May is better sleep month, doctor weighs in

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – May is Better Sleep Month and experts suggest that it’s more than likely you or someone you know suffers from sleep apnea or sleep insomnia.

Lafayette resident David Barnett said he didn’t know he had a sleeping problem until it was too late.

“About ten years ago I had a stroke,” Barnett explained.

Months had passed before doctors could figure out what caused Barnett to have a stroke.

“The doctor suggested I have a sleep study,” Barnett explained. “So, we came home to Lafayette, contacted our primary care physician, and he set me up for my first sleep study. That’s when they found out I had sleep apnea.”

Dr. Adil Keskin with IU Health said both sleep apnea and insomnia can affect anyone, like Barnett, at anytime.

However, Dr. Keskin said the disorders are very different and require different types of treatment. He said sleep apnea is
under recognized and can have significant negative effects on your health.

“Those people usually suffer from memory problems, excessive day-time sleepiness and other cardiovascular problems,” he explained.

Keskin said often times people with sleep apnea have trouble staying asleep throughout the night. He said people with sleep insomnia have other difficulties.

“Insomnia is the problem not being able to fall asleep and stay asleep,” Keskin explained.

However, Keskin said eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and being active can help people who suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia.

He also added it could be as simple as changing the atmosphere in your bedroom.

“We should try to decrease the stimulation in that place to the least,” said Keskin. “So it’s best not to have maybe a computer, TV screens or those kind of things.”

However, Keskin said the best way to solve a sleeping problem is getting tested at a sleep laboratory like the one at IU health.

“It’s non-invasive testing,” Keskin explained. “Our patients do sleep there and will be monitored with a video. And there are things that are applied to the skull so we can monitor brain waves.”

Keskin said spouses are asked to spend the night at the sleep lab with the patient, so that doctors could get the most accurate study.

The amount of time each patient has to spend at the lab depends on how severity of their sleeping disorder.

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