A recent article was written by Dr. Fadil in the
Are you getting a good night's rest?
Lost and interrupted sleep accumulates as a debt that can
have serious health consequences
Tuesday, January 02,
Sleep is a natural phenomena as well as a requirement for
health. Several physiologic changes take place during sleep,
but it is not fully understood why we need to sleep. The
most accepted theories are: Regulate our body temperature;
protect our immune system, and also allow our brain to
Lost and interrupted sleep accumulates as a debt, and is
only reduced by obtaining additional sleep and/or treating
underlying sleep disorders. Building up sleep debt means you
will feel very tired, fall asleep faster, become more
impaired, and possibly pose a risk to yourself and others,
by falling asleep during inappropriate times.
Are you aware that:
More than 35 million Americans have sleep disorders.
50,000 premature and preventable deaths occur yearly from
200,000 auto accidents each year are sleep related.
The health consequences of sleep disorders, sleep
deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness add
approximately $15 billion to our national health care bill.
Despite those figures, it is estimated that 95 percent of
people suffering from sleep disorders remain undiagnosed.
This amounts to significant public health and safety
concerns related to excessive sleep debt.
We have also seen an increase in students with failing
grades at school and dropout rates; accidents in the
transportation industry, such as long haul truckers and bus
drivers; mistakes in medical practice by sleep deprived
physicians and nurses, and diminished work place
productivity and performance.
The worsening of underlying medical conditions caused by
sleep deprivation are: Hypertension; coronary artery
disease; emphysema; arthritis; dementia; asthma; stroke;
depression; impotence; frequent night-time urination, and so
many others where more medications offer no adequate cure.
EXXON VALDEZ TRAGEDY
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported
that the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in 1989 (one of the
worst environmental tragedies in history) was related to
In March 2006, the NTSB invoked fatigue as a direct cause,
or contributing factor in every accident due to human error,
unless specifically ruled out. Also driving while sleepy
impairs driving performance as much as driving while
intoxicated by alcohol.
How often have you told your Doctor, "Doc, I am so
tired" or "Doc, I just have no energy." The
moment we hear that from our patients we usually run a
common list of diseases to test. We look for diseases, such
as anemia, depression, stress, systemic disease, chronic
infection, hypothyroidism, organ failure or even cancer.
After our mega work-up is complete and is negative, the
problem may turn out to be simply due to an inadequate
amount of sleep (insomnia) or poor quality sleep (as in
sleep disorder breathing, sleep apnea or restless leg
syndrome), which happens to be amazingly common.
So, are you having enough sleep? If we look back over the
past 100 years everything seems to be moving faster with the
advent of so-called "time saving devices."
Despite fax machines, e-mail, cell phones and black
berries, we still do not save time for relaxation, family
and leisure pursuits. Instead, our lives have become more
cluttered with tasks, and constant distractions. The time
previously spent to prepare and enjoy a meal with family and
friends is getting harder to find, contributing to explosive
growth in eating fast food. Unfinished business at work is
done over the cell phone while driving. Exercise and
scheduled relaxation are always put off. As a result,
obesity, stress, anxiety and depression have never been more
prevalent in our society.
This has taken a tremendous toll on the quality of our
sleep. This pace of life has made it difficult for so many
millions of people to fall and stay asleep. So many studies
have confirmed that we, as a society are significantly sleep
deprived. This puts us at risk for heart and nervous system
Adequate and quality sleep can make a big difference. You
can increase your sleep hygiene by doing the following:
Fix your wake up time.
Use the bedroom for sleep, marital relations and illness
Exercise every day at least three to four hours before bed
Go to bed when sleepy. If you wake in the middle of the
night and fail to go back to sleep in 15 to 20 minutes,
leave the bedroom and come back when sleepy.
Eliminate caffeine and nicotine a few hours before bedtime
If you take a nap it should not be after 3 p.m.
Following good sleep hygiene will guarantee you a good
quality and quantity of sleep every night, which will enable
you to enjoy a better, longer and more fruitful life. So pay
your debt or else!
This column is provided by the Richmond County Medical
Society. Questions may be sent to the column in care of the
of Atherectomy versus PTCA in selected groups of
patients with Coronary Artery Disease
- American College
of Physicians meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 1992
- The Pennsylvania
Society of Internal Medicine meeting, 1992
Intoxication Presenting with Hypotension and High
Cardiac Index Simulating Septic Shock
- Texas Thoracic
Society meeting, Austin, TX, 1997
- American Thoracic
Society meeting, San Franscisco, CA
Lung and Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
- Manuscript published
in Southern Medical Journal, 1998
- Southern Medical
Society, Chest Section, Baltimore, MD. Won 1st
Prize of Best Presentation, 1997
- American College
of Chest Physicians meeting in New Orleans, LA.
Won 1st Prize of Best Presentation, 1997
and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Abstract in preparation
Type B Aortic Dissection
and Increase Risk for Adult Respiratory Distress
Syndrome, Pathophysiologic Mechanics and review
- Abstract in preparation