Are Sleep Disorders Serious?
- Sleepiness is a contributing factor to many motor vehicle accidents.
- 4% of all traffic fatalities and as many as 30% on high-speed, boring stretches of highway, result from a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
- Sleepiness has been implicated as a contributing factor to major industrial accidents and environmental disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
- Loud snoring can create a severe strain on a relationship. Imagine sleeping next to a buzz saw every night.
- Sleep apnea is closely associated with a number of serious medical conditions including hypertension, coronary artery disease and stroke.
- Untreated, chronic insomnia may lead to depression.
- Tiredness diminishes concentration and interest and saps the enjoyment from life.
- Each year sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and sleepiness add an estimated $15.9 billion to America's healthcare bill.
What is a polysomnogram?
A polysomnogram or sleep study is a non-invasive test which records your sleep pattern, breathing, oxygen level, heart rate and rhythm, and muscle tone while you sleep overnight in a private, hotel-like room at the center.
What is the connection between snoring and sleep apnea?
- Snoring results from vibrations in the throat, usually in the region of the uvula, the structure that we see in the back of the throat when we say "Ahhh."
- Apnea refers to periods lasting at least 10 seconds when the back of the throat narrows or actually closes shut during sleep.
- Most, but not all, people with sleep apnea snore loudly.
- While up to 50% of middle-aged men and women snore; about 4% of men and 2% of women suffer from sleep apnea.
- Sleep apnea is more likely to occur in a loud snorer who is overweight, has at least a 17-inch neck, suffers from daytime fatigue or sleepiness and is hypertensive.
- The disorder may result in premature death directly through sleepiness while driving or indirectly by causing or aggravating other illnesses such as hypertension, coronary artery disease or stroke.
- Sleep disorders are not only diagnosable but also treatable!