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Sleep Matters

Simply snoring or something more?

Are you getting jabbed in the ribs from your bed partner at night? If so, you may be familiar with grumbling and complaints about your snoring.

The nightly noise you make can disrupt their sleep and your own. It may even be a sign of a more serious condition called sleep apnea.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea your throat may become blocked during sleep and you might stop breathing for short periods of time.  You briefly wake up to breathe. This cycle repeats itself many times throughout the night.

You may also snort or gasp in your sleep, wake up feeling tired or with a headache, and feel very sleepy throughout the day. You may find that at times it is difficult to concentrate and you may experience problems with your memory.

The good news is that a range of treatment options are now available to help you breathe freely again so that you can get a good night`s sleep.

To assist you in determining the best treatment option for you, visit with your doctor. An overnight sleep study may be suggested to help determine whether or not your snoring is due to sleep apnea.

Your doctor will gather information about your sleep habits, such as how long you have been snoring, how well you sleep, whether or not you are sleepy during the daytime, your lifestyle, work and any medical conditions that you have. The impact of snoring on your life and others that live with you may be discussed.

If a sleep study is suggested, this will give you the best picture of how you breathe at night when you sleep. You may be asked to spend a night at a sleep clinic or you may be loaned a small monitor to use at home. Your breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels and other functions will be measured and recorded. The findings will help determine which treatments will be best for you.

Source: Snoring and Sleep Apnea brochure published by The StayWell Company in 2005.

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