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What Do We Know About Sleep?

What is sleep? If we go by the scientific definition, it can be defined as the natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness is suspended. It is the time when our body and mind relax and get ready for next day’s work. Scientists have since long tried to decipher the mysteries behind this natural process. What happens after we fall asleep? Do we see dreams all the while? Different theories have come up in response to these questions.

Sleep can be categorised into different categories- deep slumber, light sleep, falling asleep immediately etc.  Falling asleep constitutes the stage one of falling asleep. The mind starts to relax and a person starts drifting away into the mysterious world of sleep. The breathing becomes slow, heart beat becomes more regular and blood pressure decreases. It is easier to wake up a person during this stage and the person would not feel if he actually fell asleep.

After 15 to 20 minutes of falling asleep, we descend into the stage two of sleep. During this point of time, the brain does not show any change in the brain wave pattern. It is slightly difficult to wake up a person from this stage of sleep. A sound in the close vicinity may wake up a person.

After 30 to 45 minutes of falling asleep, the brain wave pattern changes. At this stage we move into the stage 4 of deep sleep. At this time, it will take a lot of efforts to wake up a person. Only a very loud noise may wake up a person. If woken up from this stage of sleep, a person feels groggy. The metabolic activity of brain decreases during deep sleep.

During the deep sleep our body and mind replenish and rejuvenate. Hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to increase the secretion of human growth hormone(HGH). HGH is also referred to as ‘fountain of youth’ as it enables to restore the youthful state. It promotes tissue building and growth in children.

During the Rapid Eye Movement(REM) the brain waves shift again and eyes flutter back and forth under closed eyelids. It is during the REM that we dream.

For a healthy body and mind, it is essential to take 6 to 8 hours of sleep everyday. Sleep disorders are caused by the lack of proper sleep. It can be avoided by maintaining a proper sleep cycle.

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All about Sleep Clinics

When an individual has a sleeping disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea, he may be curious to know what a sleep clinic is and what it does. It may be able to help his condition. A breathing device known as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can help people with sleep apnea, but sleep clinics don’t utilize many more sophisticated machines and equipment than that other than to hook up the patient with many different electrodes and studies them with a type of electrocardiogram (EKG) machine.

What They Do

It’s essential to understand that sleep clinics don’t solve any specific problem. They’re not meant to do that. Their primary purpose is to simply collect all of the symptoms and patterns of a person’s period of nocturnal rest. These patterns and symptoms are then relayed to the physician in charge there and he interprets the results to evaluate and diagnose the underlying reason for nocturnal rest difficulties, whether its insomnia, dysomnia, or even walking during a time at night when a person should be sleeping.

Electrodes are placed on the subject’s eyes, temples, forehead, and top and back of the head, as well as on other parts of the body. They help the staff of highly trained technicians to measure different diagnostic criteria and parameters such as REM or rapid eye movement signs. Most people at these places don’t spend very much time there. Sometimes, people spend just one night, while others might be there for one to two weeks at the longest.

Sleeping is an intricate science in and of itself and its mechanism of action is still not completely understood but at these centers the technicians do their best to record all of the pertinent characteristics of nocturnal sleeping patterns so that they can most fully determine all of the many possible variations in sleeping that any specific patient manifests. Trying to sleep in a foreign environment is not easy. But some patients do it much easier than others. Many though find it impossible to drift off especially if they’re not given any aids or pills to help drift off for the night.

This can be problematic, but the subject eventually does indeed drift off so he can be thoroughly studied and evaluated for information to be prepared and given to the physician who runs the center. Many subjects don’t enjoy their stay there but since they have such sleep problems they truly do need to be there to be fully evaluated in order to be helped for the long haul. Being at one of these clinics under evaluations only benefits the patient in both the short and long term, and while there are few physicians who actually specialize in sleep disorders, the ones in charge at these clinics can definitely help the individual out once he leaves the facilities.


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What Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is All About

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleeping disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of abnormal pauses in breathing or significant decrease in airflow caused by collapse of the upper airway in the respiratory system. By definition, apnea episodes last about an average of ten seconds.

Apnea may occur hundreds of times in a single night, one to two times a minute in severe obstructive sleep apnea victims, and is often accompanied by wide swing s in heart rate, an abrupt decrease in saturation of oxygen, and brief electroencephalogram arousals associated with stertorous breathing sounds as a burst of air is exhaled when the airway reopens.

Three major symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, drowsiness, and other significant abnormalities during sleep apnea episodes. These signs help clinicians and dentists in assessing patients for obstructive sleep apnea. It has proven to be valuable in educating people to be sensitive in the detection of the sleeping disorder. It is also helpful if someone close to the victim can have knowledge about obstructive sleep apnea because, oftentimes, the sleeper is unaware that he is actually suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. In fact, he can regard himself as a good sleeper just because he can sleep anytime, anywhere. Sleepiness is one of the most morbid symptoms of sleep apnea, owing to the accidents that can result because of it.

According to a dentist Memphis Tennessee has, obstructive sleep apnea is a very important diagnosis for dentists and physicians to consider because of its strong relevance with the most critical medical conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular illnesses, coronary artery disease, insulin-resistant diabetes, depression, and sleepiness-related accidents.

Obstructive sleep apnea is an increasingly rampant condition in both children and adults. Based on the statistics by a licensed dentist Memphis TN has, approximately 24% of men and 9% of women have obstructive sleep apnea. These figures do not include excessive daytime sleepiness victims. The prevalence in children is less certain but an increasingly large portion of the adolescent population is suspected of having sleep apnea. Most of these adolescents are suffering from obesity and have similar symptoms to their adult counterparts.

Obstructive sleep apnea should be diagnosed and treated immediately, as cases of sleep apnea Memphis has is quite alarming. Sleep apnea can be quickly reversed with the proper titration of continuous positive airway pressure devices provided by dentists specializing in sleep apnea cases. Continuous positive airway pressure devices are the standard treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea.


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