy and neurodiagnostics.

Expected to move to the Medical Center West facility located at 5700 West Genesee Street in Camillus this summer, the Sleep Center will continue to care for patients at its Community Campus location until that time. The new center will have space to care for more patients with 12 beds, three of which will be dedicated pediatric beds, one will be designated for adolescents and the remaining are designated for adult patients. The test rooms will offer private restrooms and climate control in an effort to make the rooms as comfortable and convenient as possible. In addition, a number of the rooms will feature private shower facilities.

To contact the center, call 315-492-5877 or visit www.cgh.org/sleep.