Cheating Ourselves of Sleep

June 20, 2013

This recent article in the New York Times summarizes nicely some of the ways that lack of sleep decreases our health and well being.

PERSONAL HEALTH: Cheating Ourselves of Sleep

Failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten your life.

http://nyti.ms/10p6WtT

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

Fatigue is the Enemy of Virtue By Craig Schwimmer, MD

June 7, 2013

This fascinating article describes the way that sleep deprivation impacts ethical decision making. People who suffered from even minor amounts of sleep deprivation were more likely to cheat than were people who got more rest. This is another example of how sleep makes our lives better, and of how we suffer when we don’t get the sleep we need.

 

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/sleep_deprived_people_are_more_likely_to_cheat.html

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

Keys to a happier, healthier, more productive life By Craig Schwimmer, MD

May 16, 2013

Because snoring and sleep apnea are often associated with weight gain, one of the things I find myself talking with patients about is the need to exercise. So many adults lead sedentary lives and regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But, as this article points out, regular exercise doesn’t have to be terribly time consuming. There is significant evidence that brief, intense exercise works. For the past two years I have been doing something called Slo Fit, which consists of a single, 30 minute session of weight training per week. Using slow, controlled weight lifting, major muscle groups are worked to failure, and allowed to recover fully before the next week’s session. This approach significantly increased my fitness level, and it is so convenient that I’ve only missed three sessions in two years. I encourage all of my patients who are looking for safe, efficient, sustainable ways to exercise to consider this method.

Remember – diet, exercise, and sleep are the keys to a happier, healthier, more productive life!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/?emc=eta1

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

Sleep and Adolescent Obesity By Craig Schwimmer, MD

May 10, 2013

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine looked at the relationship between obesity and sleep duration, and showed that teens who got more sleep had lower rates of obesity. This four year study of 1000 teenagers showed that, particularly for heavier teenagers, more sleep translates into lower body weight.

Extrapolating their results to the general population, the study’s authors suggest that if every American 18 year old increased his sleep time from 8 to 10 hours per night, we could have 500,000 fewer overweight adolescents!

The authors also acknowledged that educating teens about the importance of adequate sleep does not significantly change their sleeping behaviors, and suggest that delaying the start time for high school (so that teens can sleep later in the morning) may be a more effective approach.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

What is Sleep Apnea? By Paul Fulmer, MD

April 30, 2013

It seems more and more in the media we are hearing about the increasing rise in Sleep Apnea!  Why is that?  What is Sleep Apnea?  Do I have it?  These are all questions that come to mind every time another commercial, news story or article touts the problems and cures for this condition.

One of the primary reasons sleep apnea is on the rise in our country is because of the increase in obesity.  There is a direct correlation between weight and severity of sleep apnea.  Interestingly though even thin, athletic people can suffer from sleep apnea due to their anatomy.  So it can really affect anyone!

The common symptoms of Sleep Apnea are loud snoring, observed pauses or stops in breathing at night, daytime tiredness, high blood pressure and morning headaches.

Sleep Apnea is caused by an obstruction of airflow to the lungs during sleep.  It is often accompanied by very loud snoring followed by pauses in breathing for longer than 10 seconds. As we reach a deep level of sleep, our muscle tone relaxes and we rest.  However, when we loose muscle tone, this can cause obstruction of airflow if there is excessive tissue collapsing in the back of the throat.  This causes a decrease in oxygen to the body, stressing our heart, and making us to wake into a lighter level of sleep to open our airway.  Therefore, our sleep is disrupted and we wake up tired and not refreshed.

The least invasive and most effective treatment is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).  CPAP relieves the obstruction by delivering positive pressure, via a mask while you sleep.  The problem with this approach is that it is only tolerated about half the time. 

Fortunately, over the last 10 years several minimally invasive procedures have been developed which improve nasal and oral airflow and help alleviate the obstruction caused during sleep.  These procedures can be done in the office, under local anesthesia and you can return to regular activities that same day.

If you are suffering from constant fatigue, have been told you snore loudly or stop breathing at night, or just are concerned that you aren’t getting good sleep?   Give us a call. (1-855DrSnore).  A simple at home sleep study can confirm if you have Sleep Apnea and then a board certified ENT can discuss your options and get you on your way to sleeping better that day!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

Driving and Snoring By Craig Schwimmer, MD

April 17, 2013

No, it’s not a country song – it’s a potentially deadly combination. Loud snoring is the hallmark of sleep apnea, a disease from which an estimated 18 million Americans suffer. And yet another study has shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are likely to be dangerous behind the wheel. A recent study from University Hospital in Leeds compared people with sleep apnea to people without sleep apnea on their ability to safely complete a 90 kilometer driving simulation. The drivers were evaluated for their ability to follow instructions, stay in the middle lane, and avoid unprovoked car crashes. The drivers who had sleep apnea were twice as likely to fail the test, as were drivers who didn’t have sleep apnea.

Given the public health implications of these findings (do you really want to share the road with someone with untreated sleep apnea?), it is terribly concerning to note that only about 10% of people with sleep apnea are diagnosed and treated.

So if not for your own health, then for the safety of those around you, if you snore, please get checked for sleep apnea. With new home based testing, it’s more convenient and less expensive than ever, and there are also many more ways to treat sleep apnea than in the past.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

The Magic Formula for Weight Loss By Craig Schwimmer, MD

April 11, 2013

This is a very interesting perspective on the comparative effect of diet versus aggressive surgical management. Seems like there really is a magic formula for weight loss: diet, exercise, and sleep!

http://healthcare.dmagazine.com/2013/04/03/utsw-diet-as-effective-as-bariatric-surgery-for-diabetes-patients/#.UWVwMVEci2A.email

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

A Kernel of Truth by Craig Schwimmer, MD

April 10, 2013

Over the years, I have found that even the most ridiculous health claims tend to stem from some small kernel of truth.  Take this “Overnight Diet”, whereby you lose weight just by sleeping, and are not required to exercise. In my opinion, this is just wishful thinking  - after all, wouldn’t it be amazing if excess weight really would magically come off just by sleeping!  But the idea is based upon a kernel of truth: adequate sleep is essential to weight loss. The disconnect, of course, is that good sleep is necessary, but not sufficient, for weight loss. A successful weight loss program consists of a healthy diet, a reasonable amount of exercise, and adequate sleep. As important as sleep may be to a successful weight loss program (and it really is important), it is just one leg of a tripod.  All three elements are required for a successful outcome.  So if you are trying to lose weight, by all means get your rest.  But eat a little better, and get a little more exercise, too.  That’s the real deal.

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/overnight-diet-promises-weight-loss-while-sleep-140908175–abc-news-health.html

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

Allergies keeping you up at night? By Paul Fulmer, MD

April 5, 2013

This spring has been pretty rough on allergy sufferers.  The drastic changes in temperature along with the incredible wind and rainstorms have increased the pollen counts throughout the south.  Many patients have notices that their allergies are worse this year and nothing seems to help!

A recent article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that due to climate changes the length of allergy seasons has increased and subsequently the pollen counts as well.  Since 1995 the length of fall hay fever season has increased by 13-27 days.  This prolonged exposure to elevated pollen counts causes people to become more sensitized to allergens.

  • With an allergy, the immune system overreacts to a trigger substance, or allergen. Outdoor allergies (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever) occur when allergens found outdoors are inhaled into the nose and lungs.
  • Common allergens are tree pollen in the spring, grass pollen in the summer and weed pollen in the fall, as well as mold spores. Outdoor mold spores peak in July in warmer states and in October in colder states.

This year because of the warmer weather in certain parts of the country, the spring tree pollen appears to be sliding right into the summer grass pollen and allergy sufferers may not get relief until July. 

So what can we do?  Avoidance of pollen is the first line of defense.  When inside keep windows closed and clean/change your air filters.  When outside, severe sufferers should consider wearing a mask while doing yard work.  If avoidance is not helping, then your next step is a trial of over the counter antihistamines and decongestants.  If no relief, then see your local doctor and see if nasal steroid sprays and prescription antihistamines may turn the tide.

As people become sensitized over the years to allergies, even prescriptions medications may not give them relief.  Often getting allergy tested can help explain why nothing seems to be working.

One nice option we offer at the Snoring Center is relief of the allergy symptom, NASAL CONGESTION!! This is often the primary complaint of allergy sufferers.  By not being able to breath through their nose at night, their sleep is very disrupted.  A simple in office procedure to shrink the nasal tissues swollen by chronic allergies can often significantly improve nasal airflow and quality of life.  So if your nose is constantly blocked and nothing seems to help, then give us a call and start breathing again!!  1-855-DrSnore.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off

As Stroke Risk Rises Among Younger Adults, So Does Early Death

April 2, 2013

This recent story about the increasing rate of stroke among young people reiterates the need to treat sleep apnea, which is known to be a significant risk factor for stroke. Up to 10% of adult men and 5% of adult women are thought to have sleep apnea, and it is estimated that fewer than 10% of all people with the disease have been diagnosed. Loud snoring, poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness are the hallmarks of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, so if you (or someone you love) has a snoring problem, please have it evaluated!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/01/175682963/as-stroke-risk-rises-among-younger-adults-so-does-early-death

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Comments Off