Tag Archives: Non-rapid eye movement sleep

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

apnea111

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. A very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common, recurring sleeping disorder in which your breathing temporarily pauses during your sleep. Have you ever awakened and felt as if you were choking or coughing? We may be talking to you.
The pauses of sleep apnea range in frequency and severity. They can last seconds or minutes. They may occur about 30 times in an hour.
Let’s pause there. I just told you that many of you are suffering from a disorder in which you stop breathing while asleep. Think about what that means.
Physiologically, if you’re not breathing while you’re asleep, your body will adjust. If you are in a stage of deep sleep, you’ll be kicked into light sleep, which is a lesser quality of sleep, and your body won’t be as replenished as it would otherwise. Your body will be less rested as a result, and you will suffer throughout the day.
Sleep apnea is most commonly due to some level of obstruction—obstructive sleep apnea. Do you have a large tongue or big tonsils? Are you overweight? Are you a big snorer? We may be talking to you. That snoring may be the sound of air moving past some obstruction. By the way, obstructive sleep apnea occurs more often in overweight  people, but it can occur in anyone.

sleep-apnea

Now to the “So What?” of the conversation. This is about the quality of your life. Sleep apnea is about insufficient quantity and quality of sleep. It’s about excessive daytime sleepiness. It’s about recurring episodes of inadequate levels of air resulting from the breathing difficulty. These facts have consequences. Refer to the lead picture above for an illustration of the various types of symptoms and problems that are associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also brings risks for the following conditions and diseases if left untreated.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Obesity
  • Strokes

Sleep apnea is easy and hard to diagnose at the same time. Many of you are suffering with it unsuspectingly as we speak. The person you sleep with may have expressed concern about your snoring or choking while you sleep. If so, get checked.
Sleep apnea once diagnosed is treatable with some combination of lifestyle changes, breathing devices and mouthpieces. Surgery is used in some cases.
We’ve reviewed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. Be mindful that sleep is your body’s time to rest and recover from the day’s activity. Any disruption in its ability to do that does not bode well for you over the long term. If your sleeping habits are problematic for you, you really should get evaluated. Getting this situation addressed can dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Finally, review the attached video for an illustration of what’s happening during sleep apnea. Excuse the scary music!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-TZ-dO_rQ
This discussion has focused on obstructive sleep apnea and not the less common form, central sleep apnea. The symptoms are similar, so if you have the other condition, it would be determined by your physician.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

normal sleeping

It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, and Straight, No Chaser wants you to wake up, pay attention and learn why sleep is such an important part of your life!

Do you ever think about why we sleep? Our bodies are highly efficient machines that utilize a lot of energy over the course of a day. In particular, our brain utilizes an enormous amount of oxygen and energy. Sleep is meant to be a process organized by the brain and responsive to our body’s needs. Sometimes those needs are immediate, and sometimes those needs are scheduled. Contrary to what is often thought, we’re not designed to just black out when we’re tired. Sleep is actually a process orchestrated by the brain.
How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our conscious control. Chief among the latter consideration is the fact that we actually do have an internal “clock” that regulates our biologic rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) over a 24-hour period. The circadian rhythm maintains our sleep-wake cycle and prompts us to want to sleep during similar times of the day and/or night. Sometimes that internal rhythm and the body’s routine call for sleep can be disrupted, making sleep a response to abnormal functioning within the brain (such as occurs in narcolepsy).
sleep_cycle_graph_1
Sleep also has an internal organization—the sleep cycle—regulated by different areas of the brain. Sleep occurs in two categories, which recur through the night: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep. Non-REM sleep is further divided into four stages (1 through 4), with stages 3 and 4 often referred to as “deep sleep.” In adults, non-REM sleep occupies around 80 percent of the night, and REM sleep 20 percent. REM sleep occurs every 90-110 minutes. These cycles recur until we awaken due to a schedule or decision to arise. You will feel most refreshed after awakening at the completion of the final stage in a sleep cycle.
The body replenishes and restores itself during non-REM sleep, releasing hormones to repair damage done during the day. During REM sleep, you process memories and thoughts from the day, and you dream. As best as we understand dreams, they also represent a form of processing mental information that you received during the day. During REM sleep, we normally lose the use of our limb muscles. Yes, it’s true that while we’re sleeping (at least in REM sleep), we have an active mind in an inactive body. This is actually a good thing. This normal loss of muscle activity during REM sleep helps prevent us from acting out our dreams. Thus, it stands to reason that sleepwalking and night terrors usually occur in non-REM sleep. When disorders of REM sleep occur and patients lose that protective phase of muscle inactivity, patients may act out violent dreams and harm themselves or others.

sleep how much do you need

How much sleep you need is best defined by how well you function on different amounts of sleep, and as such, there is quite a bit of variation on what is considered normal and needed. For many adults, the average normal amount of sleep is around 7.5 hours per night. Many of you know people that can function on much less, and others that require as much as 9 hours per night. In general, your body feels most rested if you awaken at the end of a full sleep cycle. Given that each cycle takes about 90 minutes, many people find that they’re more refreshed if they sleep some increment of 1.5 hours (e.g., 6, 7.5 or 9 hours).
If you are getting what you consider to be an adequate amount of sleep but are still unrefreshed and sleepy, then you might have an organic sleep disorder and should consider seeking professional consultation. Throughout this week, Straight, No Chaser will review several sleep disorders. Until then, sweet dreams.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

apnea111

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. A very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common, recurring sleeping disorder in which your breathing temporarily pauses during your sleep. Have you ever awakened and felt as if you were choking or coughing? We may be talking to you.
The pauses of sleep apnea range in frequency and severity. They can last seconds or minutes. They may occur about 30 times in an hour.
Let’s pause there. I just told you that many of you are suffering from a disorder in which you stop breathing while asleep. Think about what that means.
Physiologically, if you’re not breathing while you’re asleep, your body will adjust. If you are in a stage of deep sleep, you’ll be kicked into light sleep, which is a lesser quality of sleep, and your body won’t be as replenished as it would otherwise. Your body will be less rested as a result, and you will suffer throughout the day.
Sleep apnea is most commonly due to some level of obstruction—obstructive sleep apnea. Do you have a large tongue or big tonsils? Are you overweight? Are you a big snorer? We may be talking to you. That snoring may be the sound of air moving past some obstruction. By the way, obstructive sleep apnea occurs more often in overweight  people, but it can occur in anyone.

sleep-apnea

Now to the “So What?” of the conversation. This is about the quality of your life. Sleep apnea is about insufficient quantity and quality of sleep. It’s about excessive daytime sleepiness. It’s about recurring episodes of inadequate levels of air resulting from the breathing difficulty. These facts have consequences. Refer to the lead picture above for an illustration of the various types of symptoms and problems that are associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also brings risks for the following conditions and diseases if left untreated.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Obesity
  • Strokes

Sleep apnea is easy and hard to diagnose at the same time. Many of you are suffering with it unsuspectingly as we speak. The person you sleep with may have expressed concern about your snoring or choking while you sleep. If so, get checked.
Sleep apnea once diagnosed is treatable with some combination of lifestyle changes, breathing devices and mouthpieces. Surgery is used in some cases.
We’ve reviewed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. Be mindful that sleep is your body’s time to rest and recover from the day’s activity. Any disruption in its ability to do that does not bode well for you over the long term. If your sleeping habits are problematic for you, you really should get evaluated. Getting this situation addressed can dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Finally, review the attached video for an illustration of what’s happening during sleep apnea. Excuse the scary music!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-TZ-dO_rQ
This discussion has focused on obstructive sleep apnea and not the less common form, central sleep apnea. The symptoms are similar, so if you have the other condition, it would be determined by your physician.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

normal sleeping

It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, and Straight, No Chaser wants you to wake up, pay attention and learn why sleep is such an important part of your life!

Do you ever think about why we sleep? Our bodies are highly efficient machines that utilize a lot of energy over the course of a day. In particular, our brain utilizes an enormous amount of oxygen and energy. Sleep is meant to be a process organized by the brain and responsive to our body’s needs. Sometimes those needs are immediate, and sometimes those needs are scheduled. Contrary to what is often thought, we’re not designed to just black out when we’re tired. Sleep is actually a process orchestrated by the brain.
How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our conscious control. Chief among the latter consideration is the fact that we actually do have an internal “clock” that regulates our biologic rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) over a 24-hour period. The circadian rhythm maintains our sleep-wake cycle and prompts us to want to sleep during similar times of the day and/or night. Sometimes that internal rhythm and the body’s routine call for sleep can be disrupted, making sleep a response to abnormal functioning within the brain (such as occurs in narcolepsy).
sleep_cycle_graph_1
Sleep also has an internal organization—the sleep cycle—regulated by different areas of the brain. Sleep occurs in two categories, which recur through the night: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep. Non-REM sleep is further divided into four stages (1 through 4), with stages 3 and 4 often referred to as “deep sleep.” In adults, non-REM sleep occupies around 80 percent of the night, and REM sleep 20 percent. REM sleep occurs every 90-110 minutes. These cycles recur until we awaken due to a schedule or decision to arise. You will feel most refreshed after awakening at the completion of the final stage in a sleep cycle.
The body replenishes and restores itself during non-REM sleep, releasing hormones to repair damage done during the day. During REM sleep, you process memories and thoughts from the day, and you dream. As best as we understand dreams, they also represent a form of processing mental information that you received during the day. During REM sleep, we normally lose the use of our limb muscles. Yes, it’s true that while we’re sleeping (at least in REM sleep), we have an active mind in an inactive body. This is actually a good thing. This normal loss of muscle activity during REM sleep helps prevent us from acting out our dreams. Thus, it stands to reason that sleepwalking and night terrors usually occur in non-REM sleep. When disorders of REM sleep occur and patients lose that protective phase of muscle inactivity, patients may act out violent dreams and harm themselves or others.

sleep how much do you need

How much sleep you need is best defined by how well you function on different amounts of sleep, and as such, there is quite a bit of variation on what is considered normal and needed. For many adults, the average normal amount of sleep is around 7.5 hours per night. Many of you know people that can function on much less, and others that require as much as 9 hours per night. In general, your body feels most rested if you awaken at the end of a full sleep cycle. Given that each cycle takes about 90 minutes, many people find that they’re more refreshed if they sleep some increment of 1.5 hours (e.g., 6, 7.5 or 9 hours).
If you are getting what you consider to be an adequate amount of sleep but are still unrefreshed and sleepy, then you might have an organic sleep disorder and should consider seeking professional consultation. Throughout this week, Straight, No Chaser will review several sleep disorders. Until then, sweet dreams.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

apnea111

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. A very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common, recurring sleeping disorder in which your breathing temporarily pauses during your sleep. Have you ever awakened and felt as if you were choking or coughing? We may be talking to you.
The pauses of sleep apnea range in frequency and severity. They can last seconds or minutes. They may occur about 30 times in an hour.
Let’s pause there. I just told you that many of you are suffering from a disorder in which you stop breathing while asleep. Think about what that means.
Physiologically, if you’re not breathing while you’re asleep, your body will adjust. If you are in a stage of deep sleep, you’ll be kicked into light sleep, which is a lesser quality of sleep, and your body won’t be as replenished as it would otherwise. Your body will be less rested as a result, and you will suffer throughout the day.
Sleep apnea is most commonly due to some level of obstruction—obstructive sleep apnea. Do you have a large tongue or big tonsils? Are you overweight? Are you a big snorer? We may be talking to you. That snoring may be the sound of air moving past some obstruction. By the way, obstructive sleep apnea occurs more often in overweight  people, but it can occur in anyone.

sleep-apnea

Now to the “So What?” of the conversation. This is about the quality of your life. Sleep apnea is about insufficient quantity and quality of sleep. It’s about excessive daytime sleepiness. It’s about recurring episodes of inadequate levels of air resulting from the breathing difficulty. These facts have consequences. Refer to the lead picture above for an illustration of the various types of symptoms and problems that are associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also brings risks for the following conditions and diseases if left untreated.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Obesity
  • Strokes

Sleep apnea is easy and hard to diagnose at the same time. Many of you are suffering with it unsuspectingly as we speak. The person you sleep with may have expressed concern about your snoring or choking while you sleep. If so, get checked.
Sleep apnea once diagnosed is treatable with some combination of lifestyle changes, breathing devices and mouthpieces. Surgery is used in some cases.
We’ve reviewed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. Be mindful that sleep is your body’s time to rest and recover from the day’s activity. Any disruption in its ability to do that does not bode well for you over the long term. If your sleeping habits are problematic for you, you really should get evaluated. Getting this situation addressed can dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Finally, review the attached video for an illustration of what’s happening during sleep apnea. Excuse the scary music!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-TZ-dO_rQ
This discussion has focused on obstructive sleep apnea and not the less common form, central sleep apnea. The symptoms are similar, so if you have the other condition, it would be determined by your physician.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

normal sleeping

It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, and Straight, No Chaser wants you to wake up, pay attention and learn why sleep is such an important part of your life!

Do you ever think about why we sleep? Our bodies are highly efficient machines that utilize a lot of energy over the course of a day. In particular, our brain utilizes an enormous amount of oxygen and energy. Sleep is meant to be a process organized by the brain and responsive to our body’s needs. Sometimes those needs are immediate, and sometimes those needs are scheduled. Contrary to what is often thought, we’re not designed to just black out when we’re tired. Sleep is actually a process orchestrated by the brain.
How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our conscious control. Chief among the latter consideration is the fact that we actually do have an internal “clock” that regulates our biologic rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) over a 24-hour period. The circadian rhythm maintains our sleep-wake cycle and prompts us to want to sleep during similar times of the day and/or night. Sometimes that internal rhythm and the body’s routine call for sleep can be disrupted, making sleep a response to abnormal functioning within the brain (such as occurs in narcolepsy).
sleep_cycle_graph_1
Sleep also has an internal organization—the sleep cycle—regulated by different areas of the brain. Sleep occurs in two categories, which recur through the night: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep. Non-REM sleep is further divided into four stages (1 through 4), with stages 3 and 4 often referred to as “deep sleep.” In adults, non-REM sleep occupies around 80 percent of the night, and REM sleep 20 percent. REM sleep occurs every 90-110 minutes. These cycles recur until we awaken due to a schedule or decision to arise. You will feel most refreshed after awakening at the completion of the final stage in a sleep cycle.
The body replenishes and restores itself during non-REM sleep, releasing hormones to repair damage done during the day. During REM sleep, you process memories and thoughts from the day, and you dream. As best as we understand dreams, they also represent a form of processing mental information that you received during the day. During REM sleep, we normally lose the use of our limb muscles. Yes, it’s true that while we’re sleeping (at least in REM sleep), we have an active mind in an inactive body. This is actually a good thing. This normal loss of muscle activity during REM sleep helps prevent us from acting out our dreams. Thus, it stands to reason that sleepwalking and night terrors usually occur in non-REM sleep. When disorders of REM sleep occur and patients lose that protective phase of muscle inactivity, patients may act out violent dreams and harm themselves or others.

sleep how much do you need

How much sleep you need is best defined by how well you function on different amounts of sleep, and as such, there is quite a bit of variation on what is considered normal and needed. For many adults, the average normal amount of sleep is around 7.5 hours per night. Many of you know people that can function on much less, and others that require as much as 9 hours per night. In general, your body feels most rested if you awaken at the end of a full sleep cycle. Given that each cycle takes about 90 minutes, many people find that they’re more refreshed if they sleep some increment of 1.5 hours (e.g., 6, 7.5 or 9 hours).
If you are getting what you consider to be an adequate amount of sleep but are still unrefreshed and sleepy, then you might have an organic sleep disorder and should consider seeking professional consultation. Throughout this week, Straight, No Chaser will review several sleep disorders. Until then, sweet dreams.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders.

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is a very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed.  Sleep apnea is a common, recurring sleeping disorder in which your breathing temporarily pauses during your sleep. Have you ever awakened and felt as if you were choking or coughing? We may be talking to you.
The pauses of sleep apnea range in frequency and severity. They can last seconds or minutes. They may occur about 30 times in an hour.
apnea111
Let’s pause there. I just told you that many of you are suffering from a disorder in which you stop breathing while asleep. Think about what that means.
Physiologically, if you’re not breathing while you’re asleep, your body will adjust. If you are in a stage of deep sleep, you’ll be kicked into light sleep, which is a lesser quality of sleep, and your body won’t be as replenished as it would be otherwise. Your body will be less rested as a result, and you will suffer throughout the day.
Sleep apnea is most commonly due to some level of obstruction within the airway—obstructive sleep apnea. Do you have a large tongue or big tonsils? Are you overweight? Are you a big snorer? We may be talking to you. That snoring may be the sound of air moving past some obstruction. By the way, obstructive sleep apnea occurs more often in overweight  people, but it can occur in anyone.
sleep-apnea
Now to the “So What?” of the conversation. This is about the quality of your life. Sleep apnea is about insufficient quantity and quality of sleep. It’s about excessive daytime sleepiness. It’s about recurring episodes of inadequate levels of air resulting from the breathing difficulty, which can lead to inadequate levels of oxygen getting into your bloodstream and circulating throughout your body. These facts have consequences. Refer to the lead picture above for an illustration of the various types of symptoms and problems that are associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also brings risks for the following conditions and diseases if left untreated.

sleep-apnea consequences

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Obesity
  • Strokes

Sleep apnea is easy and hard to diagnose at the same time. Many of you are suffering with it unsuspectingly as we speak. The person you sleep with may have expressed concern about your snoring or choking while you sleep. If so, get checked.

sleep apnea cpap

Sleep apnea once diagnosed is treatable with some combination of lifestyle changes, breathing devices and mouthpieces. Surgery is used in some cases.
Straight, No Chaser has reviewed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. Be mindful that sleep is your body’s time to rest and recover from the day’s activity. Any disruption in its ability to do that does not bode well for you over the long term. If your sleeping habits are problematic for you, you really should get evaluated. Getting this situation addressed can dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Finally, review the attached video for an illustration of what’s happening during sleep apnea. Excuse the scary music!

This discussion has focused on obstructive sleep apnea and not the less common form, central sleep apnea. The symptoms are similar, so if you have the other condition, it would be determined by your physician.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

normal sleeping

This week is National Sleep Awareness Week, so Straight, No Chaser wants you to wake up, pay attention and learn why sleep is such an important part of your life!
Do you ever think about why we sleep? Our bodies are highly efficient machines that utilize a lot of energy over the course of a day. In particular, our brain utilizes an enormous amount of oxygen and energy. Sleep is meant to be a process organized by the brain and responsive to our body’s needs. Sometimes those needs are immediate, and sometimes those needs are scheduled. Contrary to what is often thought, we’re not designed to just black out when we’re tired. Sleep is actually a process orchestrated by the brain.
How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our conscious control. Chief among the latter consideration is the fact that we actually do have an internal “clock” that regulates our biologic rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) over a 24-hour period. The circadian rhythm maintains our sleep-wake cycle and prompts us to want to sleep during similar times of the day and/or night. Sometimes that internal rhythm and the body’s routine call for sleep can be disrupted, making sleep a response to abnormal functioning within the brain (such as occurs in narcolepsy).
sleep_cycle_graph_1
Sleep also has an internal organization—the sleep cycle—regulated by different areas of the brain. Sleep occurs in two categories, which recur through the night: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep. Non-REM sleep is further divided into four stages (1 through 4), with stages 3 and 4 often referred to as “deep sleep.” In adults, non-REM sleep occupies around 80 percent of the night, and REM sleep 20 percent. REM sleep occurs every 90-110 minutes. These cycles recur until we awaken due to a schedule or decision to arise. You will feel most refreshed after awakening at the completion of the final stage in a sleep cycle.
The body replenishes and restores itself during non-REM sleep, releasing hormones to repair damage done during the day. During REM sleep, you process memories and thoughts from the day, and you dream. As best as we understand dreams, they also represent a form of processing mental information that you received during the day. During REM sleep, we normally lose the use of our limb muscles. Yes, it’s true that while we’re sleeping (at least in REM sleep), we have an active mind in an inactive body. This is actually a good thing. This normal loss of muscle activity during REM sleep helps prevent us from acting out our dreams. Thus, it stands to reason that sleepwalking and night terrors usually occur in non-REM sleep. When disorders of REM sleep occur and patients lose that protective phase of muscle inactivity, patients may act out violent dreams and harm themselves or others.

sleep how much do you need

How much sleep you need is best defined by how well you function on different amounts of sleep, and as such, there is quite a bit of variation on what is considered normal and needed. For many adults, the average normal amount of sleep is around 7.5 hours per night. Many of you know people that can function on much less, and others that require as much as 9 hours per night. In general, your body feels most rested if you awaken at the end of a full sleep cycle. Given that each cycle takes about 90 minutes, many people find that they’re more refreshed if they sleep some increment of 1.5 hours (e.g., 6, 7.5 or 9 hours).
If you are getting what you consider to be an adequate amount of sleep but are still unrefreshed and sleepy, then you might have an organic sleep disorder and should consider seeking professional consultation. Throughout this week, Straight, No Chaser will review several sleep disorders. Until then, sweet dreams.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

apnea111

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. A very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common, recurring sleeping disorder in which your breathing temporarily pauses during your sleep. Have you ever awakened and felt as if you were choking or coughing? We may be talking to you.
The pauses of sleep apnea range in frequency and severity. They can last seconds or minutes. They may occur about 30 times in an hour.
Let’s pause there. I just told you that many of you are suffering from a disorder in which you stop breathing while asleep. Think about what that means.
Physiologically, if you’re not breathing while you’re asleep, your body will adjust. If you are in a stage of deep sleep, you’ll be kicked into light sleep, which is a lesser quality of sleep, and your body won’t be as replenished as it would otherwise. Your body will be less rested as a result, and you will suffer throughout the day.
Sleep apnea is most commonly due to some level of obstruction—obstructive sleep apnea. Do you have a large tongue or big tonsils? Are you overweight? Are you a big snorer? We may be talking to you. That snoring may be the sound of air moving past some obstruction. By the way, obstructive sleep apnea occurs more often in overweight  people, but it can occur in anyone.

sleep-apnea

Now to the “So What?” of the conversation. This is about the quality of your life. Sleep apnea is about insufficient quantity and quality of sleep. It’s about excessive daytime sleepiness. It’s about recurring episodes of inadequate levels of air resulting from the breathing difficulty. These facts have consequences. Refer to the lead picture above for an illustration of the various types of symptoms and problems that are associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also brings risks for the following conditions and diseases if left untreated.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Obesity
  • Strokes

Sleep apnea is easy and hard to diagnose at the same time. Many of you are suffering with it unsuspectingly as we speak. The person you sleep with may have expressed concern about your snoring or choking while you sleep. If so, get checked.
Sleep apnea once diagnosed is treatable with some combination of lifestyle changes, breathing devices and mouthpieces. Surgery is used in some cases.
We’ve reviewed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. Be mindful that sleep is your body’s time to rest and recover from the day’s activity. Any disruption in its ability to do that does not bode well for you over the long term. If your sleeping habits are problematic for you, you really should get evaluated. Getting this situation addressed can dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Finally, review the attached video for an illustration of what’s happening during sleep apnea. Excuse the scary music!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-TZ-dO_rQ
This discussion has focused on obstructive sleep apnea and not the less common form, central sleep apnea. The symptoms are similar, so if you have the other condition, it would be determined by your physician.
This post is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep and sleep disorders.

  • Click here for a discussion of normal sleep and how much you need a day.
  • Click here and click here for discussions about insomnia.
  • Click here for a discussion of night terrors.
  • Click here for a discussion of hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness).
  • Click here for a discussion of narcolepsy (sleep attacks).

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

sleep_cycle_graph_1

Do you ever think about why we sleep? Our bodies are highly efficient machines that utilize a lot of energy over the course of a day. In particular, our brain utilizes a lot of oxygen and energy. Sleep is meant to be a process organized by the brain and responsive to our body’s needs. Sometimes those needs are immediate, and sometimes those needs are scheduled. Contrary to what is often thought, we’re not designed to just black out when we’re tired. Sleep is actually a process orchestrated by the brain.
How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our conscious control. Chief among the latter consideration is the fact that we actually do have an internal “clock” that regulates our biologic rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) over a 24-hour period. The circadian rhythm maintains our sleep-wake cycle and prompts us to want to sleep during similar times of the day and/or night. Sometimes that internal rhythm and the body’s routine call for sleep can be disrupted, making sleep a response to abnormal functioning within the brain (such as occurs in narcolepsy).
Sleep also has an internal organization—the sleep cycle—regulated by different areas of the brain. Sleep occurs in two stages, which recur through the night: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep. Non-REM sleep is further divided into four stages (1 through 4), with stages 3 and 4 often referred to as “deep sleep.” In adults, non-REM sleep occupies around 80 percent of the night, and REM sleep 20 percent. REM sleep occurs every 90-110 minutes. These cycles recur until we awaken due to a schedule or decision to arise. You will feel most refreshed after sleeping and waking up at the completion of the final stage in a sleep cycle.
The body replenishes and restores itself during non-REM sleep, releasing hormones to repair damage done during the day. During REM sleep, you process memories and thoughts from the day and you dream. As best as we understand dreams, they also represent a form of processing mental information that you received during the day. During REM sleep, we normally lose the use of our limb muscles. Yes, it’s true that while we’re sleeping (at least in REM sleep), we have an active mind in an inactive body. This is actually a good thing. This normal loss of muscle activity during REM sleep helps prevent us from acting out our dreams. Thus, it stands to reason that sleepwalking and night terrors usually occur in non-REM sleep. When disorders of REM sleep occur and patients lose that protective phase of muscle inactivity, patients may act out violent dreams and harm themselves or others.
How much sleep you need is best defined by how well you function on different amounts of sleep, and as such, there is quite a bit of variation on what is considered normal and needed. For many adults, the average normal amount of sleep is around 7.5 hours per night. Many of you know people that can function on much less, and others that require as much as 9 hours per night. In general, your body feels most rested if you awaken at the end of a sleep cycle. Given that each cycle takes about 90 minutes, many people find that they’re more refreshed if they sleep some increment of 1.5 hours (e.g., 6, 7.5 or 9 hours).
If you are getting what you consider to be an adequate amount of sleep but are still unrefreshed and sleepy, then you might have an organic sleep disorder and should consider seeking professional consultation.
Additional Straight, No Chaser Blogs have addressed several of the sleep disorders.

  • Click here and click here for discussions about insomnia.
  • Click here for a discussion of night terrors.
  • Click here for a discussion of hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness).
  • Click here for a discussion of narcolepsy (sleep attacks).
  • Check back for a discussion of sleep apnea.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress