The Sleep Center: How We Can Help You

adc-sleep-center

According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders, millions of Americans are needlessly suffering from undiagnosed or misdiagnosed sleep disorders. While poor sleep can have a negative effect on performance, alertness, memory concentration and reaction times, it is also being linked to other health issues such as heart disease and depression.

Sleep disorders are a serious health concern. It is especially important for persons suffering from hypertension, diabetes, obesity and heart failure to see a sleep specialist for the detection and treatment of sleep apnea as it may prevent heart attacks and strokes as well as minimize underlying symptoms of other diseases. Left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased health risks and an overall lower quality of life.

Symptoms of a sleep disorder can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Daytime Sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Constant leg movement
  • Gasping episodes at night
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Loud Snoring
  • Dry mouth, sore throat
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of energy

People who have sleep disorders may experience:

  • More frequent illness
  • Lost productivity
  • Workplace accidents or car crashes from falling asleep on the job or at the wheel

About the ADC Sleep Disorder Center

The sleep disorder center at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic opened in 1999 and is a comprehensive clinic accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Our sleep center is supervised by highly trained, highly qualified, and board certified physicians. Using the latest technology for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders in a comfortable and home-like atmosphere, our team of sleep professionals is dedicated to improving the sleep of our patients.

What is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study may involve the following:

Polysomnogram (PSG) – a diagnostic test which monitors brain activity, breathing and leg movements which helps to evaluate sleep apnea (obstruction of air flow) or a condition known as periodic leg movements of sleep.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) – a daytime sleep study which evaluates how fast a person falls asleep.

What to Expect?

The first step will be an initial visit with our sleep specialist who will review your medical and sleep history. You will then schedule an appointment for an overnight visit. To help determine if a sleep disorder exists, your physician will need to know what physiologic chances occur during your typical night of sleep. We do this by recording your brainwave pattern (known as the EEG) as well as your eye movements and degree of muscle tone. Using an EKG monitor, we will measure your heart rate and check for irregular heart beats during the night. Other measurements will include oxygen saturation, snoring, leg movements or jerking and respiratory effort. An intercom in the room will allow communication with the technician should have any questions or require assistance. Studies will usually begin between 8:00pm and 9:00pm and will conclude at about 6am. You will then follow up with your physician who will make recommendations for treatment of the disorder.

We are a team that’s committed to making sure our patients get the best sleep possible. Contact us if you have any questions or to set up an appointment. 

Shift Work and Problem Sleepiness

Daytime sleepiness

About 20 million Americans (20 to 25 percent of workers) perform shift work. Most shift workers get less sleep over 24 hours than conventionally-scheduled day workers. Additionally, sleep loss is greatest for night shift workers, those who work early morning shifts and female shift workers with children at home. As a result, roughly 60 to 70 percent of shift workers have difficulty sleeping and/or problem sleepiness.

Roughly 60 to 70 percent of shift workers have difficulty sleeping and/or problem sleepiness.

The human sleep-wake system is designed to prepare the body and mind for sleep at night and wakefulness during the day. These natural rhythms make it difficult to sleep during daylight hours and to stay awake during the night hours, even in people who are well rested. It is possible that the human body completely adjusts to nighttime activity and daytime sleep, even in those who work permanent night shifts.

In addition to the sleep-wake system, environmental factors can influence sleepiness in shift workers. Because our society is strongly day-oriented, shift workers who try to sleep during the day are often interrupted by noise, light, telephones, family members and other distractions. In contrast, the nighttime sleep of day workers is largely protected by social customs that keep noises and interruptions to a minimum.

Problem sleepiness in shift workers may result in:

  • Increased risk for automobile crashes, especially while driving home after the night shift
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Decreased productivity (night work performance may be slower and less accurate than day performance
  • Increased risk of accidents  and injuries at work

What Can Help?

Sleep-there’s no substitute! Many people simply do not allow enough time for sleep on a regular basis. A first step may be to evaluate daily activities and sleep-wake patterns to determine how much sleep is obtained. If you are consistently getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night, more sleep may be needed. A good approach is to gradually move to an earlier bedtime. For example, if an extra hour is needed, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for four nights and then keep the last bedtime. This method will increase the amount of time in bed without causing a sudden change in schedule. However, if work or family schedules do not permit the earlier bedtime, a 30-60 minute daily nap may help.

Medications/Drugs

In general, medications do not help problem sleepiness, and some make it worse. Caffeine can reduce sleepiness and increase alertness, but only temporarily. It can also cause problem sleepiness to become worse by interrupting sleep. While alcohol may shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, it can disrupt sleep later in the night, and therefore add to the problem sleepiness. Medications may be prescribed for patients in certain situations. For example, the short-term use of sleeping pills has been shown to be helpful in patients diagnosed with acute insomnia. Long-term use of sleep medication is recommended only for the treatment of specific sleep disorders.

If you think you are getting enough sleep but still feel sleepy during the day, contact us or schedule an appointment to be sure your sleepiness is not a symptom of an undiagnosed sleep disorder.

 

Sleepiness and Your Weight: What’s the connection?

By 
WebMD Health News

June 13, 2012 — Being obese or depressed may make you more likely to be sleepy during the day, new research shows. About 20% of American adults have excessive daytime sleepiness, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Although poor sleep is often blamed for excessive daytime sleepiness, ”we found that depression and obesity were the strongest risk factors for being tired and sleepy,” says Alexandros Vgontzas, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Penn State. He presented three studies on daytime sleepiness this week at Sleep 2012, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston.

Healthy Eating

The good news: “If you lose weight, you are going to be less tired and sleepy,” says Vgontzas. In one of the studies, he found that as people lost their extra pounds, they became less sleepy during the day.

The odds of developing daytime sleepiness are. . . Click here to read more.

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Do you struggle with paying attention at work? It may be related to sleep problems.