National Sleep Awareness Week is March 7 – 13 and while this coincides with the upcoming Daylight Saving Time when millions of people risk losing an hour of sleep, many area residents are losing much more than just an hour of sleep every night.
According to Cindy Davis, BS RRT, CPFT, director of cardiopulmonary services at Gordon Hospital, poor sleep can be a major health disruption in life and is often caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring and feeling sleepy all the time are two common symptoms of the condition.
“Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when someone regularly stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep,” Davis explained. “Depending on the number of instances, the apnea will be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.”
In sleep apnea, sufferers may quit breathing anywhere from five to more than 100 times an hour.
“OSA usually is caused by a blockage in the nose, mouth, or throat,” Davis added. “Sleep disorders are as common as adult diabetes, affecting 12 million nationally.”
The Gordon Hospital Sleep Disorders Center conducts sleep studies with registered polysomnogram technologists, registered respiratory therapists and a board-certified physician in sleep to assist in diagnosing disorders of all varieties.
In observance of National Sleep Awareness Week, the hospital’s sleep disorder center is offering a variety of tips and services to help with the most common types of sleeping problems.
Most Americans are sleep deprived. Teenagers are the most sleep deprived group in our population. Teenagers require nine to 11 hours of sleep and most teens get less than seven hours. Children also require 10 or more hours of sleep and few get the optimal amount. Adults need on average seven to nine hours of sleep, even though most can “get by” on five hours.
Americans are famous for sleep banking. We don’t get enough sleep during the week and on the weekends we tend to oversleep. Sleeping more than two hours past your usual amount of sleep is an indication that you are sleep deprived.
Good sleepers develop certain lifestyle and dietary habits to promote sound sleep. Here are a few suggestions for good sleep hygiene:
§ Curtail caffeine five hours before bedtime;
§ Do quiet activities before bed;
§ Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday;
§ Reduce disturbing noises;
§ Background or white noise may improve sleep;