By Denise Sloan Smart |
Getting a good night’s sleep seems to be a pipe dream for a lot of us. As many as 70 million Americans struggle with a chronic sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea, according to a report from the U.S. Institute of Medicine. “Americans have become increasingly sleep-deprived over the past several decades,” said Mike Cullen, Medical Imaging
Manager for the Barton HealthCare System. Why? According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s report, many of us are working longer hours and spending more time in front of computers and TV screens, thereby cheating ourselves out of adequate sleep time. “If you routinely skimp on sleep, you’re vulnerable to more than bleary-eyed mornings and fatigue-filled days,” Cullen said.
Studies show that people who don’t sleep enough are at increased risk for serious health problems including high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Even in these days of modern conveniences that are supposed to make our lives easier, we’re still working longer and sleeping less. “So give sleep the priority it deserves,” Cullen said.
And if you think you’re already getting enough shut-eye but still feel groggy during the day, let your doctor know. “Your sleepiness may be a symptom of an undiagnosed sleep disorder,” he said. Some medical practitioners and facilities have a sleep study labs that can diagnose and treat sleeping disorders such snoring, Sleep Apnea, insomnia, Narcolepsy and Restless Legs/Periodic Leg Movements (PLM).
For most sleep problems, an initial interview and a night in the sleep laboratory is all that is required. In a sleep lab study, breathing, brain waves, heart activity, sleep patterns, and eye and muscle movements are monitored during the night. Treatments may include restricting the use of drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and sleeping pills; using special equipment for improving sleep; a weight loss program; or surgical intervention. Most insurance companies and Medicare cover certain sleep disorder diagnostics and treatments, so check with yours if you are concerned about your sleeping habits.
For more information, call Barton Hospital Imaging at (530) 543-5881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.