EDUCATION AND LINKS
WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?
Sleep is not merely “time out” from daily life, it is essential for health. Sleep is an active state important for renewing our mental and physical health each day. However, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), more than 100 million Americans of all ages fail to get a good night's sleep.
At least 84 disorders of sleeping and waking lead to a lowered quality of life and reduced personal health. These disorders can lead to problems falling asleep and staying asleep, difficulties staying awake or maintaining a regular sleep/wake cycle, sleepwalking, bedwetting, nightmares, and other problems that interfere with sleep.
Some sleep disorders can be life-threatening, putting you at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypertension and even sexual dysfunction.
Click here to learn more about common sleep disorders.
Dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, the TLRMC Sleep Center is located on the second floor of the Kelley Medical Center. The Sleep Center’s director is Pulmonology and Sleep Specialist Michael Zachek, MD.
WHAT IS A SLEEP STUDY?
A Sleep Study, also called a polysomnogram, is a recording of several measurements used to identify sleep stages and various sleep disorders. After your physician has referred you for a sleep study, you will come to our luxurious Sleep Center. Your suite for the night is similar to a fine hotel and features a comfortable bed, a beautiful bathroom including a full-size shower, a television and relaxing lighting. The suites were created to make your night as comfortable as possible.
Once you arrive for your study, a technologist will place tiny sensors to your skin in various locations on your body. The technologist will take the time to explain what each sensor and electrode measures. The study is painless and you are free to move about your room as you like.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SLEEP STUDY?
Once you have completed your sleep study, a team of specially trained technologists will prepare the results to be analyzed by one of our board certified sleep medicine physicians. They will consult with you and your physician regarding the best treatment for your situation.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER A SLEEP STUDY?
Medical procedures performed at the TLRMC Sleep Center are covered by most insurance plans. The Sleep Center will prepare and submit your insurance claim as a courtesy to you. Because some insurance providers require prior authorization, our staff assists patients in contacting their representatives for specific policy coverage.
HOW DO I A SCHEDULE MY TEST?
Ask your doctor how the professionals at the TLRMC Sleep Center can help you get the restful sleep you deserve. For more information on the TLRMC Sleep Center and its services, or to schedule a sleep study, call (270) 259-1623.
WHERE DO I GO WHEN ARRIVING FOR MY TEST?
You may park in the parking lot next to the ER and in front of the Kelley Medical Center on the eastern side of the TLRMC campus. Come inside to the Registration area and the friendly staff will guide you to the Sleep Center.
EDUCATION AND LINKS
COMMON SLEEP DISORDERS
The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In Central Sleep Apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed Apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.
Sleep apnea is very common, as common as adult diabetes, and affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.
Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues.
Source: American Sleep Apnea Association
Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight persons, and it usually grows worse with age. What causes snoring? The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.
People who snore may suffer from:
- Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat-- when muscles are too relaxed, the tongue falls backwards into the airway or the throat muscles draw in from the sides into the airway.
- Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue-- children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore and overweight people have bulky neck tissue.
- Long soft palate and/or uvula-- a long palate narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. As it dangles, it acts as a noisy flutter valve during relaxed breathing. A long uvula makes matters even worse.
- Obstructed nasal airways-- A stuffy or blocked nose requires extra effort to pull air through it. This creates an exaggerated vacuum in the throat, and pulls together the floppy tissues of the throat, and snoring results. So, snoring often occurs only during the hay fever season or with a cold or sinus infection.
- Also, deformities of the nose or nasal septum, such as a deviated septum (a deformity of the all that separates one nostril from the other) can cause such as obstruction.
Is Snoring Serious? Socially, yes! It can be, when it makes the snorer an object of ridicule and causes others sleepless nights and resentfulness. Medically, yes! It disturbs sleeping patterns and deprives the snorer of appropriate rest. When snoring is severe, it can cause serious, long term health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea.
Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck SurgeryINSOMNIA
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep--commonly termed insomnia--plagues one in three American adults. Insomnia can occur in people of all ages, usually just for a night or two, but sometimes for weeks, months, or even years. Insomnia is most common among women and older adults. It can disturb your waking, as well as your sleeping, hours. It can make you feel fatigued during the day or have trouble focusing on tasks.
Transient Insomnia is the inability to sleep well over a period of a few nights, but lasts less than four weeks. This type of insomnia is usually brought on by excitement or stress. Short-Term Insomnia refers to periods of ongoing stress at work or at home resulting in four weeks to six months of poor sleep. When the stressful situation eases up, or when the sleeper adjusts to it, sleep will usually return to normal. Chronic Insomnia refers to poor sleep every night or most nights for more than six months. More than 20 million Americans complain of chronic insomnia. While most insomniacs worry about their sleep, it's wrong to blame all troubled sleep on worrying.
According to a nationwide study by the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers, physical ailments--such as disorders of breathing or muscle activity--are often mistaken for insomnia and may account for a large number of self-diagnosed cases of insomnia.NARCOLEPSY
One in 2,000 people have narcolepsy. Its impact on a person's life can be significant, even disabling. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder defined by constant sleepiness and a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times. Although the exact cause is not known, it appears to be a disorder of the part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness.
Typically, a person with narcolepsy suffers sleep attacks as well as continual sleepiness and a feeling of tiredness that is not completely relieved by any amount of sleep. If not recognized and appropriately managed, narcolepsy can drastically and negatively affect the quality of a person's life.
Recent advances in medicine, technology, and pharmacology are helping healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat this condition. Although a cure for narcolepsy has not yet been found, most people with the disorder can lead nearly normal lives under proper treatment.
Source: The American Academy of Sleep MedicineRESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that is characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs. In order for you to be officially diagnosed with RLS, you must meet the criteria described below:
You have a strong urge to move your legs which you may not be able to resist. The need to move is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. Some words used to describe these sensations include: creeping, itching, pulling, creepy-crawly, tugging, or gnawing.
RLS symptoms start or become worse when you are resting. The longer you are resting, the greater the chance the symptoms will occur and the more severe they are likely to be.
RLS symptoms get better when you move your legs. The relief can be complete or only partial but generally starts very soon after starting an activity. Relief persists as long as the motor activity continues.
RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are lying down. Activities that bother you at night do not bother you during the day.
RLS can also cause difficulty in falling or staying asleep which can be one of the chief complaints of the syndrome. A substantial number of people who have RLS also have periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). These are jerks that occur every 20 to 30 seconds on and off throughout the night. This can cause partial awakenings that disrupt sleep. Sleep deprivation can seriously impact your work, relationships, and health.
Source: Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, Inc.