Sleep clinics up the ante on comfort

May 11, 2009 at 12:26 PM
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CHICAGO, May 11 (UPI) -- The rapidly expanding business of sleep medicine now offers hotel-style rooms with cushy beds and flatscreen TVs, U.S. doctors who treat disorders said.

Clinics are offering more amenities as an increasing number of people seek testing to solve problems with sleep, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

Sleep testing, or polysomnography, involves monitoring a sleeping patient's brain activity, heart rate, respiration and blood-oxygen levels -- often with more than a dozen wires glued to the head, legs and arms, said Dr. Michael Friedman, co-director of the Sleep Diagnostics Center in Chicago.

The University of Chicago has opened a new hotel-style clinic and Resurrection Health Care and Merit Sleep Centers plan to open 25 new hotel-style sites around Chicago by year's end.

Friedman's clinic offers tests in rooms at Chicago's Crowne Plaza while Northwestern Memorial Hospital uses rooms at the posh Avenue Hotel, the Tribune reported.

"We wanted to better provide an environment more conducive to sleep,"

said Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of Northwestern's sleep center.

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