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It’s time to get healthy sleep for your entire body

April 29th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

April 9, 2014

Your doctor could soon be prescribing crucial shuteye as treatment for everything from obesity to ADHD to mental health as experts say carving out time for sleep is just as important as diet and exercise

After being diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in 2011, Lynn Mitchell, 68, was averaging about an hour of solid sleep a night. Stressed about her treatments, she was paying for it in hours of lost sleep.

The brain cancer was already affecting her mobility—Mitchell was often dizzy and would lose her balance—but the lack of sleep was exacerbating things. Even walking became increasingly difficult. Exhausted in the mornings, she was practically incoherent. When her doctors recommend she see a sleep therapist, Mitchell was relieved at how benign it sounded in comparison to the chemotherapy she had undergone and the gene therapy trial she was undergoing, which had side effects like nausea and fatigue.

For about nine weeks, Mitchell worked with the sleep therapist to adjust her sleep habits. She got under the covers only when she was extremely tired. She quit watching TV in bed. She stopped drinking caffeinated coffee in the evening. She also learned breathing exercises to relax and help her drift off. It was all quite simple and common sense, and, most importantly, noninvasive and didn’t require popping any pills.

“It’s common knowledge that sleep is needed for day to day function,” says Dr. David Rapoport, director of the Sleep Medicine Program at NYU School of Medicine. “What isn’t common knowledge is that it really matters—it’s not just cosmetic.” Rapoport has long seen people seek sleep therapy because they’re chronically tired or suffering from insomnia, but an increasing number of patients are being referred to his center for common diseases, disorders, and mental health.

Researchers have known for some time that sleep is critical for weight maintenance and hormone balance. And too little sleep is linked to everything from diabetes to heart disease to depression. Recently, the research on sleep has been overwhelming, with mounting evidence that it plays a role in nearly every aspect of health. Beyond chronic illnesses, a child’s behavioral problems at school could be rooted in mild sleep apnea. And studies have shown children with ADHD are more likely to get insufficient sleep. A recent study published in the journal SLEEP found a link between older men with poor sleep quality and cognitive decline. Another study out this week shows sleep is essential in early childhood for development, learning, and the formation and retention of memories. Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen, a pioneer of sleep research at the University of Chicago, once said, “If sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function, then it is the biggest mistake the evolutionary process ever made.”

But to many of us, sleep is easily sacrificed, especially since lack of it isn’t seen as life threatening. Over time, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences, but we mostly sacrifice a night of sleep here and there, and always say that we’ll “catch up.” Luckily, it is possible to make up for sleep debt (though it can take a very long time), but most Americans are still chronically sleep deprived.

While diet and exercise have been a part of public health messaging for decades, doctors and health advocates are now beginning to argue that getting quality sleep may be just as important for overall health. “Sleep is probably easier to change than diet or exercise,” says Dr. Michael Grandner, a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. “It may also give you more of an immediate reward if it helps you get through your day.” Sleep experts claim that it is one of the top three, and sometimes the most, important lifestyle adjustments one can make, in addition to diet and exercise. And while there’s more evidence linking diet and exercise as influential health factors, sleep is probably more important in terms of brain and hormonal function, Grandner says. “Among a small group of [sleep researchers], it’s always been said that [eating, exercise, and sleep] are the three pillars of health,” says Dr. Rapoport.

In our increasingly professional and digital lives, where there are now more things than ever competing for the hours in our day, carving out time for sleep is not only increasingly difficult, but also more necessary. Using technology before bed stimulates us and interferes with our sleep, yet 95% of Americans use some type of electronics like a computer, TV, or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before we go to bed, according to a 2011 National Sleep Foundation survey. “Many doctors, lawyers, and executives stay up late and get up early and burn the candle at both ends,” says Dr. Richard Lang, chair of Preventative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. “Making sure they pay attention to sleep in the same way they pay attention to diet and exercise is crucial.”

To some, sleep has become a powerful antidote to mental health. Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, advocates that sleep is the secret to success, happiness, and peak performance. After passing out a few years ago from exhaustion and cracking a cheekbone against her desk, Huffington has become something of a sleep evangelist. In a 2010 TEDWomen conference, Huffington said, “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.” Research linking high-quality sleep with better mental health is growing; a 2013 study found that treating depressed patients for insomnia can double their likelihood of overcoming the disorder.

While 70% of physicians agree that inadequate sleep is a major health problem, only 43% counsel their patients on the benefits of adequate sleep. But there’s growing pressure on primary care physicians to address, and even prescribe, sleep during routine check-ups. In a recent study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the researchers concluded that health professionals should prescribe sleep to prevent and treat metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. And overlooking sleep as a major health issue can also have deadly consequences. It was recently reported that the operator of the Metro-North train that derailed in New York last year, killing four people and injuring more than 70, had an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea.

Sleep therapies can range from simply learning new lifestyle behaviors to promote sleep, to figuring out how to position oneself in bed. More drastic measures involve surgery to open up an airway passage for people suffering from disorders like sleep apnea. Sleeping pills can be prescribed too, to get much needed rest, but sleep therapists tend to favor other approaches because of possible dependencies developing.

A large part of reaping the benefits of sleep is knowing when you’re not getting the right amount. According to a 2013 Gallup survey, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended seven to eight hours a night. While the typical person still logs about 6.8 hours of sleep per night, that’s a drop from the 7.9 Americans were getting in the 1940s.

When it comes to adequate sleep, it’s much more personalized than previously thought. Some people feel great on five hours of rest, while others need ten. The best way to determine if you’re getting the right amount, doctors say, is to find out how many hours of sleep you need to be able to wake up without an alarm and feel rested, refreshed, and energetic throughout the day.

Since reforming her sleep habits, Mitchell has been clocking up to seven hours of shuteye a night for the past two months. “I’m alert in the morning, my balance is better, and I feel peppier,” says Mitchell. Getting enough sleep has helped her better deal with her cancers, and its symptoms. The best news is that she recently found out that her brain tumor is shrinking, and there are fewer cancerous spots on her lungs.

TED talks sleep by Jeff Iliff

February 3rd, 2015 Raquel Rothe

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Is it ADHD, or does your child have Sleep Apnea?

May 21st, 2014 Raquel Rothe

A thoughtful question posed by a doctor at The Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute. Many of the symptoms are similar and the two illnesses are often confused.

“Not much is understood by parents about snoring or sleep apnea, especially in their children. The Stanford School of Medicine states that about 10% of children 10 years of age and younger snore and, of those children who snore, about 20% will haveobstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring can be a sign that your child has sleep apnea as it indicates, at the very least, that their airway is partially obstructed during sleep. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can interrupt or stop your child’s breathing, prevent a normal night’s sleep, impair growth, and lead to a lower quality of life. It also can cause serious fatigue during the day which is why it is so often confused with ADHD.
Sleep-disordered breathing such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have long been associated with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). You should know that not every child diagnosed with sleep apnea has ADHD, just as not every child diagnosed with ADHD has sleep apnea. However, many studies have been performed indicating a significant correlation between OSA and behavioral issues. Children with obstructive sleep apnea do not get restful sleep, and as a result may complain of morning headaches, be irritable and have difficulty concentrating.
Children with sleep apnea may complain of being tired during the day and, at the same time, exhibit hyperactive behavior or act impulsively. Herein lays the confusion of separating sleep apnea from ADHD because many of the classic symptoms of ADHD are often exhibited in children with OSA. So, as a parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD, what do you do?”

5-7-14 adhd“It will be in your child’s best interest if you dig a little deeper into the root of what may be causing these behaviors. Watch your child sleep at night – and even record it if you can. Check for restlessness, mouth breathing, snoring, or breathing pauses. If they occur, have your child evaluated for possible sleep apnea to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Figuring out if your child has sleep apnea or ADHD may seem quite complex but it doesn’t have to be. Consult with a sleep apnea doctor if you can answer ‘yes’ to any or some of the following questions:
- Does your child snore?
- Does your child stop breathing for a few seconds at night?
- Does your child frequently mouth breathe?
- Does your child sleep through the night or is it a restless sleep?
- Is there frequent bedwetting?
- Does your child seem irritable during the day? Is there difficulty focusing? Are there periods of hyperactivity?”

7-14-1`2 teacher and sleeper“The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common causes of sleep apnea in children. An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist can determine if your child’s tonsils and adenoids are enlarged and possibly blocking the airway at night. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can successfully treat sleep apnea by removing the obstruction in the airway resulting in a complete elimination of symptoms in 80-90% of children.”

Dr. Lana B. Patitucci, D.O. is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist at The Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute. She is trained in all aspects of general and pediatric otolaryngology including endoscopic sinus, otologic, head and neck, and facial plastic surgery.

Review of OSA Therapy Options for Pediatric Patients

May 2nd, 2014 Raquel Rothe

April 11, 2014

Sleep apnea is difficult for anyone to live with, but it is especially challenge for a young child. As a parent, it can also be quite frightening and stressful. If you have noticed that your child has sleep apnea, Take them to a physician and start treatment as soon as possible. Following are some treatment options for children with sleep apnea.

Surgery is often an option for children with severe sleep apnea.  These surgeries are to remove the tonsils or the adenoids.The surgery typically has a success rate of about 80 50 percent. In some cases, the tonsils or adenoids can actually grow back, increasing the chances of sleep apnea re-developing. Regular followup is a must for patients with sleep apnea.

Another option to consider is getting your child a CPAP to use at night. CPAP stands for a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.  Your child would need to wear a mask which is attached to a blower that will continuously blow air into your child’s nose throughout the night while he or she is sleeping. These devices are shown to maintain normal breathing patterns and keep your child safe.

Dentistry does not have a treatment modality that includes treatment for pediatric OSA with classic sleep appliances.  This is due to the quick arch and dentition changes.  Dental treatment comes in to form of orthodontic treatment that includes maxillary expansion and advancement of the mandible.  These 2 modalities require much further elaboration.  This is not the venue.

Snoring and CPAP Intolerance: Dr. Keropian is the inventor and patent holder of the Full Breath Solution sleep appliance. He has attained 5 FDA Certification and 5 Patents. Presently he has two patents pending. He the CEO of Full Breath Corporation.

He can be reached at 818-702-6002 or via email at fullbreathsolution@hotmail.com or tmjrelief@msn.com. You can also check out his website: cpapalternative.com

Sleep breathing and sleep behavioral issues in kids can lead to other problems-CBS News

September 13th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Sleep breathing and sleep behavioral issues in kids can lead to other problems

Michelle Castillo
Kids and family ,

(CBS News) New studies are showing that sleep breathing problems like snoring or sleep behavioral problems like sleepwalking may cause other problematic issues in children.

“The take home from this is we need to be looking at these breathing and behavioral sleep problems at very young ages in these children,” Karen Bonuck, a professor in the department of Family and Social Medicine at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, told HealthPop.

The National Sleep Foundation said that most children snore on occasion, but about 10 percent snore every night. Snoring is usually indicative of a sleep breathing problem. However, researchers have begun to notice the effect of sleep behavior problems – which include bedtime fears, difficulty falling asleep or sleepwalking – as well. Bonuck estimates between 10 to 30 percent of children may be affected.

Bonuck lead a new study, published in Pediatrics on Sept. 3, which showed that children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) or behavioral sleep problems (BSP) through the age of 5 were more likely to be in special education classes by the time they reached 8 years old.

The study looked at 11,049 children with SDBs and 11,467 children with BSPs born between 1990 and 1991 and recorded data when they were 6, 18, 30, 42 and 57 months of age.

Specifically, after adjusting for outside factors including IQ and other influencing forces, children with a SDB or BSP were 30 percent more likely to have a special education need. Those with behavioral sleep problems were an additional 7 percent more likely to have a special education need each year that a disorder was observed.

“What we found was that absolutely both behavioral and respiratory problems did increase the likelihood of special education,” she stated.

A previous study published in the Aug. 13 issue of Pediatrics also linked sleep breathing problems with other issues. The study showed that children who snored twice a week at 2 and 3 had more behavioral problems than children who snored at 2 or 3, but not during both ages. About 35 percent of kids who snored during the ages of 2 and 3 were “at risk” of behavioral problems or worse conditions, compared to only 10 percent of kids who didn’t snore at those ages or 12 percent of kids who snored at 2 or 3. Behavioral issues included hyperactivity, depression and inattention.

In the September 2012 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warned that sleep disturbances, including sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), are common in children and can lead to significant health problems. They recommended that all children or adolescents who snore regularly be screened for OSAS, saying that treatments like adenotonsillectomies can significantly improve these conditions. Overweight or obese children are especially prone to sleep problems, and the AAP suggested that pediatricians advocate for a weight loss program in addition to any other sleep breathing treatments.

“There’s interest, but I’m not sure that people are paying attention,” Bonuck admitted. “I’m hoping that my study, the one earlier and the AAP guidelines really permeate….These are things people should really look for.”

Words to expand your sleep vocabulary-#10

July 1st, 2011 Raquel Rothe


A hypopnea refers to shallow breathing, or a transient reduction of airflow that occurs while asleep and lasts for at least 10 seconds. It is less severe than apnea, which refers to a more complete loss of airflow. Hypopnea may occur due to a partial obstruction of the upper airway.

Words to expand your sleep vocabulary-#8

June 22nd, 2011 Raquel Rothe


Macroglossia refers to an abnormally large tongue that may obstruct the airway and lead to sleep apnea. In children, macroglossia may be associated with Down’s syndrome, glycogen storage disease, or congenital hypothyroidism.

5 Ways to Live With Your CPAP Machine Adjusting to CPAP can help people with sleep apnea sleep better. Here’s how to do it.

May 2nd, 2011 Raquel Rothe

Focus on the health benefits of your CPAP.   Adjusting to CPAP can make your sleep — and life – better, especially if you have severe sleep apnea. Read on to get sleep specialists’ top five tips on how you can make peace with the device.


Sleep Apnea Awareness Week October 1 – October 7, 2010

October 4th, 2010 Raquel Rothe

ASA and its affiliates will be increasing awareness about the dangers of untreated sleep apnea. The American Sleep Association (ASA) is a national organization focused on improving public awareness about sleep disorders and sleep health, promoting sleep medicine research, and providing a portal for communication between patients, physicians/healthcare professionals, corporations, and scientists. The ASA is a member-driven public service project that depends on volunteer efforts.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

September 12th, 2010 Raquel Rothe

So you never have energy and you are tired most days…..you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA is a serious, potentially life-threatening disorder that occurs during sleep, and that may lead to life-threatening conditions. The upper airway repeatedly collapses, causing cessation of breathing (apnea-air flow is blocked) or inadequate breathing (hypopnea) and sleep fragmentation. The sleep fragmentation results in chronic daytime sleepiness.


Are you sleepy during the day?
Do you have disruptive snoring at night?
Do you have pauses in breathing during the night?
Do you have pauses in breathing during the night?
Do you wake yourself up choking or gasping?
Large neck (less than 17″-men, less than 16″-women)
Restless sleep
Diagnosis: If you have these signs and symptoms, they could be indicative of sleep apnea. Report these signs and symptoms to your healthcare professional as you may need to undergo a diagnostic sleep study. This test is painless and provides information about how a patient breathes during sleep. The data that is collected will enable the physician to determine the type and severity of sleep apnea, along with your treatment options.

Potential Consequences if OSA is left untreated: Now you know you have sleep apnea but not sure you want it treated? “I think I will be fine without wearing that mask. I’ve slept this way most of my life”.
Decreased quality of life
OSA patients, prior to diagnosis and treatment, consume 2 1/2 times more health care resources that patients without OSA
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Cardiac arrhythmias (irregularities in heart rate/rhythm)
Heart Attack
Increased risk of motor vehicle and work-related accidents due to sleepiness
Interventions could include Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy, surgery, body position modification, oral appliances, lifestyle changes such as weight loss (if needed), good sleep hygiene, and avoidance of alcohol, sedatives and hypnotics. Your health depends on your intervention to improve your quality of life. At Sleep EZ, we provide a home-like environment that is relaxing so if you need to undergo diagnostic testing for sleep apnea your experience is more comfortable. Remember, it’s your insurance, it’s your choice where to be tested. Sleep EZ “Diagnostic excellence in a serene setting”