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Sleep Medicine

Tossing and Turning?

An occasional night of restlessness isn't unusual. However, long-term sleep problems have become an epidemic. To address this growing problem, KDMC launched the region’s first Sleep Medicine program in 1985. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of patients with safe, effective treatment for sleep disorders ranging from apnea to insomnia and narcolepsy.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

50-70 million people have sleep disorders in the United States. 25 million people suffer from sleep apnea. Yet, approximately 80% of sleep apnea cases remain undiagnosed. If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart arrhythmia, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Common symptoms of sleep disorders include:

  • Loud or frequent snoring
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Choking or gasping
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Morning headaches
  • Nocturia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Irritability

Common risk factors include:

  • Excess weight - your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more or obese with a BMI of 30 or higher
  • Large neck size - 17 inches or more for men, or 16 inches or more for women
  • Middle age
  • Gender – men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than women
  • Hypertension – extremely common in people who have sleep apnea
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Medical conditions - People with hypertension, congenital heart failure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, hormonal disorders, prior stroke and/or chronic lung diseases are at an increased risk

Sleep Studies

Sleep studies are performed in private, comfortable, home-like rooms, usually between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. During a sleep study, tiny electrodes are attached to the patient's skin. These sensors record heart rate, breathing, oxygen level and brain waves. Pulmonologists will then interpret test results and recommend treatment if a sleep disorder is discovered. Sleep studies are performed in our Ashland, Ky., and Portsmouth, Ohio, locations.

A physician order is required for a sleep study. For more information, talk to your primary care provider or give us a call at (606) 408-1699.

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