Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019 at 6:50 pm
Most of us don’t realize how important sleep is to virtually every aspect of our health. New studies are showing that sleep not only affects the energy we feel each day, it also affects our metabolism, hormone levels, body composition, and mental health.
Understanding how important sleep is should motivate those suffering from a sleep disorder to seek treatment, but it doesn’t often overcome the reluctance many feel to sleeping in an unfamiliar bed at a clinic where they are observed. If you fall into this category, you need to know about the exciting new option of home sleep studies.
Home Sleep Testing v. Clinic Sleep Study
Home sleep testing requires less money and time than a traditional sleep study in a clinic. In the comfort of your home, you can simply wear a medical device that tracks your breathing and other vital signs throughout the night as you sleep.
Rather than spending an entire night at a clinic, you simply pick up the equipment at your convenience and then put it on at night when you are ready to sleep. In the morning, you follow the instructions on the equipment to submit the data collected during the night. Doctors may ask you to wear it two nights in a row to confirm the results, but they will be able to evaluate the data quickly and diagnose what is causing your lack of quality sleep.
Is Home Sleep Testing Right For You?
Home sleep testing is most effective for determining if someone suffers from sleep apnea. If you have any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea):
- Loud, disruptive snoring
- The tendency to awake in the night, gasping for air
- Dry mouth when you wake up in the morning
- A feeling of being tired, distracted, and irritable even after a full night’s sleep
OSA is a serious condition in which a person’s breathing essentially stops multiple times during sleep cycles, depriving the brain of oxygen and preventing a person from entering the REM stage of sleep needed to feel fully rested. If you think you suffer from OSA, a home sleep study may be able to help you get your health back on track. Ask your doctor today if it’s right for you.
Are you considering at-home sleep testing? Contact Dr. Clifford Brown and the experienced team at Silent Night Therapy to discuss your options and get a test scheduled. Call us at (631) 983-2463 or reach out to us online today.
Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 6:13 pm
A study published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, found that self-reported severe or very severe vasomotor symptoms (VMS), otherwise known as night sweats or hot flashes, were associated with intermediate to high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in midlife women. The study used the Snoring-Tired-Observed-Pressure-BMI-Age-Neck-Gender (STOP-BANG) questionnaire to evaluate 2,935 women seen in the Women’s Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, between May 2015 and December 2016.
The study evaluated the OSA and Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) of 1,691 of these women. Logistic regression was used to compare total MRS and VMS ratings, while body mass index (BMI), age, and smoking were included as covariates between women at intermediate or high risk versus low risk for OSA.
Evaluating OSA Risk Among Women with Night Sweats
VMS is among the most commonly reported symptoms of menopause. VMS is often characterized by increased blood flow to the face, chest, or neck. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health found that VMS occurs in up to 68.5 percent of women as a result of menopause.
VMS symptoms can vary their intensity and frequency greatly, with some women experiencing these symptoms indefinitely. VMS treatment often involves estrogen alone or used in combination with progestin.
According to the study, the total MRS scores were much higher in women with intermediate or high-risk OSA scores as opposed to those with low-risk scores. The study found that women with intermediate or high OSA risk were older, less likely to be married or employed, and had more education, self-reported hypertension, and BMI greater than 35 kg/m2.
Self-reported severe or very severe VMS cases were significantly associated with intermediate or high risk versus low risk for OSA, according to the study. The odds of having intermediate or high risk for OSA were 1.87 times higher for those with severe or very severe VMS compared with those with no, mild, or moderate VMS after adjusting for age, BMI, smoking status, and self-reported hypertension.
Mayo Clinic faculty member Stephanie Faubion, M.D. said that OSA is frequently thought of as a man’s disease, but cautioned that the risk for women increases in their menopausal years. Faubion noted that many symptoms, such as headache, depression, or fatigue, may not be visible but still carry just as many health risks.
Get Sleep Apnea Help Today
The study cautioned that OSA risk might have been overestimated because of the limitations of the STOP-BANG tool. According to the Mayo Clinic, 65 percent of the women who demonstrated an intermediate or high risk of OSA was still not diagnosed with the condition two years after clinical consultation when VMS was self-reported.
Left untreated, OSA can involve serious health issues such as increased risks of stroke, coronary heart disease, and high blood pressure. Silent Night Therapy can help you find the solutions to your sleep apnea issues. Let us offer a solution as soon as you call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online today.
Posted on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 3:52 am
Nearly 60 million people across the United States have been diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Of that staggering number of people, a full 80% of them report that their symptoms get worse at night, to the point where they may even wake up at night due to discomfort from this chronic form of acid reflux. GERD has been shown to have a noticeable impact on a person’s sleep, including extreme symptoms of heartburn, aspirating of stomach acid during sleep, and even obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
It actually is no surprise that so many people report that their symptoms are worse when they sleep. When individuals are awake, they are likely standing and sitting upright in a position that keeps the gastric acid in the stomach, but when they are lying down for sleep, the stomach acids may flow back up into the esophagus, wearing away at the sensitive lining. Over time, this damage to the esophagus may cause severe pain and even more serious side effects, including esophageal cancer.
In addition to problems with your esophagus, obstructive sleep apnea is a serious concern for many GERD sufferers. Pressure changes in the airways during sleep can cause reflux, and some believe that the reflux may cause vocal cord spasms that result in OSA. Scientists warn that OSA is a sleep disorder that should be taken seriously because the person’s breathing may start and stop frequently during sleep. If you believe you may suffer from OSA caused by GERD, you should seek help from a medical professional immediately. Some common symptoms of OSA include:
- Excessive snoring
- Waking up from sleep choking or gasping
- Noticeable breathing cessation during sleep
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
- Daytime drowsiness
- Lack of energy
- Headaches during the day
- High blood pressure
- Night sweats
- Decreased libido
While not all of these symptoms are a sure sign of OSA, if you are suffering from symptoms like this, you should consult a doctor immediately to discuss treatment options. There are treatment options available to you, and you may find that they can improve your sleep and may just save your life.
Dr. Clifford Brown and our experienced OSA team have committed their careers to helping people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea just like you. He is trained in Oral Appliance Therapy and Dental Sleep Medicine and is a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and The Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines. With this type of experience on your side, there is no wonder why so many people have turned to our knowledgeable and compassionate team for help getting a better, healthier night’s sleep. If you believe that you may be suffering from OSA, don’t wait another night to contact us and get the help you need. Schedule an appointment with us at (631) 983-2463 today.