Snore No More
Wayne Crawford's snoring was so bad, it was keeping both him
and his wife awake at night. Crawford, 43, is a computer systems programmer for
the city of Philadelphia. He ran track and played football back in high school,
and was a member of a championship rough-touch football team in his 20s. But
then came middle age. Crawford was
gaining weight and feeling so tired, he couldn't even ride his bike any
He found the CPAP device "a little claustrophobic at first.
It looks like
elephantiasis," he says. When he wears it, his kids tell him,
"Daddy, you've got your trunk on."
But Crawford's wife doesn't mind the humming sound the machine
makes. "It's somewhat soothing as opposed to the sound of my snoring,"
Thanks to regular sleep, Crawford is no longer in what he
describes as "a constant state of lethargy." He's also
working out regularly at a gym.
Fry began studying sleep disorders when she was a resident at
the Neurological Institute of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in the late
1970s. Since 1981, Fry has been the director of the Center for Sleep Medicine
(formerly the Sleep Disorder Center) at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in
Among the other sleep disorders Fry treats is narcolepsy, a
neurological disorder that can cause people to fall asleep without warning at
embarrassing or even dangerous moments. Sherry Johnson is a narcoleptic who
used to fall asleep while she was cashing checks as a bank teller. "I would
just sort of nod off and not even know I was doing it," says Johnson, 57,
of Cherry Hill, N.J. She'd come to a few seconds later without knowing whether
she had handed any cash back to the customer. "It was a creepy thing for
me," she says.
Johnson also fell asleep while driving. She'd change lanes and
her head would droop. She'd wake up seconds later not knowing what had
happened. "I thank God my guardian angel was on my shoulder," she
Johnson didn't know she had narcolepsy until she saw Fry in the
early 1990s. With medication and regular sleep, she's "almost 98%
Fry also treats patients with a neurological disorder called
restless leg syndrome, which can cause twitching and various sensations,
primarily in the legs, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep.
Anne Belcher, 67, a retired chemist from Wayne, Pa., says she
used to spend much of her nights pacing the floor. She'd get a sensation in her
legs described by Fry as a "creeping, crawling" feeling. Only walking
could relieve it. "You get very antsy," says Belcher, who has been
seeing Fry since October.
Belcher has been taking special medications to make the
symptoms go away. Now, "as far as the legs go, I could sleep forever,"
she says. "The last couple of months, I haven't felt the