Healthy Sleeping Habits for Improved Health
Catholic Health sleep medicine specialists know a restful sleep helps you stay healthy. Poor sleeping habits, and disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome, directly impact quality of living and overall health. With sleep centers across Long Island, we're here to help you get the rest you need.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea, the cessation of breathing during sleep, is one of the most common sleep disorders. Contributing factors include an enlarged uvula or swollen tonsils, a nasal obstruction or certain facial attributes.
Each episode can last ten seconds or more and has been known to happen hundreds of times a night without you even being aware. Snoring is usually the first sign and occurs due to the vibration of excess tissue in the pharynx. Other signs include:
- Choking and sweating
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty losing weight
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Nighttime gasping
Untreated sleep problems can lead to:
- Heart attacks
- High blood pressure
- Daytime sleepiness
- Decreased job performance
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Memory loss
- Poor concentration
- Traffic accidents
- Weakened immunity
Sleep Studies & Tests
Overnight diagnostic sleep study. During the sleep study we will measure your sleep by recording:
- Air flow in and out of the lungs during breathing
- Blood oxygen level
- Body position
- Brain waves (EEG)
- Respiratory effort and rate
- Body Movements
- REM eye movements
- Heart rate
- Stages of sleep and wake
This study is used to calculate the therapeutic settings of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) needed to alleviate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is done after the diagnostic study confirms a sleep apnea diagnosis.
The MSLT is an objective diagnostic tool that is used to measure excessive daytime sleepiness.
This test is performed during the day immediately following an overnight sleep study and consists of four or five 20-minute nap opportunities set two hours apart. During the test, your brain waves, muscle activity and eye movements are monitored and recorded.
The entire test normally takes about seven hours over the course of a day. You must stay awake between each nap period.
The MWT is a daytime sleep study that measures your ability to stay awake and alert during the day. The MWT can also indicate to your physician how well CPAP therapy treatment is working for you.
HSTs offer an advantage of testing you right in your own home. This process provides you a more natural sleeping environment with less instrumentation.
Testing is limited to diagnosing sleep apnea. It is not as comprehensive as an in lab sleep study. Therefore, your physician may require an in lab diagnostic sleep test based on your sleep history, any co-morbidities or other special considerations that make a home sleep test a non-option.
Boost Your Immunity with Quality Sleep
Studies show that people who get less than seven hours of sleep each night are almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept more than seven hours. Additionally, those with fragmented sleep due to insomnia, sleep apnea or snoring, are five times more likely to develop a cold.
Brendan Duffy, Catholic Health sleep services system director, shares more insights into the importance of quality sleep.Get helpful tips for improved sleep