Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Posts Tagged ‘health’

Sleep and Quality of Life

Posted by amykr on January 19, 2010

Sleep may not seem productive because we believe we are not doing something we define as productive. Unfortunately, this belief causes many people to put sleep at the bottom of their priority list. Te long term effects of sleep deprivation will keep you from having a quality of life you have always wanted. Sleep. If you want to have energy and clear thought then you really need to consider your length and quality of sleep.

Sleeping is a personal need. For most adults between 7 and 8 hours is the average amount needed. This is an average and there are people who need a little more or a little less. of course when we are children and even teenagers we need more sleep. When we get older we may need less sleep, but contrary to popular opinion older people do need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep.

Sleep time allows two important processes to happen. It allows us to process our thoughts and move them from short term to long term memory, and it allows our body to heal itself. These two processes are so important especially as we grow older.

How do we achieve a good night sleep? You need to put it on your to do list. If you make sleep a priority, set that absolute bedtime, make sure you are creating a routine to help; it will help to make life more energetic. Creating the best sleep environment will help to get the most of this time of day.

At the end of the day it is important for you to take advantage of these 7 hours a day of good healthy sleep to allow you to really enjoy the rest of the day. Your quality of life depends on your quality of sleep.

Posted in health care, Sleep | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

New Years Gives You a New Chance for Better Health

Posted by amykr on December 31, 2009

As the year ends we know that some very notable people have had health issues the last couple of weeks. Britney Murphy died after a short unidentified illness, Rush Limbaugh was rushed to the hospital after experiencing chest pain and Urban Meyer has taken an indefinite leave from coaching after two health emergencies. This time of year reminds us that our health is our most important asset and should be treated as such. Here are a few things you can do that might help.

Have your yearly physical. Many people feel they should only see the doctor if they are feeling sick. If you value your health and your pocketbook then spending a little wellness time with your doctor is worth it. Your physician will know what tests you need yearly. They may also see something you may miss such as mole that might look a little strange or a change in your skin tone. If you do not have insurance consider taking advantage of the Seminole and Orange County Health Department or Apopka Family Medicine, these facilities can help you find affordable health care and inoculations for your children.

Invest in exercise. You do not need to join a gym. If you are looking for information about exercise there are some great places for free to learn more about it. Sparkpeople.com and Transformations.com are both free and have experts who give information on work outs. If you are looking for people to walk or exercise with try Meetup.com. They have many different groups and if you can not find one you want you can always start one.

Educate yourself. There are many great websites our there. WebMD.com, Livestrong.com and Lifescript.com are great sources for information from many different professionals. If you have questions it is always good to ask your healthcare professional, if they are unavailable a website where professionals are sharing information are great places to find generic information about medications, tests or conditions. Your local hospital also has educational classes throughout the year. Just give a call and ask for the community education department.

Create a healthy eating plan. This is one place where the internet excels and where it fails. There are more sites about eating, diet and food then just about anything else. The trick is to find the healthy information that does not cost you anything. Discovery.com has their yearly National Body Challenge that is free and has several perks including 14 day pass to Bally’s Health Club. Sparkpeople.com has a custom food plan that is free as well. Ivillage.com also has a food planner and program. All of these plans are based on a health balance food plan of 1200 to 1800 calories depending on the site.

This is just a starting point for the New Year. Each person has their own ideas about what they need to create a healthy and successful life. Just remember that the time spent being healthy will pay you back in ways you would not suspect.

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A Healthy Holiday Season with a Little Help

Posted by amykr on November 5, 2009

When we think of the holiday season, which starts the day after Halloween, many priorities are put aside. Getting fit and healthy is one of them. Generally the average person gains between 1 and 10 pounds. There are many different opportunities this year to help not just maintain your weight this year but to loose during the holidays.

Leanne Ellington, the owner of Not Your Average Boot Camp, a personal training and coaching program, is trying to change that. She also gives nutritional education and support with one on one coaching. She also understands the challenge of weight loss. She has walked the path of her clients; she has lost a significant amount of weight herself.

This holiday season she is offering 15 people the chance to experience her program free of charge. Each person will be working out in her boot camp three times a week, will be given a food plan to follow and her support though e-mail, weakly group calls and personal phone calls. She announced this opportunity and was immediately bombarded with applicants. She will be announcing the winners of this holiday gift on Friday.

This is also the season for races. The weather is perfect for walkers and runners. If the challenge of beating a time clock or to help raise money for a good charity then check out Fleet Feet in Altamonte Springs and Track Shack in Orlando. They sponsor most of the races in the area. Both these businesses also have classes to help you train properly and incredible employees to help people new and old to walking and running get the correct equipment. They can also test your stride to help find the best show for your gate.

If moral support and advice will help during the holiday season then there are multiple sites that deal with weight loss. Bill Phillip’s Transformation website is offering support through a holiday challenge. His free site offers support for looking at the physical, mental and community when loosing weight. Part of the goal planning is how participant can give to the community they live in.

This year there are many great opportunities to not just maintain your weight but to loose weight. Whether it is with a formal exercise program such as Leanne Ellington’s Not Your Average Boot Camp, training on your won for a race or going on line to find support, make this holiday season a healthy one.

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Extra Side Effect of One New Years Resolution

Posted by amykr on January 2, 2009

Many people suffer from insomnia. We work hard, relax little and suffer from input overload. As woman we also suffer from hormonal changes that can increase insomnia. What can you do about this if we do not wish to take medications?

One New Years resolutions that might be able to help is exercising. There are some rules thought. It works best in the morning according to Dr. Youngstedt’s research at University of California at San Diego. He found that it can help regulate the body’s internal clock also know as circadian rhythm based on when you do your exercise. That outdoor exercise has the added effect of light exposure which helps to regulate this rhythm as well. He also recommends that people with insomnia try exercising different times of the day as some people it does help to exercise in the evening.

Since many of us commit to exercise as part of the New Year it might help to try exercising in outdoor light, do small intervals throughout the day or to experiment with the time you exercise as a way for you to improve you sleep.

I hope you are having a great and productive New Year.

http://www.acsm.org/Content/ContentFolders/NewsReleases/2003/TROUBLE_SLEEPING__A_LITTLE_EXERCISE_MIGHT_HELP.htm

http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1997/10oct/young.htm

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TV and the Cure for Snoring

Posted by amykr on December 27, 2008

 You see them on television and read about them in magazines.  They cost anywhere from $30 to a bed that cost $1000+ Do they really work?  Are they worth the money?

Well it depends on what you are thinking of getting.  I will start with some of the ones that make us laugh in the sleep lab and move on from there.  There are several sprays on the market that say they will fix snoring.  Well they do lubricate the back of the throat so they may reduce snoring a little bit at the beginning of the night if your snoring is caused by too small an airway in the back of the throat, but if your snoring is caused by anything else it does nothing.  The same goes for the strips  you put on your nose.  Snoring generally does nto come from your nose so a piece of tape and plastic is just not going to fix snoring or sleep apnea. 

Now there are several t shirts out there that help you stay off your back.  If you have positional snoring or apnea these do work.  But it would be cheaper to take an old t shirt sew a pocket down the center of it and put some tennis balls in it.  This is to train someone not to sleep on their back and it works well.

There are mouth pieces.  A good one is fitted by a dentist and will run about $300-$500 but it is custom made for you and will keep your airway open.  The ones you see on television might work or they might not it depends on what is causing the snoring and if you have TMJ it could agrivate it. 

There are also pillows out there that will help with positioning.  They have a tendency to be pricey and some of them are quite uncomfortable.  So consider that before your buy it.

The last thing is the beds that adjust.  If you elevate your head you are likely to find a position that will eliminate your snoring.  It works but again buying a bed is a very costly investment.

If you do snore or you snore and gasp the best thing to do is chat with your primary care physician about the problem.  There are several things that can cause snoring and yrou doctor will be able to help you to find the right answer for you.

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How do you wake up

Posted by amykr on December 24, 2008

This may not sound scientific but it is a good question. Do you wake up to the loud peeping of an annoying alarm clock, or your favoriet music, or your dog licking your hand? How you rest may be tied to it. If you know that as soon as you relax and fall asleep you are going to be awoken by something that is going to annoy you then you will not let your body relax enough to get the sleep you deserve.

The same is true if you have a bedpartner who you know will wake you during the night. He or she may kick, grind their teeth, snore or stop breathing. All these things are disruptive to anyone who shares the room with them. If this is the issue you need to chat with your doctor about your partner’s issues. They might have ideas how to discuss this issue so that you both can get a good night’s sleep.

As I tell my family every day if mama is happy everyone is happy. So make sure that you take care of yourself by helping your family members take care of themselves.

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The Year of Change for Sleep Techs

Posted by amykr on December 23, 2008

published at http://www.advanceforsleep.com
Published December 22, 2008 3:02 PM by Amy Reavis

As a respiratory therapist and as a sleep tech, I do not think I have ever seen a year with as many changes as this year has brought us.

We started the year on the right note. We knew that competitive bid was coming. Then came the issue of home sleep studies. Following closely on its heals was licensure and respiratory credentials for sleep technicians. And just when you thought we had enough curve balls to handle, the economy tanked and people could no longer afford their co-pays or lost their jobs and their insurance.

I have had many friends and know several labs that were affected by all this change. It is a lot to take in. Many people I know have ignored it or believe that it will not affect them.

As a whole, sleep does not have a strong advocacy group. We have the AAST but many people do not belong. We also have a large group of respiratory therapists who belong to the AARC, which has a much stronger voice.

You do not see state associations in and very few regional ones. I know living in Florida there are two regional associations but then it seems they are competing with each other for members.

We do have some great highlights though. We have several professional magazines, one really phenomenal message board, binarysleep.com, many people who are creating CEU and college programs to teach sleep in a formal setting, and many truly dynamic people who are bringing our profession to a whole new level.

I remember when respiratory was going through the same issues. There were many people who were trained via on the job training; we had credentials but we were not licensed. Those of us who got our AAS degrees were asked why. Why take the RRT? Why worry when we are needed?

I believed in the field of respiratory and was very passionate about it. And I encouraged people to get their credentials because eventually we would be licensed. When that day came, I lost several co-workers because they refused to take the test. I remember all of this and I see history repeating itself.

This is why I know that sleep will do well. Because history shows that these young medical fields are important and that as we grow and change we not only survive but thrive.

I challenge every tech out there to do something great for our field this year. If we work together, publish papers, create state societies, or help new technicians, we will be a strong and healthy profession.

posted by Amy Reavis

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Snoring and a Restful Sleep

Posted by amykr on December 22, 2008

With greater research going on we are finding new reasons why people are tired during the day.  A research study was publish in the Chest magazine compared daytime sleepiness in snoring patients as it related to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.  The findings were not necessarily what were expected.

 

The conclusion was that snoring independently affects daytime sleepiness and was not related to sleep apnea.  What does this mean?  It can mean many things.  It can mean that snoring itself needs to be taken seriously as it can cause an increase in the level of fatigue a person feels.   When a person experiences increased fatigue the chances of a work related accident or car accident will happen.  There is still the chance that the person has sleep apnea which has its own set of issues.  And finally the feeling of well being overall is very important and the need for a good nights sleep is necessary.

 

If you find that you are snoring take an Epworth test.  It will give you a good idea how tired you are and if you need to talk to your physician about sleep.

 

 

Sleep Disorder Screening Questionnaire

 

Please complete and return to your physician

 

Name:________________________________                     Date:_______

 

 

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?

 

0 = would never doze

1 = slight chance of dozing

2 = moderate chance of dozing

3 = high chance of dozing

 

Circle the appropriate number

Situation

Chance of dozing

Sitting and reading

     0    1      2       3

Watching TV

     0    1      2       3

Sitting, inactive in a public place (e.g., a theater or meeting)

     0    1      2       3

As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break

     0    1      2       3

Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit

     0    1      2       3

Sitting and talking to someone

     0    1      2       3

Sitting quietly after lunch, without alcohol

     0    1      2       3

In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

     0    1      2       3

 

                                                                                             Total from above: _____ (>9?)

________________________________________________________________________

 

Do you often feel sleepy during the daytime?                  Yes     No

 

Do you snore, or has anyone ever told you that you snore?         Yes     No

 

Has anyone ever told you that you stop breathing during sleep? Yes     No

 

Do you ever have a choking or gasping sensation during sleep? Yes     No

 

Do your legs ‘kick’ during sleep?                                               Yes    No

 

 

Return form to your physician

 

 

 

 

Malin Svensson, MD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Akademiska sjukhuset, SE 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden;.  2008;134(5):919-924.  ©2008 American College of Chest Physicians

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Fear of the Dreaded Deductible

Posted by amykr on December 20, 2008

There are only two more weeks left to the year and the dreaded fear of the deductible has arisen. This condition involves the realization that the new year not only brings resolutions and fresh commitments but a large financial goose egg known as the insurance deductible. This large sum of money due at the beginning of each year for healthcare expenses although is known is quite frequently unplanned for.

So I started getting the frantic phone calls this week to try and get their tests completed and billed before years end. The issues are difficult because many doctors take vacation the last weeks of the month. We do however want to help those who need it. And will try to schedule people as quickly as possible for the study. But really what we need to do is plan for the deductible so that it will not affect our healthcare.

Every year on January 1 I have a $3000 expense that involves my deductible and my son’s medication. The medication company knows this and I know this. I try to order my last does of the year as close to the end of the month as possible so I do not have deal with this right after the holidays. I also have a savings account to save for this. Each month I a small portion to this amount. This helps. I also work with the drug company to do monthly payment plans usually I will have about $1500 in the bank account and then I pay the rest off in monthly payments. So how does this pertain to you?

Well this year many people have had an increase in their deductible, and like me they had to meet their deductible twice in a 6 month period because their company changed insurers. If you need care do not hesitate to work with the people who are providing your care. Sometimes if you pay in cash up front they will give you a discount over what you would pay with your insurer. Look into care credit. It is a medical credit card that will help you to cover your shortfall. If worse comes to worse contact your local hospital’s social work department. They might have suggestions of where you might be able to get affordable care until you have met your deductible. The important thing is to make sure you get the care you need.

Your health is the one thing that when you loose there is no amount of money that will replace it. So I hope everyone has a healthy and happy holiday.

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