By HALEY JONES
Memorial Health System
March is Breath Better Sleep Better Month. Giving your body the time and support to recover from a whole day’s worth of activities is important! How well do you sleep?
If you struggle to get good sleep that leaves you well rested, there may be a reason. Common causes include stress, irregular sleep schedule, anxiety and depression, physical ailments, neurological problems, and sleep disorders.
If you experience these symptoms it may be time to talk with your doctor: excessive sleepiness during your awake hours, loud snoring, observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep, abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking, dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening, headaches when you awake, difficulty concentrating during your awake hours, mood changes, high blood pressure, and decreased libido. These are all symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA, when untreated, can lead to other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even glaucoma. It may also increase your risk of death. If you are unsure whether it is time to talk to your doctor about your sleep issues, you can take a self-screening in the comfort of your own home.
Visit http://mhsks.org/respiratory_cardiac_sleep/ to find a link for these screenings.
If your provider feels you are at risk and further investigation is needed to evaluate your sleep patterns, you may be referred for a sleep study. Memorial Hospital’s Respiratory Therapy Department works with Rural Sleep Solutions to provide this service in Abilene. A designated sleep specialist conducts sleep studies at Memorial Hospital four times a month.
If your provider refers you for a sleep study, the process following is simple:
●Prior authorization with your insurance company approves you for the sleep study
●Matt Mead, respiratory therapist for Memorial Hospital works with Rural Sleep Solutions to set up your sleep study appointment
●Your appointment time will start around 8:30 p.m. on the day of your appointment
●Results of your sleep study are returned in 10 days or less
●If needed you may be prescribed proper equipment to help you sleep better
Conducting sleep studies at Memorial Hospital is just one of the many ways we try to bring you the services you need in Abilene. Check our website to see a list of visiting specialist who partner with Memorial Hospital to provide an array of services without having to go far!