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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung diseases that restrict airflow and cause trouble breathing. While other causes of death have declined...

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a sleep study may be right for you

Sleep Disorders In Indiana

Sleep, like food and water, is essential for life. Insufficient sleep has been linked to the onset of and correlates with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

Sleep apnea is a very common disorder that causes you to stop breathing briefly while you sleep. More than 12 million Americans have sleep apnea, which can go unnoticed but can cause serious health problems if not treated. There three types of sleep apnea—obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form.

How much sleep we need varies between individuals but generally changes as we age. The National Institutes of Health suggests that:

  • School-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily
  • Teens need 9-10 hours of sleep daily
  • Adults need 7-8 hours daily; however, it is estimated that more than a third of adults report sleeping less than 7 hours per night.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Why don’t we get the sleep we need? Causes of insufficient sleep include lifestyle and occupational factors (e.g., access to technology and work hours). In addition, some medical conditions, medications, and sleep disorders affect the quantity and quality of sleep.

facts about sleep apnea Sleep apnea is a very common disorder that causes you to stop breathing while you sleep—from a few seconds to minutes. There are three types of sleep apnea—obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive is the most common form of sleep apnea.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea most often happens when your airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, you might snore loudly from air that squeezes past the blockage.
  • Central sleep apnea happens when the part of your brain that controls breathing doesn't send correct signals. This means you make no effort to breathe for brief periods of time.
  • Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Learn more about Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Symptoms
One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. The snoring usually is loudest when you sleep on your back; it might be less noisy when you turn on your side. You might not snore every night. Over time, however, the snoring can happen more often and get louder. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

sleep affects your dayAnother common sign of sleep apnea is fighting sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving. You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you're not active. Even if you don't have daytime sleepiness, talk with your doctor if you have problems breathing during sleep. Commons symptoms of sleep apnea include:

    • Excessive sleepiness during the daytime
    • Waking up abruptly, perhaps with a loud snort or choking feeling
    • Insomnia (difficulty staying asleep)
    • Waking up in the morning with a sore throat or dry mouth
    • Waking up in the morning with a headache

Learn more about Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and sleep study results. Your primary care doctor may evaluate your symptoms first. He or she will then decide whether you need to see a sleep specialist.

Sleep studies are tests that measure how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. These tests can help your doctor find out whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is. Sleep studies are the most accurate tests for diagnosing sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and surgery. Medicines typically aren't used to treat the condition. Lifestyle changes and/or mouthpieces may relieve mild sleep apnea. People who have moderate or severe sleep apnea may need breathing devices or surgery. If you have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor or sleep specialist about the treatment options that will work best for you.

Learn more about Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment

Learn more about Sleep Studies

Tips to Achieving Better Sleep

List of Franciscan St. Francis Health Sleep Specialists

american lund association in indiana Franciscan St Francis Health