Wake Up! It’s National Sleep Awareness Week!

How have you been sleeping lately? That’s a question you should routinely ask yourself, but it’s particularly apropos this week before we change our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings. The occasion marks National Sleep Awareness Week, which is March 3 – 10 this year.

Northwest Sleep Center bedroom

Not getting enough sleep is dangerous and can be fatal. A 2009 study showed that 7.3 percent of adults who averaged less than seven hours of sleep per day fell asleep behind the wheel of a motor vehicle at least once in a 30 day period.

Even people who think they may be getting enough sleep may not be getting the quality of sleep they need. This can be true of people who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which a person continually stops breathing while he or she sleeps. Each time breathing stops, the person briefly awakens but is not usually aware of these interruptions in sleep. Symptoms of OSA can include snoring, excessive sleepiness, waking up with a headache and even high blood pressure. In fact, OSA often causes hypertension, which in turn causes cardiovascular problems that can lead to heart attack and stroke.

In addition to OSA, there are over 70 other sleep-related conditions that can deprive a person of the rest they need. However, it’s estimated that 95 percent of people with at least one a sleep disorder go undiagnosed. Therefore, it’s critical that you talk with your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Loud, irregular snoring
  • Memory loss
  • Morning headaches
  • Poor concentration

Based on your symptoms and health history, your doctor may prescribe a sleep study, in which your breathing, heart rate, blood oxygen level and sleep patterns will be monitored while you sleep. (Read about Noel Lloyd’s personal sleep study experience that appeared on LifeBridge Blogs earlier this year.) The study will help a sleep expert diagnose any sleep disorders you may have so that you can receive treatment, avert health dangers and start experiencing an improvement in your quality of life!

Sleep studies are conducted at the Sleep Centers at Northwest and Sinai hospitals. For more information, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

-Holly Hosler

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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    lifebridgehealth: "According to the #AmericanHeartAssociation, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. Make your #hearthealth a priority and schedule a prevention check-up today with one of our highly trained physicians by calling, 410.601.7133. ‪#‎WisdomWednesday ‪#‎GoRedWearRed #heart #womenshealth #heartmonth #gored"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Despite the cold outside, Pierre Silva was warmed by his #GivingComfort kit and “all the different compartments” of the knapsack. 
The Giving Comfort program is a partnership between #LifeBridgeHealth and the @mckessoncorporation to provide patients of the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute with comfort kits that include items like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines and more."
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    lifebridgehealth: "Sinai Community Care truly embraces the "community" in their name, including hosting community events like a #babyshower for first-time mothers from their practice.  The shower included classes on breast feeding, safe sleep and child safety. #community #lifebridgehealth #healthcare #baby #motherhood"
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