Daylight Savings Time is coming upon us, be prepared to Fall Back. For our listeners that have difficult times sleeping, our November 1st show was for them. Dr. Cliff Johnson joined us to discuss sleeping disorders and how we can improve our sleep. Dr. Cliff Johnson became Board Certified in Sleep Medicine in 2003 and he is the Medical Director of the Aultman Sleep Centers.
While insufficient sleep is the most common sleeping problem in the United States, the most common sleeping illness is Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea occurs when a personâ€™s throat muscles, in a deep sleep, get so relaxed that they collapse in on themselves. When throat muscles collapse a small amount, a person snores. When throat muscles collapse even more, the sleeper could stop breathing for up to 30 seconds before waking up to breathe again. This occurs through out the night obviously affecting the quality of their sleep. Most people are unaware that this is even occurring, especially if they sleep alone.
Symptoms for adults that suffer from Sleep Apnea may include:
â€¢ Waking up with headaches â€“ due to lack of oxygen during the night.
â€¢ Need for naps
â€¢ Fighting to stay awake during the day
If you suspect that you have Sleep Apnea, your doctor can instigate a sleep study for you. Sleep studies take place at centers such as the Aultman Sleep Center where the patient spends the night hooked up to various monitors that measure breathing, heart rate, brain waves, muscle activity and movements. This provides your doctor with the necessary information to properly diagnose Sleep Apnea and itâ€™s severity.
Light sufferers of Sleep Apnea may find relief with an oral appliance (Silent Night) that is custom made by your dentist or oral surgeon. This is worn at night and pushes your bottom jaw forward giving you more room in the back of the throat. These are effective in about half of Sleep Apnea cases.
More severe cases may involve using a C-PAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). This is a machine that sits next to your bed. Itâ€™s connected to a hose and a mask that fits over your face while you are sleeping. A C-PAP machine forces air into the back of the throat preventing the muscles from collapsing. Itâ€™s effective almost 99% of the time. And donâ€™t worry; most insurance plans cover the tests and studies done at sleep centers as well as the C-PAP.
Left untreated Sleep Apnea, especially in severe cases, may increase your chances of:
â€¢ Heart problems
â€¢ Blood pressure
â€¢ Suffering from an Irregular heart beat
Also, while Sleep Apnea is not correlated to stress, sufferers may have harder times dealing with stress. Sleep Apnea can be genetic, observe your children if you suffer from it.
Sleep Apnea can affect children but there are different symptoms to look for. While adults show fatigue, children may often mimic ADHD in their symptoms:
â€¢ Poor attention spans
â€¢ School work suffers
Since snoring is unusual for children, only affecting 1 in 10, if your child snores and shows symptoms above, talk with your pediatrician. Treatment for children may include tonsillectomy.
Dr. Johnson also discussed Insomnia and the lack of sleep most Americans deal with. While Sleep Apnea sufferers can usually sleep thru the night, Insomniacs have difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Insomnia can be related to depression or anxiety so itâ€™s best to talk with a doctor to find the underlying issues and find treatment.
Remember, insufficient sleep is the biggest sleeping problem that we face. People need 7-9 hours of sleep but based on surveys, Americans receive only about 6 1/2. Lack of sleep can lead to increased blood pressure, heart problems and recent studies are linking fatigue to obesity.
People who can squeeze in that extra hour or two of sleep will find that they:
â€¢ Look better
â€¢ Feel better
â€¢ Lose weight
â€¢ Live longer
You can reach Dr. Cliff Johnson at the North Canton Medical Foundation at 330-433-1200 or at the Aultman Sleep Center at 330-305-6967.
Listen to a recording of the entire show on Wriggling in The Middle also catch our October 11, 2010 and other Podcasts for helpful information on falling asleep.