Sleep Disorders Can Impact Resolutions
Thu, 1/05/2012 11:21 AM
The start of the new year often motivates us to set goals or resolutions for improving our lives in the upcoming year. Did you know that the most popular “New Year’s Resolutions” have a positive impact on the quality of sleep that a person gets? Furthermore, did you know that some sleep disorders can make it almost impossible for a person to meet their goals for the new year without seeking help from a sleep specialist first?
If you are overweight or obese and sleep poorly or feel tired during the day, you should talk to your primary care clinician about a referral to a sleep center or contact the Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044. For more information, visit us online at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.
Sleep Issues in School-aged Children
Tue, 3/15/2011 3:33 PM
The connection with daytime behavior and performance
A growing number of studies confirm what parents and teachers have known for generations: good sleep is vitally important for children. In the past decade, the field of sleep medicine has made great progress in documenting the important link between a child’s quality and quantity of sleep and daytime function. Pediatric sleep specialists have established beyond doubt that how a child sleeps has tremendous impact on cognitive performance including learning, memory, attentiveness, and organizational skills.
In contrast to adults, children with daytime sleepiness may manifest hyperactivity, fidgety behavior and impulsivity. These problems may cause some parents or teachers to wonder if the child has the Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), when the underlying problem may be inadequate sleep or a sleep disorder.
Examples of common sleep problems in children include insufficient sleep, insomnia (which can be associated with a variety of other issues), obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and medications that affect sleep or daytime alertness. Key observations that may suggest a sleep problem include difficulty awakening the child in the morning, excessive sleepiness or fatigue, irritability or moodiness, especially later in the day as the child becomes sleepy, and difficulty focusing for sustained periods.
In older children and adolescents, parents are sometimes not aware of sleep issues because the child has not shared this information. Examples include the teenager with insomnia who is surfing the internet, playing video or computer games, or texting for hours after “lights out” time. Many children today are over-scheduled and there is no time left to allow the child to transition from the high-speed activities of the day to a more tranquil time to help prepare for sleep. Caffeine overuse can contribute to insomnia. Habitual snoring, especially when combined with observed pauses in breathing during sleep, suggests obstructive sleep apnea.
When there are concerns about a child’s sleep or daytime alertness, parents should begin by consulting with the child’s primary care provider so that an appropriate evaluation can be performed and treatment begun. In some cases consultation with a sleep medicine specialist may be necessary. As parents and teachers have known for years, children learn and perform best when they sleep well.
Merrill Wise is a sleep specialist at the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please call the Sleep Disorders Center for more information at 901.683.0044.
10 Steps to Better Sleep
Tue, 11/02/2010 10:25 AM
In today’s busy, 24/7 society, many of us fail to allocate sufficient time or attention to our sleep. Healthy sleep is a fundamental aspect of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When sleep problems occur, the impact on our quality of life is significant and we may experience problems with alertness, productivity, safety, mood regulation, and physical health.
The following Ten Steps to Better Sleep provide a good place to begin assessing sleep health:
Merrill S. Wise, M.D. is a neurologist and Board-certified sleep medicine specialist affiliated with the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please call the Sleep Disorders Center for more information at 901.683.0044.
Insomnia: What You Need To Know
Tue, 6/29/2010 8:49 AM
Insomnia, which is Latin for "no sleep," is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Insomnia is also used to describe the condition of waking up not feeling restored or refreshed.
Symptoms of insomnia include:
If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, consider whether an event or particular stress could be the cause. If so, the problem may resolve in time. If not, and the problem persists for a few weeks or more, or if you experience distress and discomfort as a result of the insomnia, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Bring with you a record of your sleep, fatigue levels throughout the day, and any other symptoms you might be having.
There are a number of approaches to treating insomnia. A health care professional will ask about your sleep experience, your sleep schedule, and your daily routine. A thorough medical history and physical examination may be called for.
Regardless of what's causing your sleep problems, it is important to establish and maintain healthy sleep habits. Here are some tips that will help you sleep well:
During the day:
Jim Donaldson is the supervisor at the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please call the Sleep Disorders Center for more information at 901.683.0044.
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