How you function during the day is related to both the quality and quantity
of sleep you get the night before. If sleepiness interferes with your
daily activities, more sleep each night might improve the quality of your
waking hours. However, if you have one of any number of different underlying
sleeping disorders, simply sleeping more hours each night might not solve
the problem of daytime sleepiness. Unfortunately, many adults report experiencing
a sleeping problem one or more nights a week which can lead to a number
of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
“Understanding how sleep–related breathing disorders affect
the body can help patients take an active, positive role in improving
their overall health,” said Peter Tyler Alford, MD. “As the
awareness of how chronic diseases lead to premature death and illness,
research surrounding how sleep impacts the development and management
of various diseases also continues to increase.”
Major sleep disorders and symptoms related to these conditions include:
- Insomnia – an inability to fall or stay asleep that can result in
functional impairment throughout the day
- Narcolepsy – excessive daytime sleepiness combined with sudden muscle
weakness; episodes of narcolepsy are sometimes called “sleep attacks”
and may occur in unusual circumstances.
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – an unpleasant “creeping”
sensation associated with aches and pains throughout the legs that can
make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Sleep Apnea – interrupted sleep caused by periodic gasping or “snorting”
noises or momentarily suspension of breathing.
If you are concerned about sleep and your health, consider consulting with
a provider board certified in Sleep Medicine such as Dr. Alford, a Pulmonologist
now scheduling patients at Catawba Valley Pulmonology. Call 828.326.2660
to make an appointment. If deemed necessary, some patients are referred
to the CVMC Center for Sleep Disorders located in Tate Medical Commons.
This six-bed center is equipped with advanced diagnostic technology and
comfortable private evaluation rooms where in-depth sleep assessments
are conducted to help determine what treatments can offer patients higher