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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sleep Apnea Machine

Good evening Rose here….

Since on my last article I wrote about my mother Poly’s sleep apnea. I wanted to elaborate on the sleep apnea machine she has used since having her tonsils removed. Removing her tonsils alleviated her symptoms, but since she is not undead, she will snore from time to time and using the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) sleep apnea machine helps reduce the obstruction in her throat by applying continuous air pressure.

The CPAP machine blows air at a set pressure also known as the titrated pressure usually determined after a sleep study with a polysomnography. The titrated pressure is the amount of air needed to prevent sleep apnea and hypopneas, and it is usually measured in centimeters of water.

The CPAP treatment helps patient with obstructive sleep apnea with an improvement in their quality of sleep as well as a benefit to their sleep partner. Since sleep apnea is a chronic health issue and is only controlled, ongoing care is recommended to maintain CPAP therapy.

Poly was fitted with a mask and at first had difficulty falling asleep. She knew it was good for her but she found it uncomfortable. She would wake up in the middle of the night and take it off, replace it and take it off again…it was an ongoing cycle. She would wake up from snoring and wake up wearing the mask…the proverbial catch 22. It took her close to six months before she could fall asleep easily and stay asleep during the night with the mask on.

With anything once you do it for a period of time you get used to it. If you avoid the treatment you may cause other health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke or a heart attack. Your mental function will suffer and you will be restless and irritable during waking hours. So once you get a sleep apnea machine learn what you can about it and use it even if you are traveling.

As a recap, the CPAP machine is a small electric blower that pushes air through a hose. The hose is attached to a mask and held on to your head with straps. The hose supplies the air with a determined amount of pressure needed to keep your airway clear. The determined amount of air pressure is calculated when you have an apnea sleep test at a sleep center.

Mask. This is the most important feature, because the mask needs to fit you well in order for you to be comfortable enough to get used to it and sleep through the night. Along with the CPAP unit you have to make some lifestyle changes such as weight loss, if needed and it’s recommended that you sleep on your side.

Sleeping on your side may cause pressure from your pillow making the mask slip and air to leak out. When the air leaks out it makes a noise which can be as loud as or louder than snoring! It may be advisable to try a smaller mask to deter any leaks. There is a mask that also delivers air to your mouth instead of your nose. Your might consider buying both and interchanging them to avoid chafing.

Humidifier. To keep your airway passages from drying out, some models have an integrated heated humidifier.

Battery pack. Essential for travelling, your battery pack will provide eight hours of sleep with the humidifier on.

Data storage. Many units monitor and capture your sleep data that can be forwarded to your doctor so that he can maintain your recordings and make changes to your air pressure if necessary.

Hose length. The standard hose length is six feet, anything longer that that will not deliver the required pressure you need.

There are other attachments you can purchase with your CPAP such as International AC Outlet if you are travelling internationally or a DC adaptor to hook up to a car battery if you are camping.

All in all, your sleep apnea machine will provide you with better health and a longer life. Moms still going at 79, so make sure you USE it!

Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill

Sleep Apnea Test

Rose here….good evening everyone. As you know from my previous article I have been talking to my sister, Apnea. Apnea was given her name because our mother, Polysomno Pickwickian (Poly for short), suffered from Obstructive Sleep Apnea especially during her pregnancy with her. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may be a common form of sleep apnea, but the constant repetitive episodes of cessation of breath due to her large tonsils and the pressure on her lungs due to her pregnancy; she experienced excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, dry mouth and heartburn. Poly, born in the 20th century, complained to her doctor, William Osler about her symptoms and Poly was the first person to be diagnosed with a sleep apnea test.

Dr. William Osler coined sleep apnea the ‘Pickwickian Syndrome’ and wrote a paper that became the well known Pickwick Papers, an accurate clinical picture of adult obstructive sleep apnea syndrome…..and everyone thought he named it after Charles Dickens.

Dr. Osler found that the cessation of breath is associated with the reduction in blood oxygen saturation when the airway becomes obstructed by excess tissue, large tonsils, large tongue and/or sometimes the jaw or nasal passages can be a factor. Other symptoms include; loud snoring, depression, insomnia, frequent nighttime urination, overweight, high blood pressure and rapid weight gain. Some symptoms are not even recognized by the patient and their bed partner/spouse is the only one aware that there is a sleep apnea problem.

Major life threatening risks are heart attacks, strokes, impotence, erratic heartbeat and heart disease if OSA is untreated. Also, you might experience drowsiness when you are awake making it dangerous to drive or operate machinery. Fortunately for my mother her symptoms dissipated after Apnea was born and her tonsils were removed.

It was many years after Dr. Osler’s Pickwick Papers that a machine was invented to monitor and diagnose sleep apnea. Since my mother was the first person diagnosed with sleep apnea the sleep apnea test was called polysomnography. There are two types of sleep apnea tests; one an overnight test that involves monitoring the brain waves, muscle tension, rapid eye movement, breathing and oxygen level in the patient’s blood, the second test is a home monitoring test where a patient takes a polysomnograph home, is instructed how to use it and returns the next morning. These are painless test and might be covered under your health insurance.

If you are like Poly some treatment involves lifestyle changes or minor surgery. Other lifestyle changes are; losing weight and/or just sleeping on your side. If these changes aren’t enforced the patient’s sleep apnea will worsen as they age.

Some patients will use an oral mouth device to help keep the airways open by bringing the jaw forward, elevating the soft palate or preventing the tongue from falling back and obstructing the airway. There are many oral mouth devices on the market today

If the patients has severe sleep apnea it is recommended that they are treated with a C-PAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine that with a nose mask keeps the airway open and unobstructed by blowing air into their nose.

Other severe sleep apnea is caused by facial deformities and can be corrected by surgery. Some of these deformities are; a small jaw causing a small opening at the back or their throat, deviated septum, large tonsils and/or adenoids. All of these can be corrected with minor surgery.

Other surgeries include:

Prior to 1980, a tracheotomy was performed where a small hole was cut into the neck and a tube with a valve was inserted to eliminate obstructions. This procedure is only performed today as a last resort to alleviate the patient from respiratory distress or other major medical complications.

Today the uvulo-palato-pharyngoplasty is preformed for those that cannot tolerate the C-PAP. The uvulo (the skin that dangles in the back of your throat) is removed along with any excess tissue. If you are considering this surgery please discuss the risks involved. Statistics show that the procedure helps 50% of those who have had it and due to scar tissue some may still need to use the C-PAP.

For those with a small jaw which causes the tongue to obstruct the airway a mandibular myotomy is preformed. This surgery involves cutting a piece of bone from the jaw to which the tongue muscles are attached. The bone is pulled outward, rotated 90 degrees and reattached thus pulling the tongue forward and eliminating the air obstruction. This surgery requires a high trained, experienced surgeon in both ENT surgery and maxillofacial surgery.

There are two other surgeries; a LAUP or laser assisted uvuloplasty (removes the uvula) and a somnoplasty aka RF or radiofrequency (shrinks the uvula) that improve airflow and eliminates snoring. Also there is a new treatment that has been approved by the FDA, in which radiofrequency reduces the tongue. This RF treatment to the tongue involves inserting a needle and heating the inner tissues to 158 to 176 degrees causing the tissue to shrink. Since this procedure is new it may not be covered by health insurance.

Luckily for my mother the only thing she had to have done was have her tonsils removed, but in the 20th century it was still considered a major surgery. If it wasn’t for Dr. Osler she would have never been diagnosed with sleep apnea with a sleep apnea test. Today the polysomnography is used to diagnose, or rule out, many types of sleep disorders including narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, REM behavior disorder, parasomnias, and of course sleep apnea.
Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sleep Problems

Hi Rose here....just talked to my sister Apnea. Her son Batboy has sleep problems, he is;
  • Frequent awakening during the night
  • Talking during sleep
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up crying
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Having nightmares; or
  • Bedwetting
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Waking early
Now we know that Batboy, like many other children, have sleeping problems that are related to poor sleeping habits or anxiety about going to bed and falling asleep. But we also found that persistent sleep problems may also be symptoms of emotional difficulties or growing pains in the extremities, especially in their legs causing them to wake up. Batboy also wakes up in the middle of the day and joins Apnea and her husband in their coffin, which is signs of ‘separation anxiety’. For all young children bedtime is a time of separation from their parents and some children will do anything to prevent this. (maybe even wet their coffin?)

Setting up a consistent regular sleep routine can minimize common sleep problems and parents often find that feeding or rocking a child will help them fall asleep. However, as the child gets older parents should be encouraged to get their children asleep without these methods; otherwise, they will have a hard time getting to sleep alone.

Sometimes a child will awaken from a nightmare. Nightmares usually involve scary images, being chased or any major threat to their well-being. Nightmares begin at various ages and often affect girls more than boys. As the child ages nightmares are remembered and can be serious, frequent and interfere with their sleep.

Nightmares that are not remembered are considered sleep terrors and along with sleepwalking and sleep talking constitutes a rare group of children sleep problems called ‘parasomnias’. Sleep terrors will cause the child to scream uncontrollably, appear to be awake, are confused and can’t communicate, while sleepwalking the child appears to be awake but isn’t and they are in danger of hurting themselves. So if your child suffers from this condition then the first thing that you should do is shift the room of your child to a safer place where there are no stairs. All windows and doors of the house should be firmly locked. Parents should never intervene sleepwalking by shaking, shouting or slapping the child.

Both sleep terrors and sleepwalking run in families and affect boys more than girls. Most often these child sleep problems are only on occasion, but when these episodes are more frequent and interfere with their sleep as well as the child’s daytime behavior treatment with an adolescent psychiatrist may be necessary.

Fortunately, as the child ages, they usually outgrow common sleep problems in children as well as the more serious parasomnias sleep disorders.

Other sleep problems in toddlers are bedwetting as in Batboys case, insomnia, snoring and even faking sleep. If you are considering taking your child to a doctor to solve your child’s sleep problems keep a diary of the time when he/she gets up and the reason why.

The doctor will diagnose the child’s sleep problem and treat it accordingly. There is a difference in diagnosing baby sleep problems and toddler sleep problems. Sleep problems in toddlers that are fewer concerns are bedwetting and sleepwalking, but those with obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy need medical attention and testing. Untreated sleep disorders can impact the child’s lives, growth, learning, attention span, mood and daily activities.

A pediatrician should ask about the child’s sleep routine at during every well-child visit to see if there is a potential sleep problem. Since some infant sleep problems are never outgrown effective treatments are prescribed or even the removal of tonsils or adenoids for obstructive sleep apnea.

Some child will undergo a sleep study in which the brain waves are monitored during sleep as well as snoring, gasping and signs of apnea. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that all children who show signs of snoring to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea.

Luckily for Batboy he will outgrow his sleep problems, but in the meantime my sister Apnea is keeping a sleep diary and keeping a consistent daytime routine which includes going to the bathroom before going to his coffin.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sleep Aides for Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS

Good Evening Rose here ..Tonights subject is Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS

What is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)? RLS is a neurological disorder that is known by the irresistible urge to move your legs. There are four decisive factors you must have in order to be diagnosed with RLS.

• You have a strong urge to move your legs which is hard for you to resist. The need to move is often associated with uncomfortable sensations. Some sensations are described as; creeping, itching, pulling, creepy-crawly, tugging, or gnawing.
• Your RLS symptoms seem to worsen when you are resting. The longer you are rest, the greater the probability the symptoms will happen and the more serious they become.
• Your RLS symptoms feel better when you move your legs. Your RLS relief can be complete or only partial, but generally it will start soon after you begin an activity. Relief continues as long as you keep moving.
• Your RLS symptoms worsen in the evening, especially when you are trying to sleep. Activities that bother you at night do not bother you during the day.

RLS can also cause sleep deprivation one of the main complaints of the syndrome. A large number of people who have RLS also have periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). These are jerks that occur every 20 to 30 seconds on and off throughout the night. This can cause partial awakenings that disrupt sleep. Sleep deprivation can seriously impact your work, relationships, and health.

The symptoms of RLS vary in severity and duration from person to person. Mild RLS occurs at regular intervals, with only mild interruption at the beginning of sleep, and causes little suffering. In moderately severe cases, symptoms occur only once or twice a week but result in significant delay when trying to fall asleep, with some distraction of daytime activities. In severe cases of RLS, the symptoms occur more than twice a week and result in arduous intervals of sleep and impairment of daytime performance.

Symptoms may begin at any age of life, although the disorder is more common as we age. Sometimes people will experience natural improvement over a period of weeks or months. Although rare, natural improvement over a period of years also can occur. If these improvements occur, it is usually during the initial stages of the disorder. In general, symptoms become more acute over time.

People who have both RLS and another sleep disorder or medical condition often develop more severe symptoms quickly. In contrast, those whose RLS is not associated with any other medical condition and whose onset is at an early age show a very slow development of the disorder and a lot of time may pass before symptoms occur regularly.

What causes RLS? Statistically 50% of the cases show a genetic form of the disorder. These people tend to have RLS at an early age with a slower progression of the condition. In other cases, it appears to be related to the following, although doctors have yet to determine the actual causes of RLS.

1. Low levels of iron or those patients that have anemia. Once levels or anemia are corrected patients see a reduction in symptoms.
2. Medical condition such as Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure or diabetes has been associated with RLS and when treated will provide some relief from RLS.
3. Pregnant women in their last trimester. Most women’s symptoms will go away within a month of delivery.
4. Some medications may cause symptoms. Changing prescriptions can alleviate RLS.
5. Researchers have also found that caffeine, alcohol or tobacco can aggravate or trigger symptoms. It has been shown that eliminating substances may relieve symptoms but unclear if this will prevent RLS from occurring at all.

When treating patients with mild to moderate symptoms, prevention is crucial and many doctors suggest lifestyle and daytime activity changes to reduce or eliminate RLS. Eliminating substances and taking supplements to correct mineral deficiencies such as iron. Changing sleep patterns and maintaining an exercise program that will help patients sleep better. Some symptoms from excessive exercise have been reported. Taking a hot bath or a massage may bring some relief, but show these attempts never eliminate RLS.

Some doctors may offer a variety of prescription medication to treat RLS. Different medications are specifically prescribed for mild to severe symptoms of RLS. Be aware that some drugs such as clonazepam and diazepam can help patients obtain a more restful sleep but they have side effects. Because they are depressants, they can cause daytime restlessness and may induce sleep apnea. People with this condition should not use these medications. Other side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and the risk of addiction.

Anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine and gabapentin are also useful for some patients, as they decrease the sensations (creeping and crawling). Dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness are among the possible side effects.

Regrettably, not one drug is effective for every patient with RLS. What may be helpful to one person may actually worsen symptoms for another. In addition, medications taken regularly may lose their effect, making it necessary to change medications periodically. It may take several trials for you and your doctor to find the right medication and dosage for you. A combination of medications may work best.

Other treatments that have been helpful for some patients include; warm/cold baths, electric nerve stimulation, oral magnesium, and acupuncture.

Restless Legs Syndrome is generally a lifelong condition where there is no cure. Today’s current treatments can control the disorder, minimize symptoms and decrease sleep deprivation. If you feel you have RLS, please call a doctor in your area that specializes in the treatment of this disorder. Keep track of the medications and strategies that help or hinder your battle with RLS, and share this information with your doctor. Join a support groups, bring together family members and people with RLS. By participating in a group, your insights not only can help you but also may help someone else.
Good Day
Rose Sheepskill

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson Sleep Aid Propofol aka Diprivan

Michael Jackson the King of 'Pill' Pop wanted to take his sleep aid medication intravenously. His drug of choice was Propofol aka Diprivan which is administered intravenously as a general anesthetic used to sedate patients for surgery and is only available to medical personnel. Propofol’s purpose is to induce sleep as long as the patient is monitored with an IV drip. As soon as you turn the drip off the patient will quickly become awake.

Propofol is only meant for use as an anesthesia and not a sleep aid because this drug is so powerful your breathing could cease or some other critical failure could occur. For this reason alone it should be used in operating rooms and doctors offices where trained medical employees monitor the patient if something were to go wrong.

It has also been implicated in drug abuse, with people using it to “chill out” or to commit suicide. Accidental deaths linked to abuse have been reported. The powerful drug has a very narrow therapeutic window, meaning it doesn’t take doses much larger than the medically recommended amount to stop a person’s breathing.
An overdose that stops breathing can result in a buildup of carbon dioxide, causing the heart to beat erratically and leading to cardiac arrest

Jackson pressured a registered nurse Cherilyn Lee to help him with his insomnia by using Propofol and she refused his requests. According to Lee, a member of Jackson’s staff called her on June 21 begging her to help him after what seemed like an adverse drug reaction. She feared he used Propofol. The caller stated that Jackson complained half his body was hot and the other half cold which was a sign that something had messed up his central nervous system.

AAP Pharmaceutical’s spokesperson confirmed that Propofol is only available to medical professional and is widely used for outpatient surgical procedures because it is fast acting. Propofol has been known to create a painful burning sensation which is treated with the drug Lidocaine. According to a report Lidocaine was found near Jackson’s body. If a doctor supplied Jackson and helped him inject it causing the pop star’s death, he or she could be prosecuted for manslaughter.

Not only did Jackson have medical issues due to his insomnia he was struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs. The autopsy showed that his stomach only had partial digested pills. Over time it is likely that he built up a tolerance to those drugs which can mess up your sleep cycle and the need to feel completely out or in deep sleep caused him to abuse these medications. He had become desperate enough to research about Propofol and despite its warnings asked Lee if she could get and administer the drug so he could get some much needed sleep.

“I had an IV and when it hit my vein, I was sleeping. That’s what I want,” Lee said Jackson told her.

“I said, ‘Michael, the only problem with you taking this medication’ — and I had a chill in my body and tears in my eyes three months ago — ‘the only problem is you’re going to take it and you’re not going to wake up,” she recalled.

According to Lee, Jackson said it had been given to him before but he didn’t want to discuss the circumstances or identify the doctor involved.

Lee knew something was terribly wrong with Jackson and told him to go to the hospital. Jackson did not go and died June 25 after suffering cardiac arrest.

Lee said “I don’t know what happened there. The only thing I can say is he was adamant about this drug.”

Tortured by sleep deprivation, addicted to painkillers, sedatives, antidepressants and opposed to recreational drugs Lee said “This was a person who was not on drugs. This was a person who was seeking help, desperately, to get some sleep, to get some rest.”

Jackson was getting prepared for his big comeback, his “This Is It” tour with a series of performances that would have put a strain on his frail body. He had reoccurring pain due to 1984 Pepsi commercial where he severely burned part of his scalp and when he broke his leg and hurt his back when he fell off stage.

Lou Ferrigno best known for “The Incredible Hulk” had been working out with Jackson for the past few months to help him build up his stamina for the upcoming tour.

When he was with me, he wasn’t different. He wasn’t stoned. He wasn’t high. He wasn’t being aloof or speedy. Never talked about drugs,” Ferrigno said. “I’ve never seen him take drugs. He was always talking about nutrition.”

According to Lee, Jackson was also steadfast with her about taking drugs.

“He said, `I don’t like drugs. I don’t want any drugs. My doctor told me this is a safe medicine,’” Lee said. The next day, she said she brought a copy of the Physician’s Desk Reference to show him the section on Diprivan.

“He said, ‘No, my doctor said it’s safe. It works quick and it’s safe as long as somebody’s here to monitor me and wake me up. It’s going be OK,’” Lee said. She said he did not give the doctor’s name.

Lee said at one point, she spent the night with Jackson to monitor him while he slept. She said she gave him herbal remedies and stayed in a corner chair in his vast bedroom.

After he settled in bed, Lee told Jackson to turn down the lights and music — he had classical music playing in the house. “He also had a computer on the bed because he loved Walt Disney,” she said. “He was watching Donald Duck and it was ongoing. I said, `Maybe if we put on softer music,’ and he said, ‘No, this is how I go to sleep.’”

Three and a half hours later, Jackson jumped up and looked at Lee, eyes wide open, according to Lee. “This is what happens to me,” she quoted him as saying. “All I want is to be able to sleep. I want to be able to sleep eight hours. I know I’ll feel better the next day.”

Lee said she went to the house in January, the first of about 10 visits there through April, and treated the children with vitamins. Michael, intrigued, asked what else she did and took her up on her claim she could boost his energy.

After running blood tests, she devised protein shakes for him and gave him an intravenous vitamin and mineral mixture — known as a “Myers cocktail,” after Dr. John Myers — which Lee said she uses routinely in her practice.

“It wasn’t that he felt sick,” she said. “He just wanted more energy.”

Lee said she decided to speak out to protect Jackson’s reputation from what she considers unfounded allegations of drug abuse or shortcomings as a parent.

“I think it’s so wrong for people to say these things about him,” she said. “He was a wonderful, loving father who wanted the best for his children.”

What does Michael’s family plan to do for the pop star’s funeral?

Jackson’s body will not lie in state at his Neverland ranch. It was thought the singer would be placed in a glass coffin so fans could pay their respects before a family funeral.
'Contrary to news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland,' says a spokesman.

But the family is organising a tribute event. 'Plans are underway regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson and we will announced those plans shortly,' says the spokesman.

It's believed Michael, 50, will be laid to rest on Sunday.

‘He will be buried not cremated,’ says family lawyer Brian Oxman. ‘His mum Katherine is a Jehovah's Witness and despite claims Michael had converted to Islam he was one too.’

The singer's hometown of Gary, Ind., is reportedly seeking to have the body shipped there for another memorial service being planned for July 10. Amid all the competition to pay last respects to the King of Pop (including a memorial service attended by thousands at New York City's Apollo Theater on June 30), one question still remains unanswered: Where will Michael Jackson be buried?

I have a couple suggestions:

Cremation: You can divide the ashes or

Division of Body Parts: The coroner will keep the brain to conduct neuropathology tests, which can't happen until about two weeks after death, when the brain hardens. It's also likely that the coroner is conducting further tests on the superstar's heart. It's up to the family. They can bury him and then bury the brain and heart later on. Some for LA, some for Gary, IN, everybody’s happy. I’m sure Michael would want it that way.
R.I.P, Michael.
Rose Sheepskill

Sleep Deprivation

Good Evening Rose Sheepskill here...I have a surprise visit from;

my sister Apnea Niteswetter-Insomniac,

her new husband, Count Iman Insomniac,

her two children from a previous marriage, when she was alive. We all know the undead can not bear children.

Paras Omnia Niteswetter

and Brad (the Batboy) Bedswetter (father's mother's maiden name) Niteswetter.

You see when my sister was alive she was married to Dr. Noman Niteswetter a friend of Dr. Narcolepsy. While pregnant Noman had an affair with a vamp that turned him. After Apnea had Batboy, Noman would come around to see him at night and this lasted for about a year and a half. Apnea and Noman fell in love again but fought because he was going to unlive forever and he didn't want to watch them die. So Valentines day, 1948, they remarried and became a family of the undead.

Dr. Noman Niteswetter was a well know doctor in sleep deprivation and a hypnotist that uses hypnotic suggestions as a treatment for sleep disorders. He will sometimes consults and hypnotise patients at the Narcolepsy Sleep Center.
If a patient is suffering from a sleep disorder, getting treatment is very important for them to maintain good health. Sleep deprivation causes can range from physical conditions to lifestyle choices to emotional disorders and it is sometimes hard for the doctor to know exactly what is interrupting their sleep.

At a sleep disorder center the patient will undergo a series of tests and asked a lot of questions, so the doctor can pinpoint the cause of their sleep deprivation. Finding the cause is beneficial to getting the right treatment. For example, if they are on a number of medications the doctor may prescribe and alternative prescription or natural remedy. If they are being treated for an emotional disorder, like depression then getting therapy and the right meditation might be all they need to help you sleep.

During their consultation the doctor may recommend that they keep a sleep diary for about a month. A sleep diary will detail the specifics of their good and bed nights of sleep and include; any medications they took that day, stress they encountered, exercise routine, if any, what they ate and the date and time. They might even be able to figure out if certain foods are hindering their sleep or if exercising promotes better sleep or causes insomnia.

After the month the doctor will review the sleep diary with the patient and then decide on how to proceed. At this time Dr. Niteswetter will be called in to consult and try hypnosis. Hypnosis is a method often used in therapy in which a person goes into an altered, trance-like state of awareness in which the patient is more open to suggestion. Rather than focusing on the reality surrounding him, a hypnotized person instead concentrates of images and/or the voice of hypnotizer.

Over the years, therapists have used hypnosis to treat a number of disorders, ranging from eating disorders, to stop smoking, to irrational fears to sleep disorders. Sleep disorders that stem from emotional problems, anxiety issues or severe stress can benefit from treatment by hypnosis.

Some patients may have a physical impairment that is causing their sleep deprivation and surgery might be the only option of treatment. In general, surgery is limited to treating obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea is a when something physically is blocking the airway.

If their sleep deprivation is caused by their lifestyle such as work demands and family responsibilities that keep them from getting their sleep, some therapy and life adjustments may be all they need. If their sleep deprivation becomes chronic they may develop serious conditions; including heart disease, depression and hypertension. Some other common symptoms of sleep deprivation are fatigue, blurry vision, dizziness and irritability.

Although many people suffer from sleep disorders that prevent them from falling and staying asleep, a select group of people actually gets too much sleep. Known in medical circles as hypersomnia, excessive sleep is clinically defined as getting more than 10 hours of sleep per night and still experiencing daytime drowsiness. This disorder can be treated with lifestyle changes.

For those who have a disruptive sleep disorder, they not only get less sleep they don’t experience deep sleep or “restorative sleep”. Some of the common risk factors associated with disrupted sleep are; diet, drug/alcohol use, exercise patterns, mood disorders, sleep environment, snoring and/or prescription medication. If not treated the patient may experience; blurry vision, restlessness, mood swings, memory lapses and short term memory problems. If this continues a patient can develop conditions that include hypertension and heart disease.

Sleep apnea will cause disruptive sleep in which a person stops breathing and they will have to undergo a series of tests including an EEG and be considered for a sleep study. A sleep study is an overnight stay at the center to be monitored while sleeping. See more on sleep apnea here.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) are two conditions that cause disrupted sleep. While RLS causes discomfort throughout the legs that prevents a person from falling asleep, PLMD is characterized by involuntary movements during sleep that affect the sleep cycle. Although people who suffer from RLS tend to also have PLMD, those with PLMD typically don’t also have RLS.

Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) refers to sleep disorders that revolve around the timing of sleep. DSPS patients tend to go to sleep extremely late and then experience difficulty waking up. Although those with DSPS tend to fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning, no matter when they lie down, they consistently fall asleep at the same time.

DSPS tends to start in adolescence and may correct itself as a person reaches adulthood. Treatment options for DSPS that tend to involve changing the sleep environment, altering diet and exercise habits and examining and adjusting other aspects of one’s lifestyle, such as a medication regimen and caffeine intake. While these treatments can help DSPS, the condition itself is not curable.

Once the doctor has diagnosed the sleep disorder he may prescribe a sleep medicine. Some doctors recommend a herbal remedy before prescribing a prescription drug due to the side effects and the possibility for addiction. Some herbal remedies are:

• California Poppy: This homeopathic herb is a mild sedative that is Along with promoting better sleep, California poppy also relieves anxiety.

• Chamomile: Chamomile is effective in herbal sleep medications or in its tea form with no known side effects.

• Catnip: As a tea, catnip is calming and promotes better sleep. Along with treating sleeping problems, catnip is also a homeopathic for migraines, cramping and indigestion.

• Hops: Used for years by Native Americans, hops are an effective herbal sleep aide, anxiety treatment and mild antibiotic. Because hops belong to the same family as marijuana, they aren't recommended for those suffering from depression.

• Jamaica dogwood: Once used as a fish tranquilizer in the Caribbean, Jamaica dogwood's relaxing properties make it a safe, effective sleep aid and painkiller. Commonly, Jamaica dogwood is consumed in tea form.

• Jasmine: Like chamomile, jasmine (as a tea or medication additive) has calming effects that promote better sleep and treat headache pain.

• Lavender: While lavender is an herb that can act as a sedative, some forms of lavender, namely Spanish lavender, can actually have stimulating effects, making it an effective treatment for depression. Generally, lavender is taken as a tea.

• Passion flower: This calming herb is an especially helpful sleep aid for sleep disorders caused by chronic pain, muscle conditions and anxiety. Because the most common side effect of passion flower is drowsiness, don't take it unless you plan to sleep for while.

• Peppermint: Commonly taken in tea form, peppermint is a relaxing herb that relieves insomnia and indigestion. While peppermint doesn't have any serious side effects, it can prevent your body from absorbing iron.

• Sage: This soothing herb treats sleep disorders, depression and nervous conditions. It is effective whether it spices up a meal, is consumed as a tea or is an additive in other sleep aids. Sage has no known side effects.

• Siberian ginseng: Also used an herbal treatment for depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, Siberian ginseng is most effective for sleep disorders related to these conditions.

• St. John's wort: Along with being effective in depression and anxiety treatment, St. John's wort also works for treating sleep disorders, particularly insomnia. It can be an ingredient in other sleep aid medication or taken alone in a concentrated pill form.

• Valerian: As the most popular herbal sleep supplement, valerian is also an effective treatment for nerve and muscle disorders. Like chamomile and catnip, valerian is generally consumed as a tea. Side effects, such as loss of muscle function and heart troubles, only arise when too much valerian is consumed.

Dr. Nightswetter finds that nearly 70% of women suffer from some type of sleep deprivation. Of course of this 70% most are menopausal and pregnant and having a sleep disorder due to hormonal changes, but all women are two times more likely than men to experience sleep deprivation.

Since my sister and her family all suffer from some sort of sleep disorder they will be visiting the Narcolepsy Sleep Center for treatment. During the next few weeks we will talk about each of their sleep problems. For now I must catch up on the gossip before the sun comes up. Until then, Good Day.
Rose Sheepskill
reference: www.sleep-deprivation.com