Tag: sleep hygiene

Sleep Apnea Test? There’s an App for That

Obstructive sleep apnea is certainly something that has the potential to be dangerous. This particular sleep disorder is known to obstruct (get it?) the airways in a person while they’re sleeping. This means that the person who is suffering from this disorder will actually stop breathing several times during the night. It can be scary to think about and not everyone is aware they have it. Maybe you sleep alone and there is no one to catch the sounds you’re making. Maybe you sleep with a heavy sleeper who wouldn’t notice if an earthquake happened. Whatever the reason, it’s important to take that step forward into investigating when you don’t get a good night’s sleep more than once a week.

The great news is that there’s an app for that (frankly, there are also some pretty excellent devices, as you probably will note in this SnoreRX review). Really, there is an app that was developed that will measure the sounds you make while you sleep to see if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea:

With new technologies been invented for early diagnosis and treatment of various disorders, the Ben-Gurion University, Israel has come up with an innovative smartphone-based system for assessing a patients’ obstructive sleep apnea and sleep–wake activity, a study of how sleepy one feels. The technique of assessing the activity is cheap and easy to use and can possibly serve as an alternative over the traditional polysomnography in few studies.

The patient is not required to be connected to any sort of sensors to assess the activity. Instead, it performs on a program that can be downloaded on the smartphone to examine sleep and speech sounds. The microphone of the smartphone is used by the software to hear the sounds a sleeping person generates. The recorded sounds are processed and classified to determine specific events such as coughing, wheezing, or snoring.

To evaluate the accuracy of the software, the research team performed an analysis which included 350 volunteers. It was found that the smartphone-based system was able to accurately verify the sleeping events and assess the sleep–wake activity and obstructive sleep apnea in the subjects.

Professor Tarasiuk and Dr. Zigel said, “We have built a contact-free speech signal analysis that can aid in early diagnosis of sleep disorders and obstructive sleep apnea.”

Via: http://greaterpatchoguedaily.com/smartphone-app-analyzes-obstructive-sleep-apnea/12098

It’s great to see new technology being developed to help people. Not everyone has the time or money to invest in visiting a sleep clinic or even bringing up this potential issue with a doctor. Being able to test it out in your own home gives you that freedom to be more comfortable in your surroundings. By visiting your healthcare professional armed with information, you can circumvent difficult tests or bypass the waiting game while your doctor tries to determine what tests are needed and when you could go. It doesn’t replace the need for a healthcare visit; it enhances it. This is especially useful for those who live alone or for those who think it’s just a snoring issue. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea so instead of passing the earplugs over, fire up the app and see what comes out of it.

Back To School Sleep: What You Need to Know

studentIt’s almost that time of year again. Soon campuses across the country will be abuzz with new students and old students alike. For many, this is their first time on their own without parents to tell them what to do and when to do it. Many students relish the ability to throw a schedule out the window and taste that freedom that comes with being in charge of all your choices. While there is still some structure to their lives like when classes are held or when the meal hall is open, there are a lot of things that were once monitored that no longer seem important. Doing laundry, showering, and sleeping are three major tasks that fall to the wayside.

This can be a major problem.  Not just because there will be thousands of smelly kids trying to figure out how to write that final paper just like the professor wants but because a lack of proper sleep can be devastating to the mind and body:

This month, millions of teenagers across the country will make the transition from high school to college. And between living in a new environment and the new-found freedom to attend parties and other late-night activities, getting enough sleep can be a challenge, and even a health risk, experts say.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not getting enough sleep can even contribute to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression.

‘Regular sleep is essential for your physical and mental health,’ wrote Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of the West Virginia University Student Health Service, in an email to the Gazette-Mail. ‘The current recommendation is seven to nine hours of sleep a night, which is not achieved by a large percentage of the population.’

According to a 2009 study, 43.7 percent of people aged 18 to 25 surveyed reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once during the previous month. About 5 percent of people the same age reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving.

Dr. Imran Khawaja, a professor of internal medicine at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, said a lack of sleep can cause people to have a lack of attention, poor motivation and memory that can negatively affect a student’s grades.

To get enough sleep, Khawaja recommends that students make a fixed sleep schedule for themselves and stick to it. They should set a fixed time to go to sleep and to wake up in the morning, he said.

Burrell agreed.

‘Good sleep hygiene can start with a simple nighttime routine to wind down,’ she wrote.

People should keep their cell phones, laptops and other electronics away from their bed when they’re trying to sleep. Looking at bright screens can keep people awake much the same way that bright light keeps a person awake in the day time, Khawaja said.

Via: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-health/20160808/sleep-essential-for-college-students-physical-mental-health#sthash.LPpEiWjF.dpuf

In order to keep performing at peak mental and physical health sleep cannot be ignored. The problem comes when you have millions of teenagers that have to learn how to manage their own schedules for the first time in their lives. It’s not an easy process and some schools will have workshops and clinics on time management. It’s very important that new students take advantage of this. When school is done and they’re out in the working world their poor sleep habits may be harder to change. If they can nip it in the bud now, they should be doing everything they can to manage this very real, almost grown up, problem.