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KDMC TO Recognize Sleep Awareness Week with Health Screening

An occasional night of restlessness, brought on by stressful situations or poor diet, isn't unusual. Long-term sleep problems, on the other hand, have become a modern epidemic that is taking a catastrophic toll on our bodies and minds. An estimated 30 to 40 million Americans suffer from serious sleep disorders, and sleep deprivation frequently is linked to a variety of physical and mental health problems.

King’s Daughters Medical Center team members will recognize National Sleep Awareness Week, March 7-13, with a health screening, March 11, at the KDMC Sleep Medicine Center, Suite 1, 2245 Winchester Ave., Ashland.

The free screening will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 11, and will be open to the public. Screening tests will check levels of lung function; blood pressure; and blood oxygen. Education will be provided for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy and for sleep disorders in general. Light refreshments will be served. Participants can register to win a CPAP mask.

Sleep loss affects everyone, regardless of age, gender, race or profession. National Sleep Awareness Week (NSAW) is an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep. With nearly 50 percent of Americans snoring on a regular basis, and more than 40 percent not getting enough sleep, NSAW provides an opportunity to re-evaluate attitudes toward sleep and help those who are deprived of it.

Positive airway pressure (PAP) is a method of respiratory ventilation used primarily in the treatment of sleep apnea, but also is commonly used for critically ill patients hospitalized for respiratory failure.

A typical CPAP machine houses the air pump in a case lined with sound-absorbing material for quieter operation. A hose carries the pressurized air to a face mask or nasal pillow.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway becomes narrow as the muscles relax naturally during sleep. This reduces oxygen in the blood and causes sleeplessness. The CPAP machine stops this phenomenon by delivering a stream of compressed air via a hose to a nasal pillow, nose mask or full-face mask, splinting the airway so that unobstructed breathing becomes possible, reducing and/or preventing sleep difficulties.

At the Sleep Medicine Center at KDMC, technologists perform a sleep study designed to diagnose sleep disorders in a private, comfortable room, usually between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Sleep sofas also are provided for a parent who wishes to stay with their child, or for a caregiver of a special needs patient.

The sleep test is non-invasive. Through tiny electronic sensors attached to the patient's skin, valuable information is captured, such as heart rate, breathing, oxygen level and brain waves.

The Sleep Medicine Center is medically supervised by KDMC pulmonologist Scott Nelson, M.D., who interprets the test results and recommends treatment if a sleep disorder is discovered.

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