Alaska Sleep Education Center

Bedwetting (sleep enuresis) in Adults: Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Aug 16, 2018 2:40:00 PM

Bedwetting (also known as sleep enuresis and urinary incontinence) is a fairly common condition in young children and is seen as a sign of an immature, developing bladder. It is estimated that 15% of children over three, and 10% over five wet the bed occasionally. In fact, most doctors don't consider bedwetting in children to be a sign of a problem unless the child is older than seven years old, or the child has begun wetting the bed again after six months of maintaining overnight bladder control.

However, when adults wet the bed it is often an indication of an underlying illness, disease, or a symptom of other untreated medical conditions.

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Topics: sleep disorders

What is Idiopathic Hypersomnia? The Burden of Always Feeling Sleepy

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Aug 15, 2018 4:20:00 PM

Nearly everybody has experienced those days where you didn't get hardly any sleep the night before (or maybe even a few nights in a row). You're groggy all day, have trouble focusing, your mind drifts as you try to perform mundane tasks, and you may even feel a little more irritable than normal. However, with just one night of good rest, you're back to your normal, focused, alert self in no time.

Now try and imagine what it must be like to live in a state of perpetual drowsiness, chronically plagued with sleepiness. To make matters worse, imagine that you actually sleep just as much, if not more, than the necessary amount, and take frequent naps on top of that. Imagine living a life where you sleep as much as you can, but never get that rested, recharged feeling that sleep is supposed to give you. This is what it's like for those suffering from the rare disorder known as idiopathic hypersomnia.

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Topics: sleep disorders

Veterans with Sleep Disorders: Finding a Preferred Provider

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jul 26, 2018 4:45:00 PM

You may be wondering why you received a Veterans Choice Card in the mail.

On November 5, 2014 the Department of Military and Veterans affairs began implementation of the Veteran's Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACAA) of 2014. The program's goals are to help alleviate difficulties veterans have been having in finding adequate and expedient health care.

Problems veterans were experiencing included long wait times to receive care at VA owned medical facilities and difficulty traveling to these health facilities that were far from their home.

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Topics: sleep disorders

Insomnia Facts: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment of Poor Quality Sleep

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jul 17, 2018 2:45:00 PM

Do you ever find yourself awake in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling for hours, willing sleep to come? Do you sometimes lay in bed dwelling on troubles of the past, worries of the present, or concerns for the future, all the while struggling to fall asleep? Or maybe you have difficulty staying asleep and constantly find yourself waking multiple times in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, or you simply wake up earlier than you'd like, but find it impossible to go back to sleep.

If any of these examples sound like something you've experienced, chances are that you've had some form of insomnia, and depending on how often this happens to you, your restless nights could be sign of a serious sleep disorder.

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Topics: insomnia, sleep disorders

5 Most Effective Central Sleep Apnea Treatments

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jul 16, 2018 5:10:00 AM

Unlike sleep disorders that are easier to diagnose and understand, central sleep apnea (CSA) can be baffling. CSA patients might not snore, may be at their ideal weight, and may have not had a history of sleep disorders yet still find themselves with the condition characterized by pauses in breathing many times during the night. Central sleep apnea is a neurological condition—in other words, the brain is not sending the correct signals to the respiratory system to keep breathing while the patient sleeps. Sometimes another medical condition causes CSA; sometimes, pain medication can lead to it; and sometimes, the apnea occurs for no known reason. Whatever the cause, treatments are available for central sleep apnea. Here five of the most effective ways to help the CSA patient:

Central Sleep Apnea Treatments

  1. Treating the medical condition that is also causing central sleep apnea. Congestive heart failure or the aftermath of a stroke can interfere with night-time breathing and lead to CSA. The solution here is simple: Treat the heart failure or the stroke and the apnea will likely subside.
  2. Cutting back or eliminating the use of opiods. Studies have proved that more powerful pain medications such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone can cause central sleep apnea. Reducing the dosage or not taking them altogether can help, but discussing this option with your doctor and with a sleep specialist is important. Pain medications do just that—help with pain, and trying to fix the apnea might not be worth additional suffering when you are awake.
  3. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). More commonly associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a CPAP device can also help CSA sufferers, particularly those who are recovering from heart failure. With this treatment, the patient wears a mask that continuously delivers a constant pressure of air to the lungs, thus countering any inclination the body might have to pause breathing.
  4. Bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP). This is another treatment used for OSA sufferers that can be effective for central sleep apnea patients. Similar to a CPAP mask, a BPAP device adjusts the amount of air delivered to the lungs depending on whether the patient is inhaling or exhaling.
  5. Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV). Yet another device that uses a mask, ASV goes one step further by continuously detecting and adjusting to the patient’s breathing needs and delivering the correct amount of oxygen. If the user is breathing fine, the device reduces the air it provides. It the patient’s breathing begins to pause, ASV increases the oxygen.

Of course, the most effective treatment will vary from patient to patient, so discussing these options with a sleep specialist is crucial in determining how best to alleviate central sleep apnea.

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Topics: obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders, CPAP, BPAP

The 3 Types of Sleep Apnea Explained: Obstructive, Central, & Mixed

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jul 13, 2018 8:04:00 AM

Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder, affecting roughly 20 million Americans. Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing periodically during sleep. These cessations in breathing can occur anywhere from a few times a night up to hundreds of times a night. When a person stops breathing in their sleep, they are partially awakened from sleep as their brain is forced out of deeper stages of sleep to get the body to begin breathing again. When this occurs several times an hour, quality sleep decreases, and a whole slew of medical problems can begin to arise.

While many people may be familiar with the most prevalent form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, it often goes unrecognized that there are other types of apneas that a person may be suffering from. Here we aim to shed light on all three of the types of sleep apnea and discuss the symptoms, prevalence, causes, and treatments of each.

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Topics: sleep apnea, sleep disorders

5 Strange and Terrifying Sleep Disorders

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jun 8, 2018 8:00:00 PM

Sleep is supposed to be that blissful part of our day where we allow our bodies and minds time to relax so that they can repair themselves leaving us energized and ready to tackle the next day. For some people with certain rare sleep disorders however, strange things happen during sleep. Things so strange that they can be at best terrifying for the sufferer, and at worst, deadly.

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Topics: sleep disorders

Is Napping Good for You?

Posted by Rich Crane on Feb 28, 2018 5:00:00 AM

 

Most likely you’re overworked.  You’re stressed out, you haven’t had a vacation in a while, and you’re sleeping less.  You’re waking up earlier and going to bed later in an effort to get more done.  According to a recent NPR story, Americans are even taking less vacation to accomplish more.  Some are even doing significant work while on vacation.  And there is a ton of research that shows how Americans are sleeping less and less, year over year. 

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Topics: sleep disorders, apnea, napping, environment

5 eye issues and sleep disorders:  The ocular signs of sleep apnea

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Feb 21, 2018 7:30:00 AM


According to the
American Academy of Ophthalmology, there are ocular signs that an Ophthalmologist can see which could indicate that you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

As we know, OSA can be a deadly health disorder where during sleep your breathing stops periodically during the night. These lapses in breathing can occur for up to ten seconds or more and can happen hundreds of times a night. 

OSA appears to be an aggravating factor in the following 5 ocular complications:

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders

How Much Sleep Do You Need? (Pt.2)

Posted by Candace Osmond on Jan 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM

How Much Sleep Do You Need to Survive?

While this article is based on making sure you get the right amount of sleep to help you perform at your best at work and home, it might be difficult for you to actually get the recommended amount.

So just how much sleep do we need to stay alive? Scientists have tested how long humans can survive without air (about three minutes), how long a person can go without water (three days) and even how long someone can last without food (three weeks).

But when it comes to sleep, not as much research has been done.

Even one night of no sleep can have the same effect on the human body as being drunk. The longest anyone has ever stayed awake was about 11 days which was done for a school project (really!) in 1965.

Despite all the health problems listed above, no human has ever died from not having enough sleep alone. The problems are when someone develops other health complications through a lack of sleep.

A pretty horrible experiment on rats in 1999 did actually see the creatures die after two weeks of being kept awake.

Even people with sleep disorders manage to get a few hours every night.

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Topics: Sleep, Infant, sleep disorders, trouble sleeping, children, sleeping

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