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Dreams, sleep and your health

homework   Do you dream?  The answer to that question may change your life.

It is not uncommon to snore and it may be harmless for most people, but when is sleep disturbance a real issue?  Do you dream?  If you don’t, then you have a “real” sleep disturbance that should be addressed.  Dreaming means that a person has gone into a deep regenerative sleep.

Other symptoms of a sleep disturbance include:

  • Severe fatigue (not just tired from a busy day)
  • Unable to stay awake to perform daily activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep partner disruption
  • Snoring is directly related to elevated blood pressure

A sleep disorder called sleep apnea can have serious consequences if not treated.  Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing that prevent air from flowing freely into or out of the airways.  Individuals with sleep apnea awaken frequently during the night gasping for breath. These long breathing pauses decrease oxygen levels leading to a strain on the heart.  This may increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Being obese and having a large neck may contribute to sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is more common in individuals affected by asthma and allergies.

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a survey that measures how likely you are to doze off or fall asleep  during a variety of situations in contrast to just feeling tired.  There is a scale of 0 to 3 for 8 different situations.  If you care to take this quick survey go to:  http://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-scale

Sleep disturbances are important issues.  It is important to determine when it is potentially harmful and requires further evaluation.  A pulmonologist trained in sleep medicine can evaluate using a sleep study to determine if there is a sleep issue and what treatments may be available.

At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, your sleep is important to us.  If allergies or asthma are interfering with your sleep, let us know, we can help.  Sweet dreams!

This information is solely for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional.

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