Beebe Medical Center to Offer Free Sleep Disorder Screenings
In an effort to increase awareness about the importance of sleep and the treatment of sleep disorders, Beebe Medical Center's Sleep Disorders Center will offer free sleep disorder screenings from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, February 23, on Friday, March 2, and on Friday, April 9.
Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling 645-3186 to schedule a non-diagnostic sleep consultation with one of the Registered Polysomnography Technicians.
Beebe Medical Center's Sleep Disorders Center works year-around with the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) to increase awareness of the health problems that come from inadequate sleep due to a sleep disorder, and that these sleep disorders can be diagnosed and treated successfully.
Snoring, for example, can be more than just a disturbance to a bed partner. Although most snoring is harmless, loud and continuous snoring may be a warning sign for a serious and even life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by noticeable daytime sleepiness, or waking up feeling tired and sluggish.
Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. People with the sleep disorder awaken frequently during the night gasping for breath. The resulting interrupted sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness which, in turn, can cause symptoms of depression, irritability, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep in situations demanding alertness, such as while driving. Sleep apnea contributes to an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Snoring on a frequent or regular basis has been associated with hypertension. Obesity can contribute to sleep apnea.
According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2002 Sleep in America poll, snoring is a common problem among America's adults. More than one-third of respondents (37%) report snoring at least a few nights a week, with more than one out of five (27%) indicating they snore every night. Because it can be a symptom of a serious problem, and one that can be treated, it is important for anyone who snores to discuss the problem with a health care provider.
"The impact of our sleep habits goes beyond our health," said Trina Clark, MS RRT, Director of Respiratory and Sleep Services at Beebe Medical Center. "There are many day-time consequences of a bad night's sleep. Lack of sleep impairs work performance, increases the risk for injuries, and affects our mood and behavior."
Many people may not be aware of symptoms that can signal inadequate sleep and a possible sleep disorder. These include:
Dozing off while engaged in an activity such as reading, watching TV, sitting in meetings or sitting in traffic:
Slowed thinking and reacting
Difficulty listening to what is said or understanding directions
Difficulty remembering or retaining information
Frequent errors or mistakes
Narrowing of attention, missing important changes in a situation
Poor judgment in complex situations
Difficulty coming up with a new approach to a problem when the old approach is not working
Depression or negative mood
Impatience or being quick to anger
Frequent blinking, difficulty focusing eyes, or heavy eyelids
Any of these problems experienced on a regular basis may be related to an individual's sleep habits and should be discussed with a doctor or other health care provider. However, self-management is an important first step and should include:
Keeping a sleep diary, such as one available from the National Sleep Foundation. The one-week diary enables people to record their sleep habits and experiences as well as other daily activities that help identify patterns or conditions that might be causing a sleep problem.
Reading "Talk to Your Doctor About Sleep," an informative NSF publication that gives suggestions of what to ask and tell the doctor about sleep habits, problems, and questionable symptoms.
When making an appointment to see a doctor, be prepared to identify specific sleep problems and how they affect you, especially during the day. You will receive information from your screening that you can take to your doctor when you go for your appointment.
The "NSF Sleep Diary" and "Talk To Your Doctor About Sleep" are available on the NSF Web site, www.sleepfoundation.org, along with other valuable sleep-related information. For more information visit NSF's Web site at www.sleepfoundation.org
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community medical center with a mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health with the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebemed.org