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Your Guide to Healthy Sleep

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in healthy sleep | Comments Off on Your Guide to Healthy Sleep

restful sleepWhen you’re in a rush to meet work, school, family,
or household responsibilities, do you cut back on your
sleep? Like many people, you might think that sleep is
merely a “down time” when the brain shuts off and the
body rests. Think again.
What Is Sleep?
Sleep was long considered just a uniform block of time
when you are not awake. Thanks to sleep studies done
over the past several decades, it is now known that
sleep has distinctive stages that cycle throughout the
night. Your brain stays active throughout sleep, but
different things happen during each stage. For instance,
certain stages of sleep are needed for us to feel well
rested and energetic the next day, and other stages
help us learn or make memories.
In brief, a number of vital tasks carried out during sleep
help maintain good health and enable people to function
at their best. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep
can be dangerous—for example, you are more likely to be
in a car crash if you drive when you are drowsy.

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Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in sleep safety | Comments Off on Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes

National Safety Highway Traffic Administration

Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes Report and Recommendations

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Drowsy driving is a serious problem that leads to thousands of automobile crashes each year. This report, sponsored by the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR) of the Na-tional Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is designed to provide direction to an NCSDR/NHTSA educational campaign to combat drowsy driving. The report presents the results of a literature review and opinions of the Expert Panel on Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness regarding key issues involved in the problem.

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How sleep apnea effects women

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in sleep apnea | Comments Off on How sleep apnea effects women

Sleep apnea may hold hidden dangers for women

A new study on sleep apnea reveals there could be some hidden dangers – particularly for women who have the condition – where breathing is interrupted during sleep. Women with sleep apnea may appear healthy, but they have subtle symptoms so their sleep problem is often misdiagnosed.
Now, new research, led by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing, shows that the body’s autonomic responses, which normally control blood pressure, heart rate, sweating and other basic functions, are not as strong in people with obstructive sleep apnea, and even less so in women.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that happens when the person is asleep, sometimes hundreds of times a night. When it occurs, blood oxygen drops and eventually damages many cells of the body.
There are over 20 million adult Americans living with the condition, note the researchers, who explain that it is linked with several serious health problems and also early death.
Women are much less likely to be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea than men.
Lead researcher Dr. Paul Macey says:
“We now know that sleep apnea is a precursor to bigger health issues. And for women in particular, the results could be deadly.”
Early detection and intervention needed
Dr. Macey and his colleagues describe their work in a recent online issue of PLOS ONE.
For their study, the team recruited 94 adult men and women, comprising 37 newly diagnosed, untreated obstructive sleep (OSA) patients and 57 healthy volunteers to act as controls.
The three groups had their heart rates measured as they went through three different physical challenges:

  • The Valsalva maneuver – where they had to breathe out hard while keeping the mouth closed
  • A hand-grip challenge – where they had to just squeeze hard with one hand
  • A cold pressor challenge – where the right foot is inserted into near-freezing water for a minute.

The team notes the main results:
“Heart rate responses showed lower amplitude, delayed onset and slower rate changes in OSA patients over healthy controls, and impairments may be more pronounced in females.”
Dr. Macey adds:
“This may mean that women are more likely to develop symptoms of heart disease, as well as other consequences of poor adaptation to daily physical tasks. Early detection and treatment may be needed to protect against damage to the brain and other organs.”
The team now intends to investigate if the usual treatments for OSA, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), help to improve the autonomic responses.
CPAP is where a machine helps the OSA patient breathe more easily while asleep.
Funds from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research helped finance the study.
In another study published recently, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, found that sleep apnea is linked to early sign of heart failure.

– Written by Catharine Paddock, PhD

Sleep Studies and Polysomnography Services

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in healthy sleep | Comments Off on Sleep Studies and Polysomnography Services

Description of the Service

Sleep studies and polysomnography refer to attended services for the continuous and
simultaneous monitoring and recording of various physiological and pathophysiological
parameters of sleep for six or more hours. Sleep studies and polysomnography are performed
with physician review, interpretation and report. Sleep studies and polysomnography are
performed to diagnose a variety of sleep disorders and to evaluate a patient’s response to
therapies such as nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP).

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