You Don't Snooze ...You Lose
On Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., Michigan will again observe Daylight Saving Time. So come Monday, March 11, many of us will drag into work complaining that we did not get enough sleep over the weekend. But a few days after that, most of us will begin to feel 'back to normal' and then on November 3, we will feel even more rested when the clocks 'fall back' an hour and we gain an hour’s sleep.
However, for those with sleep disorders, these transitions of springing forward and falling back are more than a mere nuisance. Some sleep disorders are in fact potentially life threatening, but the majority, nearly 95% go undiagnosed and untreated. As a sleep-deprived society that often views sleep as ‘optional,’ we need to change our attitudes about sleep. Our bodies depend upon it.
Statistics underscore that message:
- 10% of the general population has chronic insomnia
- 1 in 5 drivers admits to falling asleep while driving
- 1 in 3 pilots admits to falling asleep while flying
- 25% of adult males in the U.S. have episodes of sleep apnea
- 25 to 40% of children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have some form of sleep disorder
"Sleep physicians believe that their patients' sleep habits show up as symptoms while they are awake," said Julie Higgs, manager of the Bronson Battle Creek sleep program. "With inadequate sleep, a person may become fatigued and drowsy; even complain about lack of energy."
Sleep can be considered a 'change of shifts.' There is the 'awake' day brain and the 'sleeping' night brain. The transition or 'shift change' from wakefulness to sleep normally takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes. The body needs time to properly shut down the 'awake' brain and activate the sleep cycles.
"Many people with sleep disorders tend to rationalize their symptoms," said Higgs. "They believe fatigue is just part of growing older. Others think they are tired all the time because they are working too hard. Sleep issues are persistently ignored. Sleep studies can help identify the problem early."
Children are not usually seen as having the potential for sleep disorders. However, recent studies by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have found that a number of children may actually have some kind of sleep disorder including obstructive sleep apnea (OSAS)—snoring and pauses in breathing while asleep. That is due to daytime symptoms including behavioral problems, difficulty in concentrating, and hyperactivity. Some sleep specialists believe that any child diagnosed with ADD or ADHD should be evaluated for potential sleep disorders before they are put on medication.
Bronson Battle Creek Center Sleep Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, offers sleep studies during the patient’s normal sleep period. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors including one- or two-dozen sensors that record limb movements, muscle activity, and breathing patterns are placed on the patient using tape or paste. The tests are noninvasive--there are no drugs or needles used--nothing goes under the skin.
The sleep center has large, comfortable rooms similar to hotel accommodations with queen-size adjustable beds and private bathroom and shower facilities. It offers flexible day and night hours to conduct sleep studies that fit into the guests' regular sleep time schedules. Pediatric sleep testing and services are also available.
If you have concerns about whether you or your partner has a sleep disorder, contact your health care provider for a referral to the Bronson Battle Creek Sleep Center or call the sleep center (269) 441-9082.
If you would like to try a free pre-sleep study, stop by the sleep center to borrow an ApneaLink sleep monitor free of charge. The small recording device is used at home to measure and record your breathing airflow as you sleep. Your doctor will receive the ApneaLink Report. The report will show if you need a full sleep study at the Bronson Battle Creek Sleep Center.
Treatment can be simple. If a full sleep study shows you have sleep apnea, you can be treated with a bedside devise that gently delivers pressurized air to keep the upper airway open. No surgery or drugs are required in most cases.
Do not wait until November 3, when our clocks are turned back an hour to do something about your sleep. Remember, 'if you don't snooze, you lose' and it may be more than an hour's sleep.
Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms. It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI. Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include inpatient behavioral health, the county’s largest accredited sleep center, and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. For nine years, Bronson Healthcare has been included on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies list as a leading family friendly employer.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common but serious health condition. People with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep—even dozens of times each hour. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
- Excessive daytime fatigue/sleepiness
- Irregular breathing during sleep
- Waking up often during sleep
- Frequent urination at night
- Headaches when you wake up
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Depression, moodiness, or irritability
- Memory problems
Common Risk Factors
If you have any of the following risk factors or medical conditions, you are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.
- A family history of sleep apnea
Bronson Battle Creek Sleep Center
5161 B Drive South, Suite C
Battle Creek, MI 49015