Archive for July 2008

It’s true, no matter how many hours of sleep you didn’t get, chances are you still have to go to work the next day and do your job successfully enough to keep your boss, clients and colleagues happy. And, the more sleep debt you rack up, from what started as just a one night-er has now turned into what seems like a chronic sleep condition, like musical chairs, only in your head- and the harder it is to function normally during the day.

 Poor sleep affects work performance, there’s no question: The indirect costs of insomnia, including time lost from work and losses in productivity, are estimated to nearly $29 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You will not only affect you own production, but what about the others you work with or around?  If your irritable, your snap-ish attitude could push people away, cause a rise in awareness to the people around you to notice your now ‘unusal’ behavior, and you could find yourself sitting in the hot seat.

Somehow you’ve got to work around your sleep problem until it’s gone, which could be soon, eventually, or never… Try these tips for staying awake during the day while searching for a better sleep at night:

Drink lots of water!
Not only will it quench your thirst, and it’s healthy, but it’ll keep you active. Yes, running back and forth to the bathroom. I know it may sound a little funny, and you may get some funny looks always heading to the bathroom, but spread the word! It’s healthier than drinking coffee, drinking those high sugared caffinated energy drinks, and your cleansing your system too! When you tell others, it won’t seem like such a funny idea, and you might be seeing more of your colleagues.

 Seek out the sun
If you have irregular sleep patterns, direct sun exposure in the mornig can hel p reset your internal clock. It can also give you a boost when you’re fading during the day. A study found that light affects areas of the brain also involved in attention, arousal, and emotion regulation during the day, so a little sunlight will curb that after lunch, afternoon drowsiness.

 Get up & move!
Find the nearest stairwell at work and use it! Yea we know that sounds like a drag, but it’s good exercise as well! It will help you get your day started. They say one of the best times to get some good cardio is in the morning, yes we know we don’t want you breaking out the sweats or anything, but if anything try to use it when navigating around your building. Get your soda from the caferteria, instead of the vending machine on your floor. Instead of riding the elevator, take the stairs, you will see a difference. Even if you have nowhere to go, walk up and dow a couple flights when you feel yourself flagging. In not time you’ll begin to notice what nice calves you have!

 Working with a schedule
When you have a good sleep regimen, it becomes easier to wake in the mornings. Getting up isn’t such a drag, and you won’t be hearing the kids yelling for you to get up. Simple things like packing lunches, picking out clothes, and making sure your to do list is all ready the night before. This will help you keep things on track, you can go to sleep peacefully and keep your mind clutter free.

 In a 2007 Wake Forest Univer. study, researchers found that workers who felt their jobs had adequate flexibilty to meet personal and family commitments also reported getting more sleep. These people may not be working late or are perhaps less stressed and sleeping better at night. Talk with your employer, let them know about some of the sleep conditions and patterns that taint your work week, talk about whether they might permit some special arrangements to better suite your needs. Showing communications with your employer, instead of showing up late, not being productive, letting them know how serious your sleeping conditions are. The recommendations may be more eligible then you know.


  Some suspected rumors have been circling over (our) Florida’s EverBlades Hockey player David Carnacchia, that he allegedly slapped a flight attendant, head-butted a passenger, and exposed himself on the American Airlines flight from his home in Toronto to join his team for a game in Texas.

  While getting the inside scoop it was rendered that Carnacchia had several drinks at TGIFridays, while waiting for his flight, as time approached for his departure he took 2 Ambien to help him sleep on the flight, that would have been 5-6 hour flight. Not reading the labeling carefully he took his sleep aids on a full stomach of alcohol.

  Reports have been flying about the the cautions of taking this sleep aid (any sleep aid-really) with alcohol.  According to court documents, the player became angry with a flight attendant after he was refused a third alcoholic drink while being on the plane. Cornacchia then allegedly slapped a male flight attendant with an open hand. (No actual witness was to this, nor was there any injury’s documented)

  Cornacchia also began cursing at other passengers and exposed himself to them, while he was restrained by a flight attendant from going to the bathroom. Flight attendants and an assisting passenger (who was considered a ‘dead-head pilot’ 21 year veteran of flying, but was a passenger) then secured Cornacchia’s hands behind his back with plastic restraints and belted him into a seat. Once again allegedly Cornacchia head-butted the assisting passenger who was helping to restrain him. But there was never a report of an injury or further explanation, or witnessed statements.
 This happened in December of 2007, Cornacchia’s lawyer, Michael Hornung, was able to work with the Federal Court system with the accounts and the un-realization of the Cornacchia’s behavior due to the intake of Ambien. With this Cornacchia’s jail time has been moved to one year and a day. If he’s good, he’ll be back on the ice in 10 months.

  Here we have one of our own, who is troubled with the consequences of Ambien and alcohol. Labels and precautions need to be more strongly inforced. These troubles seem to be arising more and more through out our society. There are better ways to get a good nights sleep, and to keep from harms way, ither that of others, or youself…


Just a few reasons to take a Home Sleep Test:

Know the Facts!

A home sleep test or (HST) measures the airflow from your nose and mouth, often because of a suspected case of Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Partical breath intakes are called hypoapneas & the total cessation of breath is apnea. Either way you still are not providing enough oxygen to your body, and most importantly to your brain. Both can last up to 10 seconds, add that up in an 8 hour sleep period, 10 seconds out of a minute pretty much equals out to only really getting 4-5.5 hours of sleep; possibly not even allowing your brain to go into deep, restorative sleep, causing your to be a bed head! Fatigued, and irritated to start the day!  The home sleep test will calculate the number of both hypo & apneas that you experience through out the night.

  There are two types of consequences of letting sleep apnea take control: 1. Disruptive & 2. Life threatening. Some of the attributes for disruptive issues are, daytime fatigue, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties. These can come into effect within days of sleep deprivation. Stress will enforce them more strongly, and surely may make things feel in a fog, forget-fullness, disorientation, and thoughts of inner challenges can soon come to surface. Take the breath that you need, and relax, speak with someone here at our facility and the answers you need, sleep better tonight.

  Life-threatening consequences include congestive heart rhythms, stroke, irregular heart rhythms, and fatal car accidents. Such challenges that arise can hurt you physically and cause harm to others, epesically on the roadways. It takes only seconds for a slip up, this is called micro-sleep. Fours seconds was documented to the quickest time for someone to lose control of their vehicle during the onset of micro-sleep. (example here).

Talking to one of our Certified Respiratory Technicians, we can come up with a plan to getting you back to a more restful, peaceful, enjoyable, & (quieter for your partner) kind of sleep. You both deserve a good night!

 Imagine this… you are peacefully enjoying a deep, restful sleep and maybe even dreaming of selacing on a sunny beach; listening to the ocean’s waves lap against the shores edge. The sun’s warming you, feeling calm and so relaxed, you breathe in the warmth-wait! the shocking screech of the morning alarm clock is blaring…no, it’s your bed-partner’s SNORE!

  You lie there, trying to ignore the chain-saw noise of the snoring. You’ve closed your eyes, ahhh silence, and thoughts of the intrusion has stopped. But, only to be startled by the sound of 1,000 bikers riding along side your bed. With every snarl you become more and more fustrated and unable to sleep. You try to resist waking your bed-partner who is totally unaware of your growing fustrations. You ask yourself ” Why should I be the one to suffer?” and with that you elbow them, they roll over, never waking up. Minutes later, the snorings’ begin again. Your enduring nightly awakening until the fustration and fatigue become too much.

  Lovers quarrels increase and the emotional gap between you widens. In one last attempt to  alleviate the problem, you start sleeping seperatly, and then in other rooms of the house. This is a quick, but short fix. The loss of intimacy makes you feel worried, alone, and stressed. All the while lying awake, again, this time alone in bed.

Without the power of restorative sleep, relationship difficulties are more difficult to ignore and the downward sprial continues.

Snoring isn’t sexy! No one wants to be woken up by the loud, annoying sound, roaring from their loved one. Snoring can be a nightmare for snorers & their beleagues partners, who may wake up severl times a night, some lose up to an hour a night, just to poke, prode and even hoist loved onto their sides for a little relief. It’s no wonder that bleary spouses can wake up grumpy and resentful.

The sound of a Harley Convention going off in your bedroom on a nightly basis, should be taken seriously. If your spouse is snoring loud, and then stopping just long enough for you to think your going to get some shut eye, then “VROOM-VROOM”  it starts again, could be they have stopped breathing. Loud snoring is one of the most recognizable signs of Obstrutive Sleep Apnea. Between 12 & 18 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea.

Although awareness of sleep apnea is growing, specialist say this condition is still vastly undertreated. Primary care physicians don’t routinely ask parients about their quality of sleep- though that is beginning to change. If you or your partner can’t sleep because the sound of the woodsmen starting is chain-saw, is keeping you awake, talk to someone, see someone, get informed!



DOT (Department of Transportation) proposal requires testing

The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed new regulations that would require truck drivers at risk for sleep apnea to get tested and treated in order to obtain their licenses.

The move is aimed at reducing the number of truck crashes caused by driver fatigue, said Rex Patty, a nurse practitioner at WorkCare, a regional healthcare in Topka, Kan.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that approximately 141,000 large truck crashes that occurred during a 33-month study perios  18,000 or 13% were related to drivre fatigue.

Not all driver fatigue is the result of sleep apnea, but about 28% of truckers amy be at risk, compared to around 10% in the general population, said Patty.

Drivers with certain risk factors for OSA would be evaluated by a DOT provider and, if necessary, referred to their private physician for a sleep study.

It is estimated that 45% to 50% of (at risk) drivers will need additional evalation, and 70% of that outcome would need treatment known as the CPAP therapy; or Continouse Positive Airway Pressure.

Drivers diagnosed with OSA would need at least one week of treatment before they could get back behind the wheel. They would need to meet a minimym compliance of four hours or more each night 70% of the time, with periodic re-evaluations to maintain their license.

Trucking companies and independent drivers aren’t embracing the proposed rules. The most talked about is cost. On average, and depending on the severity of a persons OSA, CPAP machines and specific testings could cost up to $1,000.

  Cost concerns go well beyond intitial diagnosis and treatment.

DOT made is very clear that ‘If they are not compliant, they are disqualified to drive.’  Trucking companies can have a driver they depend on that can’t drive, and at this point, nobody knows how they get re-qualified. They are still under determination for what that may mean.

  It could be six months to a year before the proposal is finalized.

Have you see the happy hippo….? Things starting to get a little weird up-stairs, can’t seem to concentrate, so tired….

 This is notable apparent in soldiers in combat zones, medical residents and even new parents. Now there’s a neurological basis for this theory, accodting to new research from the Unvr. of Cali and Harvard Med school.

 In the first neural investigation into what happens to the emotional brain without sleep, results from a brain imaging study suggest that while a good nights’ rest can regulate your mood and help you cope with the next days emotional challenges, sleep deprivation does the opposite by excessively boosting the part of the brain most closely connected to depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.

“It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” said Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuro-imaging Lab.

“Emotionally, you’re not on a level playing field, ” Walker added.

  That’s because the amygdala (ouu say that 5 times fast, shoot try saying it once 😉 ) the region of the brain that alerts the body to protect itself in times of danger, goes into overdrive on no sleep, according to the study. This consequently shuts down the prefrontal cortex, which commands logical reasoning, and thus prevents the release of chemicals needed to calm down the fight-or-flight reflex.

  If, for example, the amygdala reacts strongly to a violent movie, the prefrontal cortex lets the brain know that the scene is make-believe and to settle down. But instead of connecting to the prefrontal cortex, the brain on no sleep connects to the locus coeruleus, the oldest part of the brain, which releases noradrenalin to ward off imminent threats to survival, posing a volatile mix, accoding to the study.

  The study’s findings lay the groundwork for further investigation into the relationship between sleep and psychiatric illnesses. Clinical evidence has shown that some form of sleep disruption is present in almost all psychiatric disorders.

“This is the first set of experiments that demonstrate that even healthy people’s brains mimic certain pathological psychiatric patterns when deprived of sleep, “Walker said. “Before, it was difficult to separate out the effect of sleep versus the disease itself. Now we’re closer to being able to look into wheather the person has a psychiatric disease or a sleep disorder.’

  Using functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Walker and his team found that the amygdala, which is also a key to processing emotions, became hyperactive in response to negative visual stimuli – mutilated bodies, children with tumors and otehr gory images- in study participants who stayed awake for 35 hours straight. Conversely, brain scans of those who got a full nights sleep in thier own beds showed normal activity in the amygdala.

“The emotional centers of the brain were over 60 percent more reactive under conditions of sleep deprivation that in subjects who had obtained a normal night of sleep.” Walker said, after conducting the study.

  The team studied 26 healthy participants aged 18 to 30, breaking them into two groups of equal numbers of males and females. The sleep-deprived group stayed awake during day 1, night 1 and day 2, while the sleep-control group stayed awake both days and slept normally during the night. During the fMRI brain scanning, which was performed at the end of day 2, each was shown 100 images that ranged from neutral to very negative. Using this emotional gradient, the researchers were able to compare the increase in brain response to the increasingly negative pictures.

  During Walker’s research, he was struck with the consistency of how graduate students in his studies would turn from affable, rational beings into what he called, “emotional JELL-O” after a night without sleep. He and his assistants searched for research that would explain the effect of sleep deprivation on the emotional brain and found none, although there is countless anecdotal evidence that lack of sleep causes emotional swings.

Ever wake up and not remember having sex the night before? Yah, me neither but there are some people out there that do (and not with the help of roofies or alcohol). According to a piece in Newsweek, a new sleep disorder has come to the forefront called sexsomnia (not to be mistaken with “sexmania,” which if it isn’t the name of a porn yet it surely should be).

  Add sex to the roster of unlikely sleep behaviors known as parasomnias, which rang from sleep driving to sleep eating. Think of it as a more advanced form of sleepwalking. Publishing of the journal Sleep on what they call “sleepsex” or “sexsomnia,” covers the full gamut of sexual activity, from fondling to intercourse, with one crucial difference, the people apparently have no conscious awareness of what they’re doing and, when wakened, have no recollection of it.

I know this is probably a tragic disorder to have, but the idea of hearing a guy apologize in the middle of the night, “Sorry baby. I didn’t know. I have sexsomnia,” cracks me up! J

So just when you thought that your partner was just being frisky in the night, could seriously have a problem, and mostly likely, should see someone. A survey was conducted gathered data from 219 people, 92% of whom had experienced multiple “sexsomnia” episodes.

People are at-risk for developing sex-related sleep disorders when they also tend to suffer from other sleep disorders-such as sleepwalking or sleep terrors. So, sexsomnia doesn’t come out from nowhere, for whatever reason, sexual behaviors become part of the repertoire.

These disorders were thought to have indicative psychological problems, but it does not necessarily reflect a daytime psychological problem. And “sexsomnia” disorders can easily be treated with medication. The longer you go with this problem without getting it properly treated, the more you can develop a secondary psychological problem such as depression.

With so much being publicized of the existence of sexsomnia, doctors and researchers are hoping it will cause more people to seek help. The condition is highly treatable; seeking help can only work to a sufferer’s advantage. After all, if you’re going to have sex, you might as well enjoy it, right!