Postmenopausal women are at an especially high risk of obstructive sleep apnea as a cause of insomnia. Studies have indicated that more than 40% patients with insomnia have obstructive sleep apnea. To treat insomnia, then, we need to understand what is causing the difficulty in sleeping, and working to resolve that condition.
Some common causes of insomnia include:
- Sinus or breathing problems, like allergies or asthma
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as reflux
- Chronic pain conditions
- Certain medications
- Certain psychological conditions
Some people even experience insomnia as a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Although they believe they are awake throughout the early part of the night, they are actually falling asleep and then waking back up from the Apnea episodes. Because they are asleep so briefly, their brain doesn’t register the change in state.
The first step for treating insomnia is to find out what’s causing it. To do that, the doctors at Prana Healthcare will talk to you about your sleep habits and hygiene, your daily routine, any medications you take or co-occurring health conditions that you are managing. We may recommend an overnight sleep study in our sleep laboratory, depending on what we find during your initial consultation.
Difficulty With CPAP
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, you have probably heard how important it is to treat your sleep disorder. Not only do you want to get a better night’s rest, you also need to reduce the risk of developing one of the many health conditions that are caused or worsened by untreated OSA, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.
Helping patients get used to their CPAP has become something of a sub-specialty of Dr. Kakkar’s. He has written articles, contributed to book chapters, and is even developing software all focused on helping patients get used to their CPAP.
Remember that with time, practice and appropriate follow-up, CPAPs work for almost every patient. If you’re struggling to make yours work, please contact us right away. We want to help you get a better night’s sleep, and that means more than just diagnosing your condition; we want to help you treat it, so that you can get back to feeling like yourself. Don’t suffer in silence; tell us what’s going on so that we can help!
Dr. Kakkar follows all patients with CPAP personally and ensures that they are able to use it. If CPAP fails, alternative treatments to CPAP are available and we will be more than happy to discuss what is likely to be most successful for you.
Popular culture has developed an image of people with narcolepsy as those who sleep all the time. In fact, people with narcolepsy generally do not sleep more than typical people. What happens instead is that their brains are unable to control the boundaries between wake and sleep states.
According to the Narcolepsy Network, one in every two thousand people struggles with narcolepsy. There are several common symptoms of narcolepsy, including:
• Cataplexy, where a person collapses from a strong emotion, despite remaining conscious
• Sleep Paralysis
Essentially, when falling into sleep, people with narcolepsy do not pass through the stage of light sleep, where their brains do not dream. They pass immediately into REM sleep, the dreaming state, and experience fragments of REM sleep throughout their waking hours.
Narcolepsy isn’t dangerous on its own; the danger lies in what can happen if a person experiences fragments of REM sleep while driving or operating heavy machinery, for example. The symptoms themselves can also be very disturbing, especially if someone frequently experiences hallucinations and sleep paralysis upon waking or falling asleep.