Jones Medical Supply and Troy Regional team up to tackle sleep apnea

Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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Jones Medical Supply and the Troy Regional Sleep Disorders Center have partnered to enter into a unique sleep study with the Troy University Football Team’s offensive line.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, obstructive sleep apnea affects nearly 30 million Americans, and an estimated 80 percent of those cases remain undiagnosed. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and depression. As a result of the partnership between Jones Medical Supply and Troy Regional, all of Troy University’s offensive linemen will receive sleep studies this summer.

“From a demographic standpoint, guys who have big necks typically have sleep apnea,” Jones Medical Supply Owner Jason Jones said. “So, offensive linemen are big, because they’re supposed to be big, and they typically have big necks.

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“I woke up one morning and it hit me and I reached out to Rick Smith over at Troy Regional and he said, ‘This makes sense, let’s do it.’ So, we’re partnering with Troy Regional to ensure that every offensive lineman has a sleep study, which determines whether or not they have sleep apnea.”

Troy Regional CEO Rick Smith emphasized the importance of sleep.

“Sleep is extremely vital to overall health and we’re excited to partner with Jones Medical Supply to help get these athletes healthier and feeling better,” Smith said.

Because of the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rules, Jones Medical Supply and Troy Regional are able to provide the sleep studies free of charge for Troy’s linemen, as well as the CPAP machine to combat sleep apnea if diagnosed.

“If the sleep study determines they have sleep apnea, we’ll provide a CPAP (machine) for them and, because of NIL, we are able to do all this at no charge,” Jones said. “Years ago, before NIL, this could have been done but the problem would have been that the players would have to pay their co-pay and deductible to get all of these things and that could run anywhere from $300 to $1,500 out of pocket and a college student just can’t do that.

“We also couldn’t have given them a break because it would be impermissible and a violation of NCAA rules. Now that NIL is here, we might as well do something that cares about the patient’s health and in this case, the patient is Troy’s offensive line.”

Jones Medical Supply and Troy Regional will track those players that end up using CPAP machines and be able to gauge if the added sleep is also paying dividends on the field and in the weight room.

“We’ll track everything and see the results from a workout standpoint,” Jones said. “We’re going to get with (Troy Strength and Conditioning Coach Rusty) Whitt and see how they’re doing in the weight room in two months compared to last month and see if they’re getting there on time and early and getting a full night’s sleep and all of those things.”

One Troy lineman has already had a sleep study done and is seeing the benefits of sleeping with a CPAP.

“The one player that started last week said on the first night it made a huge difference,” Jones said. “I’ve checked in with him a few times since and he said it absolutely made a huge difference. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard because you have that constant air pressure blowing and keeping that airway open, so you don’t wake up feeling like you ran a marathon. You wake up rested and that’s going to make these guys better students in the classroom, better people to be around in general and better players on the football field.”

Troy’s offensive line will begin testing in June and the sleep study team at Troy Regional Sleep Disorders will track the results and look at performance both on and off the field heading into football season.