Having trouble sleeping? Do you snore, or feel tired all the time?
May is Better Sleep Month, a good time to get serious about improving sleep.
"How well you sleep has a major impact on your physical and mental health," said Philip Mataverde, D.O., MPH, a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Lake Regional Sleep Medicine. "Unfortunately, millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders. This negatively impacts their work, their families and their free time."
One common sleep disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep, many muscles relax, including the muscles in the back of the throat that keep the airway open. A narrowed airway causes snoring by making tissues in the back of the throat vibrate. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway closes completely, causing a temporary stop in breathing. These pauses in breathing interrupt the sleep cycle and prevent proper rest, even though the person does not wake fully.
"Sleep apnea can have serious health consequences because it interferes with a good night's sleep," Dr. Mataverde said. "Left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and can worsen high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, insomnia and mental health problems."
Many people who have obstructive sleep apnea do not realize they are struggling to breathe at night. They, or their sleep partners, are more likely to notice the following signs of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Loud or frequent snoring
- Choking or gasping while sleeping
- Waking up out of breath
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Having a headache in the morning
- Daytime sleepiness or tiredness, trouble concentrating
- Irritable mood
The best way to have obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed is to have a sleep study. Lake Regional Sleep Center provides in-lab sleep studies and home sleep studies.
"The studies are painless, noninvasive procedures," Dr. Mataverde said. "During the test, sensors are applied to the surface of the skin. The results can lead to proper diagnosis and ultimately, a better night's rest and overall health."
If you are concerned about your sleep, talk to your doctor or set up a sleep consult with Dr. Mataverde or his fellow sleep medicine provider, Lisa Boggs, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, at Lake Regional Sleep Medicine Clinic, located on the third floor of Lake Regional Hospital. Both Dr. Mataverde and Boggs also provide sleep medicine appointments in Eldon, Laurie, Richland and Versailles. For more information or to make an appointment at any of the locations, except Versailles, call 573.302.2715. For Versailles, call 573.539.2600.
Learn more about Lake Regional Sleep Medicine at www.lakeregional.com/sleep.