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Sleepless in Botswana

Company does its part to help fight AIDS in Africa with NightWave sleep device

PORTLAND, Ore., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, Coherence Resources, Inc. provided Peace Corp volunteers in Botswana with the crucial help they need: adequate sleep. Malaria medications taken by the volunteers often disrupt sleep and a new device from Coherence Resources helps the volunteers cope with the problem.

"These courageous volunteers are facing a lot of challenges over there, working long hours to help AIDS victims," said Stephen Parsons, founder, Coherence Resources, based in Portland, Oregon. "The last thing they need is insomnia or trouble falling asleep; this donation of our NightWave sleep assistant ($69 retail value at will help them get the sleep they need."

Sleep has been a challenge for Peace Corp volunteer Ashlee Irwin, a Beaverton, Oregon, resident who's been serving in Botswana since April, 2007. While Irwin has avoided serious illness herself, she has had her share of sleepless nights. Volunteers are required to take malaria medications, such as Mefloquine and Doxycycline, which can have a sleep disrupting side effect. And adjusting to a strange, new environment - one filled with noisy goats, donkeys, chickens and cows - is also a challenge to good sleep.

Her NightWave sleep assistant has done wonders for her, she said, by helping her sleep without having to take more drugs. "I like it because it puts me to sleep and I sleep more soundly when I use it," said Irwin. "By focusing on the blue light it helps me clear my mind so that I don't have a bunch of thoughts racing around in there through the night."

Irwin, 23, was placed in Pilikwe, a small village of about 1,500 people, as an HIV/AIDS Community Capacity Building volunteer. Her primary role is working at a clinic in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission program. She is the only volunteer in the village and the nearest volunteer is about 45 minutes away.

"I love my life here. It is hard to label just one thing I like best," said Irwin. "But, if I had to pick something, I would say the relationships that I've formed in Botswana have been very rewarding and have played a big part in helping me to feel at home here."

Ashlee's work in Botswana ranges from teaching clinic staff how to use computers, creating educational materials about HIV/AIDS, to working with schools to educate children about health issues, such as malaria, child abuse, puberty and others.

"It's my daily, one-on-one conversations with the people of this village that has been the most rewarding," she said. "In Botswana, you can easily stop by someone's house to pay them a visit and end up spending the afternoon there."

NightWave sleep assistant works by projecting a soft light into your darkened bedroom. The "luminance" of the light slowly rises and falls, and as you lay with eyes open and synchronize your breathing with the blue wave, its movement becomes slower and slower. After a short time, you roll over and fall asleep and the device shuts off.

The device utilizes an all natural, ancient deep breathing technique borrowed from yoga and meditation. The technique moderates the involuntary nervous system without the use of drugs. Improved breathing positively effects the entire body - including lowering blood pressure, reducing heart rate variability, and reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, the pocket-sized NightWave is silent, doesn't use cords or masks, and is portable and durable. And it's healthier than drugs - and much less expensive.

Sleeplessness affects us in all walks of life - whether volunteering on another continent, or right here in the U.S. - many people struggle to let go of daily stress from jobs, routines or tough decisions. Having a job/life that you truly believe in and feel good about can help you rest easier, but even then, as Irwin has found, we need a little help.

"My hope is, by being more rested and alert because of NightWave, this group of courageous Peace Corp. volunteers can better help these villages in Africa win their battles against HIV/AIDS," said Parsons.

About Coherence Resources

Coherence Resources, Inc., based in Portland, Ore., seeks to relax the world through solutions that connect people to the healthy benefits of deep breathing. Its solutions are simple and timeless. NightWave(TM) sleep assistant is a personal sleep coach guiding the user in a pre-sleep relaxation session while lying in bed. It projects a soothing blue light onto a bedroom ceiling that guides users in a proven deep breathing relaxation technique. Coherence Resources also makes the Smoooth(TM) deep breathing assistant, an on-screen software application for Windows or Macintosh that provides tension and stress relief by guiding users in relaxation breathing while they work. Please visit, or for more information.

SOURCE Coherence Resources, Inc.
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