Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is very common and affects more than 12 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is a condition in which an individual stops breathing during sleep. The most recognizable side effect of sleep apnea is excessive snoring. Sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. But because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority of people with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.
Untreated, sleep apnea can cause:
• High blood pressure
• Cardiovascular disease
• Memory problems
• Weight gain
• Headaches and more
Fortunately, once sleep apnea is diagnosed, there are treatment options for patients.
Somewhere between 9 and 17% of the adult population will experience chronic or more ongoing difficulties with their sleep. More than 70 million Americans reported having some form of insomnia last year. Insomnia can occur at any point during the night, although some people will mainly have difficulty falling asleep while others will have difficulties staying asleep. Transient insomnia is defined as something that lasts less than two or three weeks. In addition, it is usually an identifiable problem occurring in the context of some other stress in the person’s life. Chronic insomnia is the most serious, is more often due to medical, neurological or psychiatric problems, and may require a thorough evaluation.
Other factors that often contribute to insomnia are:
• Poor sleep habits
• Extended use of medications or drugs
• Excessive intake of alcohol
Sometimes people need help breaking habits like napping during the day or avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine just prior to bedtime in order to treat insomnia.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
If you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), you are not alone. Up to 10% of the U.S. population may have this neurological condition. Many people have a mild form of the disorder, but RLS severely affects the lives of millions of individuals. In order for you to officially be diagnosed with RLS, you must meet the criteria described below:
1. You have uncomfortable sensations you describe as “creepy-crawly”, “pulling”, “the need to tighten your muscles” or a “gnawing” feeling that can only be relieved by getting up and moving around.
2. The symptoms are worse at night when you are resting or during a long trip when you have been sitting a while.
3. The symptoms are relieved when you stretch or move your legs. The relief continues as long as you continue to move or stretch. Restless legs syndrome frequently leads to insomnia.
Treatment for R LS varies from patient to patient. For some patients the treatment may include:
• Avoiding caffeine
• Warm/cold baths
• Electric nerve stimulation
• Oral magnesium
For others it may be a form of medication.
Narcolepsy is not rare, but it is an under-recognized and under-diagnosed condition. According to current estimates, the disorder affects about one in every 2,000 Americans-more than 135,000 individuals. After obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy is the third most frequently diagnosed primary sleep disorder found in patients seeking treatment at sleep clinics. However, the exact prevalence rate remains uncertain, and the disorder may affect a larger segment of the population than currently estimated. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. At various times throughout the day, a person with narcolepsy experiences fleeting urges to sleep. If the urge becomes overwhelming, patients fall asleep for periods lasting from a few seconds to several minutes. In rare cases, some people may remain asleep for an hour or longer. Proper diagnosis of narcolepsy requires a visit to a sleep center for an evaluation and sleep study. Treatment involves a combination of medication, educational support and personal care.
Sleep Disorders In Children
Some children can have trouble getting a good night’s sleep even when they follow all the sleep tips. Kids with sleep problems may not feel tired during the day. They might have trouble paying attention, get into fights with family and friends, or feel down and sad. If you are very tired during the day or not sleeping well at night, talk to your parents and doctor.
To schedule A Sleep Study,
call (919) 690-3203
Why Can’t You Sleep?
It seems getting a good night’s sleep is not as easy as it sounds but it is critical to feeling refreshed during the day. About 60 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder yearly. Many of these disorders are minor, but some, such as chronic insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy can have serious consequences. Lack of the proper amount of sleep can also lead to serious health problems including:
• Heart disease
• Death (in some extreme cases)
The good news is that there is help for most of these disorders once they are diagnosed.
Our Sleep Center Physician
Dr. Singh completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to relocating his practice to Henderson, NC in 2003, he was the Clinical Director of the Topeka Sleep Medicine Center. He is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of Granville Health System’s Sleep Medicine Center, located at Granville Medical Center in Oxford, NC. Speak with your doctor today about scheduling a sleep study.
Granville Sleep Medicine Center
What Is Involved in a sleep study?
At Granville Sleep Medicine Center, physicians and staff are well trained in diagnostic and treatment procedures. After a primary care physician orders a test, patients are given directions, instructions on what to do before arriving, and ideas on what to bring for the study. Our Center is in a quiet and secure area located on the second floor of Granville Medical Center. Patients are given an extensive evaluation by one of our sleep specialists on their first visit. Patients may be asked to spend one or two nights at the Center for testing. A polysomnogram, which monitors sleep patterns, breathing, heart activity and body movements, is performed throughout the night. Every effort is made to maintain the person’s regular sleep routine and make patients as comfortable as possible during their stay. Rooms are furnished with amenities like a double bed, private bathroom with shower, and cable TV. Our goal is to allow patients to sleep like they do at home. After initial tests are completed and the patient returns home, the results are sent to the patient’s primary care physician and a followup appointment is scheduled.
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