'Sleep' commercials make provider want to change channel

Friday, August 31, 2007

WOBURN, Mass. - If you need further proof sleep has entered the mainstream, just switch on your TV.
A large New England furniture company's mattress campaign features commercials inviting customers to visit a store and talk to a "sleep tech." That doesn't sit well with Fernando DaSilva, who handles northeast sales and marketing for Total Sleep Therapies.
"They dress up some of their people in white coats and call them sleep techs," said DaSilva. "That's a complete misnomer. It's mattress technology."
Sleep techs go through a two-year licensing and accreditation program, said DaSilva. The store's campaign could mislead people who might really need help, he said.
"I think it is somewhat misrepresentative of what a sleep tech really does and what a sleep lab does in terms of services," DaSilva said.
Ed Grandi, executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association, agrees that words can have an impact but sees the glass as half full. "Anything that gets people thinking about sleep is good," he said.