Lack of sleep could lead to more than just a rough day if left untreated

BESSEMER, Ala. (CBS42 Community) — Did you get a good night sleep last night? Are you sure about that?

Poor quality sleep is costing Americans billions in health care expenses every year. A lack of proper rest is linked to increasing your chances of having congestive heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. The condition even makes you six times more likely to have a car accident.

There are four main types of sleep disorders: obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and insomnia. These disorders can affect anyone at any age.

“One of the worst patients I ever had was a 13-year-old kid that was a very skinny, athletic kid. He played baseball and football. He had what we call kissing tonsils,” said Justin Baldwin, manager at Medical West Sleep Center. “There was a tiny gap between his tonsils. When he’d fall asleep, that little slight collapse in his air passage pushed his tonsils together.”

This condition caused the boy to stop breathing for sometimes minutes at a time each night. Baldwin says that there is a misconception that sleep disorders only impact people that are overweight and unhealthy which is held by a lot of people.

“The stigma that’s out there is actually reversed from what it should be. Before everybody gains all the weight, let’s go ahead and let them have a sleep study,” Baldwin said.  “Let’s see if they have sleep apnea, instead of waiting until they gain the weight and then their sleep apnea is a lot harder to treat.”

Lack of sleep can cause you to crave high-calorie foods, increasing your weight, and leading to a worsening condition. When you finally get that good night’s sleep, you’re going to feel much more productive, less hungry, you’ll be less likely to get sick, and the best part is that you’re going to feel a lot happier.

“I actually saw it with my own dad. He was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea when he was 56 years old,” Baldwin said. “Had a difficult time wearing c-pap for the first month or two. Began wearing c-pap and has been satisfied with wearing it ever since. When he was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, he used to take a handful of blood pressure medications every morning and every evening. And now, 15 or 20 years later, he takes one pill in the morning and one pill in the evening.”

At the Medical West Sleep Center, doctors and technicians monitor your sleep in a comfortable, hotel-like environment.

If you feel tired during the day, have worsening health problems, or just want you don’t get a restful night’s sleep, have your doctor refer you to the Medical West Sleep Center. It may mean better health and a lot of happier days!

Click here for more information.

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