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CAN’T SLEEP? IT COULD BE A TREATABLE MEDICAL CONDITION

October 1, 2012

Sleep plays a vital role in rejuvenating our minds and bodies and preparing us to face the next day. But what if you or your loved one is/are having trouble sleeping, which in turn causes you or your loved one to miss the restorative sleep everyone needs to function well on a daily basis?  A sleeping disorder may be the culprit, and talking to a doctor about it is important.  The following are some common sleep disorders that may need a doctor’s attention:
 

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): OSA causes interruptions to an individual’s breathing during sleep, with breathing pauses that last at least ten seconds.  OSA occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe. Sleep apnea can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels, which may lead to hypertension, heart disease, mood and memory problems, not to mention feeling sluggish or “fuzzy headed” the next day.
     

    • Talk to Your Doctor: When a person experiences frequent snoring that can be heard from another room, stops breathing or makes gasping noises during sleep.
       

  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): RLS is a neurological movement disorder characterized by the irresistible urge to move the limbs during periods of rest.  Those who suffer from RLS may often experience an unpleasant tingling, creeping or pulling feeling in the legs that becomes worse in the evenings or at night, making it difficult to fall sleep and stay asleep.
     

    • Talk to Your Doctor: If RLS is bad enough to disrupt sleep.
       

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): COPD is a term used for lung disorders like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic asthma.  People with COPD often have trouble breathing, experience chronic coughing, fatigue, and tightness in the chest.
     

    • Talk to Your Doctor: If the person is experiencing difficulty breathing, chronic coughing that produces sputum, wheezing with breathing, frequent nighttime urination, insomnia, weight loss, or daytime sleepiness.


If you (or your loved one) are experiencing frequent sleepiness during the day or do not feel as though you or they are getting enough sleep at night, a physician should be consulted.  If you have an aged parent or a disabledloved one who is having difficulty sleeping at night and needs observation or care during the night-time hours, contact us at AAging Better for some helpful tips for a more comfortable night’s sleep or to set up an appointment for a free in-home assessment. Please contact us online or call us at (208) 777-0308 in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or Hayden areas; (208) 263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; or (208) 784-1505 in the Kellogg, Wallace or Pinehurst areas.  We’ll be happy to assist in whatever way we can.

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