Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Posts Tagged ‘drowsy’

When to Question a Snore

Posted by amykr on March 3, 2010

Your wife or husband tell you they need to go to bed before you or they will never sleep. You know if you are going on a trip you can not share a room with anyone else because they will complain. Do you know when a snore is something you need help for or just annoying?

The fact is that no matter what a snore is not normal. If you snore there is something in your anatomy that says you need to have it evaluated. It may be just that you have a large uvula that vibrates when you breath at night. It could also mean you have sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing or breathing is partially obstructed and your oxygen levels in your blood drop.

If you have plain snoring this can be treated with several medical treatments including medications, surgery, or an oral appliance. You might also benefit from positional therapy. This is where you avoid sleeping on your back. You can use a special pillow or other device. My personal favorite is to take a t-shirt, sew or glue a pocket down the center of the back of the shirt and place 3 tennis balls into the pocket then close it. Every time the person rolls onto their back they become uncomfortable and roll to their side.

If you are not sure if you might have sleep apnea take the Sleep Quiz. If you have a score of 9 or greater than it is time to speak with your physician. Sleep apnea is important to treat because sleep apnea can contribute to many health issues including depression, high blood pressure and diabetes.

If your child is a snorer you should take the time to talk to his or her pediatrician. Sleep disorders can very easily be disguised as irritability, short attention span and can lead to other health problems. It can be caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids. It can also be caused by a small airway. The current research is discussion new medication treatments to help children.

No matter who in the family is snoring it is something that is not normal. It is something that should be evaluated by a professional. If they can sleep quieter than everyone will get a better night sleep.


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Insomnia and Fibromyalgia; Combination Therapy Helps

Posted by amykr on May 27, 2009

Fibromyalgia patients have to learn to deal with chronic pain. The problem is that pain and insomnia cause a vicious cycle of increased pain and decreased sleep. Insomnia has been shown in many studies to decrease a patient’s pain threshold.

Treating insomnia can be quite difficult. Medications are usually the first line of treatment. They work well in the beginning but patients build up a tolerance over a period of time. This is particularly true of Fibromyalgia patients because it must overcome the pain the patient feels. When you mix the short term effects of medication such as Ambien or Lunesta with cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, patients have much more success.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment where a therapist helps a person changes their thinking about an issue so they can change the behavior. This therapy has shown a 30%-40% success rate in the treatment of insomnia. When it is combines with short term sleep medications the efficacy increases to 65%-70%.

Many patients may be reluctant to go this route because doctors in the past may have told them their Fibromyalgia was in their head. The medical profession has changed their understanding of this condition and is looking to alternative therapies to help to deal with this condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one tool to not only help with insomnia but to help with the chronic pain as well.

As with any therapy you should always discuss your options with your doctor because he/she knows your full case history. For those who are looking for the best way to handle the sleepless nights these therapies are a great new option.

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