Fight Fatigue: Snooze or Lose

1 decade 11 months 2 days ago Sunday, June 24 2007 Jun 24, 2007 Sunday, June 24, 2007 11:03:02 PM CDT June 24, 2007 in News

With longer work days and late-night entertainment there's no wonder why so many of us don't get enough sleep. As a result, sleep disorders have become a growing problem, but a sleep treatment program right here in mid-Missouri can help you cure those sleep disorders and get a better night's rest.

Busy days and busy lives mean bedtime is harder to come by these days. For Kay Wright, trying to sleep was a nightmare for both her and her partner.

"He woke me up in the middle of the night and said 'you have got to go to the doctor. You have stopped breathing three times and the longest time was for 50 seconds. I think you're going to die,'" said Wright.

Wright has suffered from sleep apnea and other sleep-related problems for years. She's one of an estimated 70 million Americans today who have a sleep disorder, and 20 million of those who have chronic sleeping problems.

"My children had been telling me I was snoring for years so loudly that I was waking them up at night," said Wright.

Thankfully for many, sleep treatment is now a viable option. It's in sleep treatment rooms at the Sleep Treatment Center in the University Hospital that those like Wright are finding ways to cure poor sleeping habits. The bedrooms have a camera and a concealed microphone so doctors can monitor sleep disorder patients like Wright.

Sleep specialist Dr. Pradeep Sahota at University Hospital has spearheaded a sleep treatment program for the past two decades. He says not getting enough sleep causes more than simple drowsiness.

"Chernobyl, nuclear power, Three Mile Island, those were caused by people who were not able to focus, either because of sleep deprivation or related factors," said Dr. Sahota.

Fortunately, for patients like Wright, Dr. Sahota's program spells out relief. Wright now undergoes C-PAP therapy to treat her sleep apnea. Patients wear a small mask to force air through narrow passages and into their lungs.

"As cumbersome as it sounds, for a patient with apnea, they sleep much better, its their regular sleep, and they feel much more rested in the daytime," said Dr. Sahota.


"I think it has saved my life," said Wright.

Although a lifesaver, Dr. Sahota's whole program, C-PAP therapy included, comes at a price - roughly $1,000-but it's a cost, says both Sahota and Wright, worth more than a heart attack or other serious health risks. 

"If you snore a lot, if your partner says you're waking up at night, either kicking, or moving, or stopping breathing, I feel it is imperative to come in for a sleep study," said Wright.

There are several support groups for those with sleep disorders. If you want more information on those programs and sleep disorders, click on the links above.

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