At The Sleep Center of Nevada, we believe in the importance of patient education. Our goal is to raise awareness about sleep, sleep disorders and issues impacting sleep to help you improve and enhance your health and quality of life.
Teens and Sleep – Teenagers love to stay up late and hate to get up in the morning. So when is it a serious problem that should be addressed? When it interferes with their quality of life. When it interferes with their school.
If your Teen demonstrates two or more of these signs, try to first get them on a regular sleeping pattern. If that doesn’t seem to work, talk to their physician about their sleep or call our Sleep Center for a consultation.
Sleep Apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep Apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep 3 or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow. This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep Apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep Apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, there are no blood tests for the condition. Most people who have Sleep Apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member and/or bed partner may first notice the signs of Sleep Apnea. The most common type of Sleep Apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive Sleep Apnea happens more often in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone.
Untreated, Sleep Apnea can increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes; increase the risk for or worsen heart failure; make irregular heartbeats more likely; increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat Sleep Apnea in many people. When you’re awake, throat muscles help keep your airway stiff and open so air can flow into your lungs. When you sleep, these muscles are more relaxed. Normally, the relaxed throat muscles don’t stop your airway from staying open to allow air into your lungs. But, if you have obstructive Sleep Apnea, your airways can be blocked or narrowed during sleep because:
It is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
The risks of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea include heart attacks, strokes, impotence, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness that can result in accidents, lost productivity and interpersonal relationship problems. The severity of the symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be very serious. However, following an effective treatment plan can often improve your quality of life quite a bit.
Treatment can improve your sleep and relieve daytime tiredness. It also may make you less likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems linked to sleep apnea.
Treatment may improve your overall health and happiness as well as your quality of sleep (and possibly your family’s quality of sleep).
Follow up with your doctor regularly to make sure your treatment is working. Tell him or her if the treatment is causing side effects that you can’t handle.
This ongoing care is especially important if you’re getting continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. It may take a while before you adjust to using CPAP.
If you aren’t comfortable with your CPAP device or it doesn’t seem to be working, let your doctor know. You may need to switch to a different device or mask. Or, you may need treatment to relieve CPAP side effects.
Try not to gain weight. Weight gain can worsen sleep apnea and require adjustments to your CPAP device. In contrast, weight loss may relieve your sleep apnea.
Until your sleep apnea is properly treated, know the dangers of driving or operating heavy machinery while sleepy.
If you’re having any type of surgery that requires medicine to put you to sleep, let your surgeon and doctors know you have sleep apnea. They might have to take extra steps to make sure your airway stays open during the surgery.
Often, people with Sleep Apnea don’t know they have it. They’re not aware that their breathing stops and starts many times while they’re sleeping. Family members or bed partners usually are the first to notice signs of Sleep Apnea.
The following ten tips can help you achieve sleep and the benefits it provides. These tips are intended for “typical” adults, but not necessarily for children or persons experiencing medical problems.
You can find information on this site about children and sleep and NSF recommends that persons treated for medical conditions consult their doctor – check our resource, “Sleep Talk with Your Doctor.”
Finally, if you have trouble falling asleep, maintaining sleep, awaken earlier than you wish, feel unrefreshed after sleep or suffer from excessive sleepiness during the day or when you wish to be alert, you should also consult your physician. Be sure to tell him/her if you have already tried these tips and for how long. To check for possible sleep problems, go to our checklist, “How’s Your Sleep?”
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), also known as nocturnal myoclonus, is a type of sleep disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable desire to move the legs. These abnormal sensations usually occur in the lower legs shortly after going to bed. During the early stages of sleep, these episodes of leg movement often last up to an hour.
The abnormal sensations of RLS are quite variable. They have been described as a crawling, creeping, pulling, drawing, tingling, pins and needles, or prickly discomfort. They are not cramping in character. Sometimes these sensations occur in the feet, thighs or even arms. Although RLS is considered to be a sleep disorder, some people also experience these sensations during the day, particularly when lying down.
The most important feature of RLS is an overwhelming need to move the legs. Moving the legs provides temporary relief but the abnormal sensations start all over again and the cycle repeats itself.
Restless leg syndrome may affect as many as 12 million people in the United States.
Contact The Sleep Center of Nevada for a consultation. Our Sleep Team will work with you to diagnose your sleep issues as well as work with you on developing a personalized treatment program that best fits your needs!
Narcolepsy (NAR-ko-lep-see) is a disorder that causes a person to have difficulty staying awake. Narcolepsy can cause a person to suddenly fall asleep during the day. These “sleep attacks” occur even after getting enough sleep at night. The unusual and unpredictable sleep pattern that people with narcolepsy have can affect their schooling, work, and social life.
The symptoms of narcolepsy can appear all at once, or they can develop slowly over many years. The four most common symptoms are: excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, which is a sudden, brief loss of muscle control triggered by stress or strong emotion, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations, which are vivid, dream-like experiences that are difficult to distinguish from reality and occur at sleep onset or after awakening.
Narcolepsy is usually diagnosed by a medical history and an overnight sleep study. The next day following a sleep study, a multiple sleep latency test will also be done to determine daytime sleepiness.
Narcolepsy cannot be cured, but its symptoms can usually be controlled so that a person with narcolepsy can lead a normal life. Each treatment plan usually involves medication, lifestyle changes, and education.