Recently, three Canadians were concerned that repeated sleepless nights could be negatively affecting their health. When approached by The National (CBC) they jumped at the opportunity to use a home-based test to get information on their sleep habits.
They had already compared notes with friends and knew that many of them also suffered from restless nights with shortened sleep cycles. In fact, their reports of sleepless nights are echoed in studies by Statistics Canada. They think a third of Canadians get fewer than seven to nine hours of sleep nightly and that a quarter get less than seven hours.
Andrew Holmes managed the sleep tests for The National. He is a registered polysomnographic technician and sleep specialist. He states that sleep apnea is associated with stroke, diabetes and heart attack.
Although factors like the shape of the face and skull, often genetic, and some neurologic disorders, drug use and excess weight can lead to sleep apnea, many fit individuals can also suffer from the condition. Poor sleep also can be the result of other factors, including prescription drugs, bruxism, narcolepsy, and many more.
Many symptoms occur during sleep and are missed by the patient and/or their sleeping companions, while sleepiness during the day can be overlooked or excused as “normal.” Holmes believes this is part of the reason that sleep apnea is up to 80% underdiagnosed in the Canadian population.
Test Results for the Three Canadians
Our three Canadian test participants had surprisingly different test results.
- Subject One slept almost nine hours and was relieved to learn she had no sleep interruptions at all during the night.
- Subject Two slept right under six hours and experienced an average of 15 interruptions per hour.
- Subject Three slept about eight hours nightly and experienced 24 breathing interruptions per hour. While considered a mild form of apnea, she also experienced reduced oxygen concentration of 76 percent compared to the ideal 90 percent levels.
Each patient received counseling and appropriate treatment to address the results of their tests.
The Importance of Quality Sleep Can’t Be Underestimated
Holmes says it is important to have the correct amount of high-quality sleep every night to avoid problems associated with poor sleep, like memory and performance issues. As revealed in the three separate sleep studies above, each patient is unique. Without an examination of your health history and proper sleep studies it is impossible to know what is causing your sleepless nights and groggy days.
If you are suffering from poor sleep and all its consequences, you owe it to yourself to make the time to get a professional diagnosis. Only then will you be armed with the knowledge to make the right decision for a healthy outcome. Sleep disorders are our specialty and we look forward to helping you. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve the Granger, Indiana area.