Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

May is Better Sleep Month

Tossing and turning throughout the night? Do you daydream about a good night’s sleep? While not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night may seem like a minor problem, it can be more serious than most people think. While Don Davis was undergoing treatment at Piedmont Fayette Hospital (PFH) for another health problem, he found out just how serious a sleep problem can be.

In 2007, Davis’s PFH doctors began to notice a problem in his sleeping. He periodically stopped breathing during the night. This problem had been affecting him for about three years, but he did not think it was serious enough for him to seek treatment.

At the encouragement of his doctor, Davis decided to visit the Sleep Center at PFH to determine what was causing his sleep problems. He went to the Sleep Center for an initial consultation where they explained to him the entire process of his sleep study. Davis returned for his visit a few weeks later and thought that he slept soundly through the night of his study. Instead, he found out that he suffered from sleep apnea.

“I always knew that I was tired during the day, but I never knew that it was related to sleep apnea,” said Davis. “I was relieved to find out what the problem was and anxious to get it rectified.”

Davis returned to the sleep center to undergo a sleep evaluation for his treatment. He now uses a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to help him sleep throughout the night. Davis returns to the sleep center for checkups and has noticed a great difference in his sleep since beginning his treatment.

“I would definitely recommend a trip to Piedmont Fayette’s Sleep Center for anyone who is tired in the middle of the day or has shortness of breath. It is well worth it, I have more energy and feel better,” said Davis.

Connie White-Daniel, RPSGT, clinical manager of the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Sleep Center, encourages individuals with sleep issues to learn about the diagnosis and treatment options available.

“The proper quality, as well as proper amount of sleep time can have an incredible effect on your health and your daily routine,” said White-Daniel. “We work with our patients to help them develop a healthy sleep pattern so they are able to have energy for the important activities in their lives.”

May is Better Sleep Month and Piedmont Fayette Hospital is encouraging you to make the effort to improve your sleeping habits. Approximately 70 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep disorder. Forty million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, and an additional 20-30 million are affected by intermittent sleep-related problems.

There are more than 80 different forms of sleep disorders affecting people of all ages. National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are estimated to cost Americans more than $100 billion annually in lost productivity, medical expenses, sick leave, and property and environmental damage. Common symptoms of sleep disorders to be aware of are daytime fatigue, inability to sleep for long periods of time, and breathing difficulties during sleep.

“Some things people do not realize about sleep are the effects it has on long and short-term memory as well as regulating hormones,” said White-Daniel. “This includes growth hormone which is important for children to grow but also affects the aging process in adults.”

Some of the more common sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring. Insomnia is an experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep as characterized by one or more of the following sleep complaints: difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep and waking too early in the morning. Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep and can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. Snoring is defined as “breathing during sleep with hoarse or harsh sounds as caused by the vibrating of the soft palate.” Snoring can be an indication of sleep apnea, a risk factor for vascular complications such as hypertension and congestive heart failure. Snoring may cause fragmented sleep which may lead to daytime dysfunction.

Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Sleep Center is a six-bed facility which provides diagnosis and treatment of all sleep-related disorders for adults and for children over the age of three. The Sleep Center works with primary care physicians and specialists to provide comprehensive care for adults and children who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep during the night, excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea and other sleep-related conditions.
The Sleep Center has a group of seven multi-disciplinary physicians, all of whom are either board-certified or board-eligible sleep specialists. They are also board-certified in their respective primary fields of otolaryngology, neurology, or pulmonology. People who experience sleep-related problems should discuss their symptoms with the primary care physician or other medical specialist. For more information, call the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Sleep Center at 770-719-6031 or visit www.fayettehospital.org.
Community News You Can Use
Follow us on Twitter: @gafrontpage

No comments: