Beebe’s Sleep Disorders Center Celebrates National Sleep Awareness Week
Before we “lose” an hour of precious sleep during Daylight Savings Time on April 7, Beebe Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Center reminds the community of the importance of adequate sleep for health, well being and safety. The Center will provide free Sleep Education and Screenings on Monday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 2, from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., featuring one-on-one education with one of Beebe’s sleep technologists and a “Sleepiness Scale” to determine levels of sleepiness and alertness and identify potential sleep disorders. Anyone age seven and above is eligible for a 30-minute session, which should be scheduled in advance by calling 645-3186.
Beebe’s Sleep Disorders Center is offering the screenings in conjunction with the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) “National Sleep Awareness Week,” March 31 - April 6, which leads up to setting clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time. An estimated one-quarter of American adults, or 47 million people, are not getting the minimum amount of sleep they say they need to be alert the next day, according to an NSF poll. Over 80% of American adults link inadequate sleep with impaired daytime performance and over half experience symptoms of insomnia (inability to fall and stay asleep) a few nights each week or more.
“Regardless of age, people who do not get enough sleep night after night can end up with a sleep deficit,” explains Beebe physician Dr. Zouhair Harb, Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. “Sleep requirements vary according to age, but generally infants and toddlers up to age three require an average of 14 hours, children ages 5-12 require 9 to 11 hours, adolescents ages 12-18 require approximately 9 hours, and adults over 18 require 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Falling short of these ranges can add up to problems.”
In addition to fatigue and increased risk of certain conditions such as high blood pressure, people who are sleep deprived are putting themselves and others at risk if they are not alert while driving or performing jobs that require alertness. Sleep disorder warning signs include loud, irregular snoring; periodic episodes of breath-holding or sudden body movements before breathing resumes; awakening short of breath; falling asleep while eating, driving or talking; excessive daytime sleepiness; decreased job performance or irritability. Increasing exercise and relaxation techniques, and reducing caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake can promote healthier sleep.
Beebe’s Sleep Disorders Center tests over 700 people per year and is designed to monitor, diagnose and treat sleep disorders. In addition to Dr. Harb, the Center is staffed by Dr. Ercilia Arias and Dr. Michael Salvatore, who is the Center's Medical Director, as well as technologists who have extensive training in sleep disorders and cardiopulmonary disorders for adults and children. Patients are customarily referred to the Center from their primary care providers. The most common sleep disorders include sleep apnea, periodic limb movements, narcolepsy and insomnia.
For more information, or to register for a Sleep Education and Screening session at Beebe Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Center, please call 645-3186.