Dr. Yatin J Patel, a board-certified pulmonologist, and sleep physician is a passionate advocate for his patients’ overall health. He has made it his mission to alleviate their suffering, and views each day as a new opportunity to promote a lifestyle founded on healthy and happy living. At his private practice, Sneeze & Snooze Clinic, Indiana, he oversees the care of the patients suffering from a variety of sleep disorders.
As a published author and public speaker, Dr. Patel strives to be a source of inspiration, sharing his message of good health globally. Whether it’s through his video series, or at a live speaking event, he is out to motivate not just his patients, but anybody in need of a physical, mental or spiritual awakening.
As the Medical Director of the Center for Sleep Studies at Goshen Hospital, Dr. Patel is held in high esteem as a selfless leader and a visionary in the field. His writing explores the intricacies of his chosen field and demonstrates his compassion for those he serves. In addition to an ongoing informational blog, Dr. Patel is a published author, and touts himself as “The World’s Only Sleep Doc with a Notre Dame MBA.”
Outside the office, Dr. Patel is either relaxing through the healing powers of meditation or taking in the world from the vantage point of his bicycle. As a humanitarian and philanthropist, he is also part of many social health initiatives, including campaigns on Safe Driving and empowerment through rural education.
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
This book, CPAP is Sexy, takes the fear of sleeping with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure machine) machine, and in fact makes it fun. CPAP is the most successful treatment for a potentially fatal disease, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in which a person’s throat repeatedly shuts off during sleep robbing the person of deep sleep.
I wrote this book because I kept on hearing from my patients that they were scared of CPAP treatment. They had this preconceived notion that sleeping with CPAP is ugly, cumbersome, and uncomfortable. In this book, I have tried to convince them that it is sexy!
Have you always enjoyed writing?
I hate writing the same way a mom hates labor pains! I do love the final product! I do love public speaking without any reservation. I love talking as if I am talking to my patient, but a book certainly can reach a wider audience. It can explain complex ideas in a graphic manner. I pray my ideas, written or spoken, help people live a long life full of energy, enthusiasm, and elation.
What motivates you to write?
Being a physician, I have this constant urge to help others and a book is the best way to help the widest possible audience for the longest period. This desire to help motivates me to write and keep writing.
Location and life experiences can influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in a family of avid readers in a dusty little village in Gujarat. Our village library, well-stocked with over ten thousand books, and my grandpa’s voracious appetite for reading introduced me to the world of words. I owe everything I know to that humble but literate beginning. My success, first in the high school and then medical college, was the result of that relationship with words. My quest for advanced study brought me to the USA, where I became a pulmonary and sleep physician. Practising in a small town in the USA, I realized that people were living a sleep-deprived and hence a truncated, sleepy, and grumpy life. To help them live a life full of energy, enthusiasm, vigor, and vitality, I started writing.
How did you develop your writing?
I write as if I am talking to a patient in the examination room at my clinic. I write what is important to them. I write it in a way they can understand and implement it hoping that it will change their behavior and their life.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Most people need seven hours to be alert all-day long. I need eight. My wife needs six and a half. It is also vital to realize that we need seven hours of sound sleep and that can occur only when we follow sleep hygiene religiously. Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule even on weekends. Avoid caffeine after 1 PM. Avoid alcohol within three hours of bedtime. Exercise daily for twenty to thirty minutes. Keep a cool, calm, comfortable, and a quiet bedroom. Disengage from social media thirty minutes before bedtime. Say a brief prayer before bedtime. These steps will ensure sound sleep.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I read when I am not writing. To relax, I do daily yoga, meditation, and walking. I enjoy listening to bhajans in the morning and ghazals in the evening.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
This life is a rare blessing. My sincere hope is that the readers will take my words to the heart and change their behavior and as a result live a long and healthy life.