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New study suggests link between sleep & depression in teens

Your teenager’s sunny disposition in summer might be linked to more than just a break from classes. Additional hours of sleep could be aiding your teen’s newfound happiness.

A study led by the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School recently found that teens who were “excessively sleepy” during school were three times more likely to be depressed than their peers with healthy sleep schedules.

With performance pressure at school as well as activities outside of class, many teens are trading quality time with their pillow for time at their desk.

Of the teens categorized as excessively sleepy, thirty percent showed strong signs of depression and another thirty two percent showed moderate depression symptoms.

Once school resumes, work with your teenager to establish a healthy sleep schedule.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends a minimum of nine hours of sleep at night for high school students. Depressed students in the survey slept an average of about six hours throughout the week and eight hours on the weekend.

Cut down on caffeine and technology use before bedtime. The glowing light from cell phone, computer and television screens can suppress melatonin, a hormone that aids in sleep.

Healthy sleep patterns are not just for teenagers. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends adults sleep an average of seven to eight hours per night.

Depression is a common symptom of a sleep disorder. If your sleep troubles or the sleep troubles of your teenager persist, consider a sleep consultation with The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic. Call (678) 651-2032 to make your appointment today with a board certified sleep specialist.

Have you noticed a change in your teen’s sleep pattern or mood during summer break? Are you happier on weekends or days you have the opportunity to sleep in? Let us know in a comment!

Full article: http://bit.ly/a973zk

Millions of Americans suffer from insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and a variety of other sleep disorders. However, one of the most deceiving of these disorders is sleep apnea, a disruption of breathing while sleeping.  Some 90 percent of people of those who have sleep apnea don’t even know that they have it.  These people may have many episodes of choking or gasping for air at night, but have no memory of struggling for breath when they wake. It’s often the sleep partner who first recognizes the problem of sleep apnea. If left untreated, this common disorder can be life threatening.

The word “apnea” is of Greek origin and literally means “without breath.” Obstructive apnea is the most common of three types of sleep apnea, the others being central apnea and complex apnea (a combination of obstructive and central).  No matter what the root cause, all people with untreated sleep apnea of any type repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep. This can happen hundreds of times during the night, often for as long as a minute or longer. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. With central sleep apnea, the airway remains open but the brain fails to send a signal to the muscles to breathe. When an apnea event occurs, the brain briefly wakes the individual in order to resume breathing. As a result, sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

“There are a number of warning signs and symptoms to watch for when it comes to sleep apnea,” says Kurtis Dornan, MD, from Lakewood Medical Associates, Rockport. These include frequent silences during sleep caused by breaks in breathing; choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs; loud snoring; sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a cold sweat; waking up with a dry throat, or daytime sleepiness or a feeling of being un-refreshed following a night’s sleep.

“Simply put, you may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you wake up feeling un-refreshed,” Dornan says.

Because of the lack of awareness by the public and many healthcare professionals, the vast majority of sleep apneas remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. And if left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches. It can also result in job performance impairment and motor vehicle crashes, not to mention sleepless nights for your partner.  Fortunately, sleep apnea can be successfully diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research continues into new options.

“Call your physician if you or your family notice any of the symptoms of sleep apnea,” says Dornan. “Be sure to mention if you experience loud snoring, especially snoring that’s punctuated by periods of silence.  Treatment is necessary to avoid heart problems or other complications.”  Seek immediate medical attention if you experience decreased consciousness, extreme sleepiness, hallucinations or personality changes.

Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist or recommend lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, losing weight, or avoiding sleeping on your back.  If your condition is moderate or more severe, treatment options may include the use of an oral appliance designed to keep the airway open.   In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove excess tissue from the nose or throat.

“Sleep apnea is treatable, so there’s really no downside in getting it check out with your health care provider,” says Dornan.   “It will result in improved sleep for you and your sleep partner.  And it just may save your life.”

Written by Kurtis Dornan, MD.

To contact Kurtis Dornan, MD, of Lakewood Medical Associates, Rockport, please call 216.529.7125.  The office is located at 11851 Detroit Ave, Lakewood.

Sleepy Worker

“I depend on Rockstar”

Kim Delatorre, 34, stay-at-home mom with two kids, ages 1 and 2; married; Kalama, Wash.

Kim’s sleep situation: “My kids are night owls, and my husband works from 2 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. I usually get to bed around midnight, but I breastfeed my daughter three times a night and also wake up when my husband comes home, so I rarely get consecutive hours of sleep—it’s usually about six broken-up hours. I hate coffee but depend on Rockstar energy drinks. I usually drink about half a can a day.”

The doc’s diagnosis: “Rockstar has at least 160 milligrams of caffeine, so Kim probably has some caffeine in her body 24 hours a day. She has ‘mixed insomnia,’ which is difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

Better sleep Rx: “Implement a firm sleep-wake schedule and an earlier bedtime for Kim and her kids.”

“Give up the Rockstar. To get her caffeine fix, she should try a cup of green tea. An 8-ounce cup packs only about 25 milligrams of caffeine. This will help her fall back into a deep sleep quickly after waking up during the night.

“Invest in light boxes for dark winter months. The best thing for daytime energy is light.”

The two-week follow-up: Kim has cut back on the Rockstar. When she doesn’t drink it, she falls asleep faster after getting up to breast-feed. She’s also putting the kids to bed an hour earlier and uses the extra time to wind down.

Buzz kill

Is caffeine cramping your sleep style? Addicts, limit your intake to 300 milligrams a day, ideally before 2 p.m. What has the most kick?

  • Starbucks grande drip coffee (16 oz.): 330 mg.
  • Espresso (1 oz.): 90 mg.
  • Diet Coke (12-oz. can): 46.5 mg.
  • Snapple Lemon Iced Tea (16-oz. bottle): 42 mg.
  • Dark semisweet chocolate (1 oz.): 20 mg.
  • Excedrin Extra Strength (2 tablets): 130 mg.
  • Midol Menstrual Complete (1 tablet): 60 mg.

“I work the night shift”

Courtney Epps, 24, surgical nurse, works 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. three days a week; single; New York City

Courtney’s sleep situation: “I’ve been working in a fast-paced unit on the night shift for the last year. I’m on the list to switch to days, but I’ll have to wait at least three months. As soon as I get home from work, I typically go to sleep until 6 p.m. At that point, I try to interact with friends, but then I find myself struggling to get through my night shifts. I work in the dark because I’m trying to get the patients to go to sleep, so my body never registers my awake hours as my ‘daytime.’ When I’m working, it’s almost like I’m on a high, but once I leave, the exhaustion hits me all at once.”

The doc’s diagnosis: “It’s virtually impossible to get healthy sleep with this kind of work pattern. We call it ‘shift-work syndrome.’ There’s a clock inside the brain that creates a 24-hour circadian rhythm. If that clock isn’t synchronized with the clock that you live your life by, it creates a dissonance. People who do this for years can end up with pretty serious illnesses—depression, gastrointestinal disorders, and cancer.”

Better sleep Rx: “Wear wraparound sunglasses on the way home to communicate to your system that it’s nighttime.”

“Buy a good-quality sleep mask with circular raised pillows around the eyes. When a mask presses against the eyes, it can interfere with REM sleep.

“I don’t typically recommend medication, but since there’s no room for mistakes in Courtney’s job, she could consider the prescription stimulant Provigil. It gives a steady source of energy for eight hours without the jittery side effects of caffeine.”

The two-week follow-Up: Wearing sunglasses home from work in the morning has helped Courtney fall asleep faster once she gets there. After considering Provigil, she ultimately decided to pass, but she does intend to purchase a new sleep mask.

“I can’t sleep through the night”

Amanda Ziskin, 34, personal assistant; single; Brooklyn

Amanda’s sleep situation: My work sometimes has me out late during the week, so I typically get to bed between midnight and 2 a.m., then wake up between 8 and 10 a.m. Since it takes me nearly two hours to fall asleep, I keep my laptop and iPhone in bed with me and have the TV on. Lately, I’ve been waking up around 3:45 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep until 6. I’m very energetic during the day, so it doesn’t take a toll on me, but I do sometimes rely on Nyquil, Tylenol PM, Simply Sleep, or Ambien to fall asleep faster. I alternate because one never works for me consistently.”

The doc’s diagnosis: “Amanda isn’t getting enough good-quality sleep. Her high energy level during the day helps her compensate, and she could probably go on like this for another 10 to 15 years—but I wouldn’t recommend it. At night, it takes her longer to come down off that high—she essentially runs out of fuel and crashes. Amanda needs to learn how to slow down before she gets in bed.”

Better sleep Rx: “Start slowing down an hour before bedtime—process the day by writing in a journal for 15 minutes and dim the lights. If Amanda must use her laptop or watch TV, she should wear blue-blocker glasses to block out the blue component of light that disrupts melatonin production.

“Up sleep efficiency—the percentage of time you’re in bed actually sleeping. A normal sleep efficiency is 90 to 95 percent. If Amanda is doing other things, she may begin to negatively associate wakefulness with the bed.”

“Steer clear of over-the-counter ‘PM’ products, like Tylenol PM—they contain diphenhydramine [Benadryl], which remains active in the body well into the next morning and can negatively impact cognition and perception. The only thing I’d recommend is melatonin.”

The two-week follow-Up: By no longer watching TV in bed and simply dimming the lights before bedtime, Amanda is finally sleeping through the night. She’s also swapped OTC meds for Simply Sleep melatonin and has found it effective in helping her fall asleep faster. —Jihan Thompson

Sleep cycles

Snooze through sleep-disturbing PMS with tips from Michael Breus, Ph.D., founder of Sound Sleep Solutions:

Flush your system by drinking at least half of your body weight—in ounces—of water a day. So if you weigh 130 pounds, that means 65 ounces of water, approximately eight glasses. Ask your doctor about increasing calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B complex intake before and during your period. Use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to ease tension and cramps: ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or aspirin.

If after trying these natural solutions, you still have trouble sleeping through the night, don’t hesitate to call The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic at 678-651-2032 or visit us online at http://www.atlantasleep.com. You can also try taking our sleep quiz at: http://www.atlantasleep.com/sleepquiz.php

Content from MSN: Health and Fitness Article, “Better in Bed: Do You Need a Sleep Makeover?”


Wing's N' Rock Festival

Wing's N' Rock Festival

This summer and fall, The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic is educating the Atlanta community about the risks of sleeping disorders and the rewards of treating them correctly. In addition, the clinic is offering “Free Sleep Screenings” to those who don’t sleep well but want to explore their problem in more detail before scheduling an appointment with a doctor.

These Free Sleep Screenings are not performed on site at the festivals. Instead, the screening consists of a small cell phone-sized device that the sleep clinic gives patients to sleep with at their own home for one night. This device measures respiratory flow and screens for the likelihood that the user has sleep apnea. The sleep screening device allows people to learn about their sleeping patterns without any risk or money out of their pocket. Then if their screening shows positive signs of sleep apnea, The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic staff directs the user to the next logical step in their treatment.

Most of the time, when doctors suspect that a patient has sleep problems, they refer them to an overnight sleep study at a sleep lab. A common treatment of sleep apnea is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask which is the most  effective solution for sleep apnea if used consistently and correctly.

“Over the years, we have found that many people are afraid or embarrassed to take the step of sleeping overnight at a sleep lab without first being sure that they exhibit signs of sleep apnea. Because of this, we decided to offer people free sleep screenings as a risk-free way to learn about their sleep patterns before they visit a sleep doctor or participate in an overnight  sleep study,” said Laura Baareman, the Business Development Coordinator at The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic.

Sleep Screening Device

Sleep Screening Device

On May 30th, the clinic attended the Wings N’ Rock Festival in Marietta Square. “Many people passing by our booth were interested in learning more about sleep disorders such as Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and Restless Legs Syndrome,” said Mary-Ellen, Practice Manager at The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic. “Those that felt they had symptoms of a sleep disorder were invited to participate in Free Sleep Screenings that our clinic is offering. Through these sleep screenings we have been able to help numerous people from our community receive treatment for their sleep problems.”

You don’t have to stop by the Sleep Clinic’s tent at a festival to qualify for the free sleep screening. All you need to do is call 678-651-2032 to schedule a time to pick up a screening device to use. You can also visit http://www.atlantasleep.com for more information.

The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic also attended Community Impact Day in Roswell, GA on July 11th. This festival helped raise support for the Pleasant Hill Community Center non-profit organization and also featured a health fair. From August 14th-15th the clinic had a booth at the Pigs and Peaches BBQ Festival in Kennesaw, GA, and also participated in the well-known Decatur Book Festival at the beginning of September.

About The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic

The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic is a full service diagnostic sleep center that was established in 2008. Founded by one of the early pioneers in sleep medicine, Russell Rosenberg, Ph. D, D.ABSM, and his longtime associate, Michael Lacey, MD, D.ABSM, it is one of the region’s largest sleep centers and (is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine). The Atlanta Sleep Clinic is also Georgia’s first clinic to be affiliated with a well-known Sleep School, The Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology.  For more information about The Atlanta Sleep Clinic, please visit the clinic’s web site at http://www.atlantasleep.com. Media Contact: Laura Baareman, The Atlanta Sleep Medicine Clinic, (770)883-6679, laura.baareman@atlantasleep.com

woman-bed-pain-sleep-200Have you ever wondered if pain and sleep are related? Have you ever experienced trouble falling or staying asleep due to another source of pain? Or, have you ever felt increased levels of pain or irritability due to a lack of good sleep?

Russell Rosenberg, Ph. D, D.ABSM, the Atlanta Sleep Clinic’s founder and an early pioneer in sleep medicine, recently posed these question to a group of sleep professionals at the 2009 Southern Sleep Society meeting.

Dr. Rosenberg began by looking at the history of research about the relationship between pain and sleep. The first notable study was performed in 1963 by Dr. Kleitman when he tested sensitivity to pain among groups that had received different levels of sleep. Dr. Kleitman found that after 8 hours of sleep loss, there was a reduction in the pain-threshold.

More recent studies show the following five relationships between pain and sleep.

  1. Pain can cause individuals to awaken which can hinder falling and staying asleep
  2. Pain and the body’s regulation of sleeping and waking share common neurobiological systems
  3. Sleep actively protects against pain, therefore poor sleep can interfere with pain tolerance and processing
  4. In fibromyagia patients, the subjective quality of sleep is inversely related to pain sensitivity
  5. Disturbed sleep increases acute pain. For example, burn patients have increased pain sensitivity after poor sleep.

(Foo and Mason, 2003)(Asikainen et al, 1997)(Argargun et al, 1999)(Raymond et al, 2001)

One of the best studies of Pain and Sleep to date is Tim Roehrs’ study in 2006 that exposed subjects to a radiant heat stimulus after undergoing partial sleep loss or REM loss conditions. He measured patients’ ability to withstand different levels of heat after various levels of sleep deprivation. He found that more sleep loss led to less pain tolerance.

A survey of 15,000 subjects in 2003 found that chronic pain has a unique relationship with sleep loss. Those surveyed who reported chronic pain also reported double the likelihood of nighttime awakenings, double the likelihood of waking up over five times a nights, and greater difficulty falling asleep than subjects without chronic pain. (Ohayon and Roth, 2003)

In conclusion, Dr. Rosenberg’s talk exposed the importance of studying the relationship between sleep and pain. The field is still in its infancy and there are still many questions left unanswered. Solutions to some of these questions could greatly enhance the well-being of many who suffer from pain and sleep problems.