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Sun, Aug. 25

Sleep disorders can indicate or cause problems

KINGMAN – Kingman Academy of Learning will have a full-fledged higKINGMAN – Snoring can be more than a disturbance to one's bed partner.

Loud, continuous snoring may be an indication of a serious or possibly life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea.

It often is accompanied by daytime drowsiness or waking up feeling less than refreshed.

Sleep apnea is characterized by pausing in breathing during sleep that may lead the person to awaken gasping for breath.

In addition to daytime drowsiness, other symptoms can be depression, irritability, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while driving or in other situations.

Sleep apnea also contributes to increased risks for high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

Frequent snoring has been associated with hypertension.

Obesity can contribute to sleep apnea.

"The impact of our sleep habits goes beyond our health," said Bob Walton, branch manager of Breathing Disorders Services in Kingman.

"There are many daytime consequences of a bad night's sleep.

Lack of sleep impairs work performance, increases the risk for injuries and affects our mood and behavior."

Breathing Disorders Services works with the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) to help raise awareness on the importance of sleep and treatment of sleep disorders.

Symptoms that may signal inadequate sleep include: dozing while engaged in an activity such as reading, watching TV, attending meetings or sitting in traffic; slowed thinking and reacting; difficulty listening to what is said or understanding directions; difficulty remembering or retaining information; frequent mistakes; poor judgment in complex situations; difficulty in finding a new approach to a problem when the old approach is not working; impatience or being quick to anger; and frequent blinking, difficulty focusing the eyes or heavy eyelids.

Self-management of one's sleep habits is an important first step to avoiding these problems and should include keeping a sleep diary in which sleep habits and experiences are recorded; reading the NSF publication "Talk to Your Doctor About Sleep," and making an appointment with a doctor and being ready to identify specific sleep problems .

For more information, call Breathing Disorders Services at 692-9525 or visit the Web site at www.breathingdisorders.com.

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