It's something everyone needs, but far too few get enough of. And the inability to get it is, quite literally, keeping people up at night. That's why Highmark Inc. is opening a first-of-its-kind store that could help people finally find what may be eluding them: a good night's sleep.
Construction is underway on REMWorks Sleep Store, a new retail location at The Waterfront in Homestead. With a planned December opening, the shop will feature a wide range of solutions and products for people dealing with sleeplessness, sleep apnea, snoring and insomnia.
"Having trouble sleeping is something that, unfortunately, most people will face at some point in their lives," said Amy Phillips, director of REMWorks. "But, fortunately, with this new store, we have the opportunity to provide guidance to assist people in getting a good night's sleep. Our highly trained licensed sleep coaches will work with people to understand why they're having trouble sleeping and develop a plan so they can get better sleep.”
REMWorks is named for the restorative REM -- or rapid eye movement -- cycle of sleep. A certified Durable Medical Equipment Center, the REMWorks retail store will carry about 75 percent retail products and 25 percent prescription items, said Phillips. Not only is REMWorks the first retail and prescription sleep emporium in the region, Phillips said, but possibly the country.
"REMWorks Sleep Store is not a mattress store and it is not a sleep lab," Phillips said. "Rather, it is a sleep store unlike anything that's currently in the market. In a relaxing, comfortable retail environment, REMWorks will offer products to address various sleep problems and provide education about treatment options to help people get the sleep they need."
For those who've been tested and determined by their doctor to be suffering from sleep apnea, the sleep coaches at REMWorks will be able to provide CPAP machines as well as fit them for accessories used to treat sleep apnea, including CPAP masks from many different manufacturers.
Phillips said the store will feature 40 to 50 different masks, so customers can get the best fit and best comfort to suit their needs. One CPAP is so small, Phillips said, that it can fit in the palm of your hand and can recharge with a car charger – the perfect device for someone traveling or even camping. Phillips also discussed a new CPAP alternative the shop will carry, the Apniciure
; which is not a mask, but suctions to the tongue.
Phillips said REMWorks will offer such a wide array of masks and CPAP devices because, from a storage perspective, this DME focuses solely on sleep.
And, by focusing on sleep, she said she hopes to facilitate care for those who need prescription sleep products. She said many people who suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep issues don’t see themselves as sick, so they don’t care to shop at DME centers that offer walkers or other medical items. REMWorks is the first DME of its kind to only offer prescription sleep products with relaxing retail merchandise.
People who already have equipment will be able to visit the store to ensure it is properly fitted for maximum effectiveness. REMWorks will accept most health insurance, including regional and national insurance carriers.
In addition to leading brand-name CPAP devices, the store will also carry an assortment of treatment options ranging from sleep masks to music and lighting solutions, soothing bedding and pillows, teas and aromatherapy sleep aids as well as white noise machines and even sleep solutions for children.
Sleep coaches will also offer education, individualized sleep plans and over-the-counter treatments for the non-medical causes for a variety of sleep issues like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, teeth grinding, sleep terrors, sleep walking and circadian rhythm problems.
REMWorks is the first brick-and-mortar retail location conceived out of Highmark's Business Innovation and Development department, and is a for-profit subsidiary of Highmark. The Business Innovation and Development group focuses on creating growth opportunities for Highmark by developing new and innovative products, services and business models.
"We saw a market demand that was not being met, and that's what led to the development of the sleep store concept," said Paul Puopolo, Highmark vice president of Business Innovation and Development. "Through collaboration and relationship-building, we are able to develop unique concepts that bring value to Highmark and, most importantly, our customers. The lack of a good night's sleep does not just affect your mood and productivity. It also can contribute to serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and depression. That's why having a store like this is so important – and why the opening of REMWorks Sleep Store is a proud milestone for our department and the entire company."
Source: Doug Braunsdorf, Senior Public Relations Analyst Highmark Inc., Amy Phillips, Highmark Inc.