Kansas’ Allen County Regional Hospital is marking National Sleep Awareness Month with a sleep-a-thon on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the lobby of Thrive Allen County. Several community healthcare, education, and business leaders are sleeping in the lobby to raise awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep—which might be even more apparent with last Sunday’s switch to Daylight Savings Time.

“It’s proven that the risks of getting too little sleep are many and varied,” says Allen County Regional Hospital CEO Tony Thompson, FACHE (pictured above), who logged in his z’s at Thrive on March 13, in a release. “I was diagnosed with a sleeping disorder and now use a CPAP at night, which has greatly improved not only sleep, but also my quality of life. This sleep-a-thon is a golden opportunity for us to educate the community we serve about the physical, cognitive, and emotional importance of quality sleep.”

Fred Larson, director of Allen County Regional Hospital’s award-winning Sleep Center, and one of the sleep-a-thon participants, will take his turn this Thursday, March 15, in the lobby of Thrive. Acknowledging that millions of Americans suffer from different types of sleep disorders, Larson says, “Symptoms range from fatigue, depression, personality changes, irritability, memory loss, decreased concentration, accidents, and frequent illnesses, as well as increased risk for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. While the amount of sleep individuals requires differs, most adults need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

“Younger adults may need more and there’s no way for your doctor know what your exact number is. However, there is some data that suggests up to one-third of people in the U.S. get less than seven hours of sleep each night,” he says.

Other people who will take their turn in the sleep-a-thon include Judy Works, ARNP, The Monarch Cement Company, which operates three shifts, underscoring the correlation between shift work and sleep; Nathan Fawson, MBA, HAS, director at Southeast Kansas Mental Health, highlighting the relationship between mental health and good sleep; and Janie Works, owner of Growing Place Childcare Center and Kay Lewis, Superintendent of Schools, Humboldt USD 258, both raising awareness about how critical good sleep is to children. Thrive Allen County Director David Toland and Brian D. Wolfe, MD, family practice physician at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, were also members of the sleep-a-thon team.

Allen County Regional Hospital’s comprehensive Sleep Center recently received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation, a symbol of quality reflecting the hospital’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

Allen County Regional Hospital’s Sleep Lab is located inside the hospital at 3066 N Kentucky.