Tag Archive for: Dumfries Virginia

The Connection Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

Understanding the Connection Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we understand the intricate relationship between sleep disorders and overall health. One such condition that often goes undiagnosed but can have significant implications on weight management is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This interruption in breathing is typically caused by the relaxation of throat muscles, leading to the obstruction of the airway. OSA not only disrupts sleep patterns but also impacts various aspects of physical and mental well-being.

The Link Between OSA and Weight Gain

Research has shown a bidirectional relationship between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and weight gain. Individuals with excess weight are at a higher risk of developing OSA due to factors such as increased neck circumference and fat deposits around the upper airway. Conversely, OSA can contribute to weight gain or hinder weight loss efforts through several mechanisms:

  1. Metabolic Changes: Sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep patterns associated with OSA can affect hormones involved in appetite regulation, such as leptin and ghrelin. This imbalance may lead to increased cravings for high-calorie foods and impaired metabolism of carbohydrates, contributing to weight gain.
  2. Energy Expenditure: The fragmented sleep characteristic of OSA can result in daytime fatigue and decreased physical activity levels. Reduced energy expenditure coupled with increased calorie intake can create an imbalance that promotes weight gain over time.
  3. Insulin Resistance: OSA has been linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes and weight gain. Insulin resistance can impair the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and promote fat storage, further exacerbating weight-related issues.

Treating Sleep Apnea to Aid in Weight Loss

Addressing Obstructive Sleep Apnea is crucial not only for improving sleep quality and overall health but also for supporting weight management goals. At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options to help individuals effectively manage OSA and its associated complications.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and weight gain are closely intertwined, with each condition influencing the other in a complex interplay. By recognizing the connection between OSA and weight management, individuals can take proactive steps to address both issues simultaneously. At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve quality sleep, optimal health, and successful weight management through comprehensive care and support.

If you suspect you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our experienced team. Together, we can develop a tailored treatment plan to improve your sleep quality, enhance your overall well-being, and support your weight loss journey.

Contact Comprehensive Sleep Care Center today to take the first step towards better sleep and a healthier lifestyle.

 

The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Silent Nightmares: The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

In a world that never sleeps, it’s ironic that many individuals are struggling with a condition that disrupts their peaceful slumber – sleep apnea. This silent and often undiagnosed disorder poses serious risks to both physical and mental health, highlighting the importance of seeking comprehensive care. At the Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we understand the gravity of untreated sleep apnea and aim to shed light on the potential dangers associated with this condition.

The Silent Intruder:

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, called apneas, can last for seconds to minutes and may occur numerous times throughout the night.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), it was estimated that up to 80% of moderate to severe sleep apnea cases remained undiagnosed. This high percentage highlights the under-diagnosis and undertreatment of sleep apnea, which can have serious health consequences such as:

  1. Cardiovascular Complications:

    One of the most alarming dangers of untreated sleep apnea is its impact on cardiovascular health. The repeated interruptions in breathing lead to fluctuations in blood oxygen levels and increased stress on the cardiovascular system. Over time, this can contribute to hypertension, irregular heartbeats, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

  2. Daytime Fatigue and Impaired Cognitive Function:

    The constant disruptions in sleep prevent affected individuals from reaching deep, restorative sleep stages. Consequently, untreated sleep apnea often results in persistent daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems. This not only affects personal and professional performance but also increases the risk of accidents, both at home and in the workplace.

  3. Metabolic Consequences:

    Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to metabolic disturbances, including insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The hormonal imbalances triggered by sleep apnea can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, contributing to the development of diabetes over time.

  4. Compromised Mental Health:

    Sleep apnea is not only a physical health concern but also has significant implications for mental well-being. Chronic sleep deprivation and the associated cognitive impairments can contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. The toll on mental health can create a vicious cycle, as these conditions may further exacerbate sleep disturbances.

  5. Reduced Quality of Life:

    Left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly diminish an individual’s overall quality of life. The persistent exhaustion, cognitive difficulties, and health complications can strain relationships, limit professional success, and undermine one’s ability to enjoy daily activities.

Comprehensive Care at the Sleep Care Center:

At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we our team of sleep medicine experts collaborates to provide personalized treatment plans that may include lifestyle modifications, sleep hygiene, positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, or oral appliance therapy. Regular monitoring and follow-ups are integral to ensure the effectiveness of the chosen treatment and make adjustments as needed.

Conclusion:

Untreated sleep apnea is a silent and insidious threat that can have far-reaching consequences on both physical and mental health. By raising awareness about the dangers associated with sleep apnea, we hope to encourage individuals to seek timely and comprehensive care. At the Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, our commitment is to help you reclaim restful nights and achieve optimal health, ensuring that the dangers of untreated sleep apnea are addressed with expertise and compassion. Remember, a good night’s sleep is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity for a healthier, happier life.

A Thanksgiving Tale of Nap-Worthy Feasts

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts and nap connoisseurs!

As we gear up for the grand spectacle that is Thanksgiving dinner, let’s take a moment to appreciate the unsung hero of the holiday – sleep. Yes, you heard it right. While the turkey takes center stage on the dinner table, it’s the impending food coma that truly steals the show.

Thanksgiving is like the Olympics of overeating.

We meticulously plan our attack on the mountain of mashed potatoes, navigate the gravy river, and scale the peaks of pumpkin pie. But little do we realize, we’re signing up for the most epic nap of the year. Forget about tryptophan conspiracies; it’s the sheer magnitude of Thanksgiving feasts that sends us into a food-induced slumber.

The journey begins innocently enough.

You sit down at the table, and Aunt Mildred starts serving the turkey. The aroma wafts through the air like a siren’s call, luring you into a false sense of security. “I got this,” you say to yourself, loading your plate with confidence. Little do you know, you’re about to embark on a culinary rollercoaster that ends in a soft, cushiony nap.

As the gravy boat sails through the table, you realize you’ve made a grave mistake. The mashed potatoes are the consistency of clouds, and you’re not sure if you’re eating them or being gently cradled by them. The stuffing is like a savory brick wall, and the cranberry sauce is the zing that sends your taste buds into overdrive. You’re in deep, my friend, and there’s no turning back.

The turkey, the undisputed heavyweight champion of Thanksgiving, takes center stage. As you carve into the golden bird, you can almost hear it whispering, “Resistance is futile.” Succulent bites of turkey, combined with all the fixings, create a symphony of flavors that serenades you into a food-induced stupor.

But let’s not forget the side dishes – the unsung heroes of the Thanksgiving nap saga. The sweet potatoes with marshmallows are like a cozy blanket for your taste buds, and the green bean casserole is a crunchy lullaby. By the time you reach the pie, you’re ready to surrender to the inevitable food coma.

As you recline in your chair, unbuckling the metaphorical seatbelt that held back the tide of Thanksgiving goodness, you realize that sleep is not the enemy. It’s the dessert at the end of a meal fit for a king (or a very enthusiastic foodie). So, embrace the nap, my friends. Let the turkey-induced torpor wash over you like a warm, gravy-infused wave.

And as you wake up from your Thanksgiving siesta, remember: you didn’t just eat a meal; you conquered a feast. Happy Thanksgiving, and may your naps be as legendary as your leftovers!

Improve Sleep with Background Noises

Sleep-Friendly Background Noises

In the fast-paced world we live in, finding the perfect environment for a restful night’s sleep can be challenging. External noises, be it traffic, neighbors, or other disturbances, often infiltrate our homes, disrupting the tranquility we need for quality rest. This is where background noise comes to the rescue. But not all background noises are created equal. In this post, we will delve into the realm of sleep-friendly sounds, exploring white noise, grey noise, and pink noise, and how they can contribute to a more peaceful sleep experience.

1.White Noise: A Blanket of Sound

White noise is perhaps the most well-known and widely used sleep aid. It is a constant sound that covers a broad frequency range, effectively drowning out other disruptive noises. The term “white” refers to the way white noise encompasses all audible frequencies, much like white light comprises all visible colors.

Common examples include the hum of a fan, static on a television, or the sound of rain. The consistent nature of white noise helps create a masking effect, making it easier for individuals to ignore other environmental sounds and fall into a deeper sleep.

2. Grey Noise: A Balanced Blend

Grey noise takes the concept of white noise a step further by adjusting the intensity of different frequencies. While white noise has equal intensity across all frequencies, grey noise has a more balanced distribution. This can result in a smoother sound that some find less harsh or abrupt. Grey noise still maintains the ability to mask other disturbances, making it a great alternative for those seeking a more nuanced background noise for sleep. Some people find grey noise to be more soothing and less fatiguing than white noise over extended periods.

Here are some examples of grey noise:

  1. Ocean Waves
  2. Fire Crackling
  3. Distant Thunder

These examples showcase the diverse sources of grey noise found in nature, each offering a balanced and soothing auditory backdrop. Incorporating such sounds into your sleep environment or relaxation routine may contribute to a more peaceful and restful experience.

3. Pink Noise: A Gentle Lullaby

Pink noise is characterized by its lower frequency emphasis, with higher intensity in the lower frequency range. This makes it sound deeper and more soothing, often likened to the rustling of leaves, a gentle waterfall, or steady rainfall. Pink noise is believed to have a calming effect on the brain, promoting relaxation and, ultimately, a more restful sleep. Research suggests that pink noise may improve sleep quality and enhance memory consolidation during sleep.

Pink Noise Generators:

There are electronic devices and apps specifically designed to produce pink noise.

Incorporating pink noise into your sleep routine or relaxation practices may contribute to a more tranquil and calming experience.

Choosing the Right Noise for You:

As we navigate the challenges of modern life, prioritizing quality sleep becomes increasingly important. The use of background noise, whether it’s the consistent hum of white noise, the balanced blend of grey noise, or the gentle lullaby of pink noise, can significantly contribute to creating a conducive sleep environment. Consider incorporating these sleep-friendly sounds into your nightly routine and experience the soothing symphony that leads to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

If you find that you are still having difficulty getting a good night’s sleep. Comprehensive Sleep Care Center providers are here to help you Say Hello to Sleep Again.

 

Sleep Divorce: The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea for a Harmonious Bedroom

Sleep Divorce: The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea for a Harmonious Bedroom

Sleep is an essential part of our lives, and for many couples, sharing a bed can be a beautiful way to connect and bond. However, what happens when snoring becomes a disruptive force, leading to a phenomenon known as a “sleep divorce”? In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of a sleep divorce, its impact on relationships, and why it’s crucial to get tested and treated for sleep apnea to get back in the bedroom and rekindle the romance.

The Sleep Divorce: An Unwanted Separation

A sleep divorce is not a legal separation but rather a scenario where one partner, often due to snoring, is forced to leave the bedroom and sleep in another room. While it may seem like a harmless solution to get a good night’s sleep, it can have profound effects on the relationship. Sleeping separately can lead to feelings of isolation, disconnection, and even intimacy issues, which, if left unaddressed, can harm the partnership.

The Role of Sleep Apnea

One of the most common reasons for disruptive snoring and the need for a sleep divorce is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This condition not only affects the quality of sleep but also puts the affected individual at risk for various health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

When one partner has sleep apnea, the other may suffer from sleep deprivation due to the loud snoring and frequent awakenings. This sleep deprivation can lead to frustration and ultimately drive a wedge between partners. However, what many couples don’t realize is that sleep apnea is a treatable condition.

The Importance of Testing and Treatment

If you or your partner is experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, such as loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness, it’s crucial to seek professional help. A sleep study, conducted either in a sleep clinic or at home, can diagnose sleep apnea and determine its severity.

Once diagnosed, effective treatment options are available, including:

  1. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy: This involves wearing a mask that delivers a continuous flow of air to keep the airways open during sleep.
  2. Oral Appliance Therapy: Custom-made oral devices can help reposition the jaw and tongue to prevent airway blockage.
  3. Lifestyle Modifications: Weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and changing sleep positions can sometimes alleviate mild sleep apnea.
  4. Surgical Interventions: In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove excess tissue or correct structural issues causing airway obstruction.

Getting Back in the Bedroom

By seeking treatment for sleep apnea, you can improve not only your health but also your relationship. When snoring and sleep apnea are under control, partners can return to sharing a bed, fostering a more intimate and connected relationship. A restful night’s sleep benefits both individuals, leading to better physical and emotional well-being.

A sleep divorce caused by snoring and untreated sleep apnea can strain even the strongest relationships. It’s essential to recognize the signs of sleep apnea, seek professional help, and commit to treatment. By doing so, you can eliminate the need for a sleep divorce, rekindle the romance in your relationship, and enjoy the benefits of sharing a bed once again. Remember, a good night’s sleep can lead to happier mornings and a healthier, happier partnership.

If you have sleep related issues contact our sleep medicine providers at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center and Say Hello to Sleep Again…

Night Terrors in Children

Night Terrors in Children

Night terrors are a common sleep disorder that can affect children, causing them to experience intense fear and confusion during their sleep. As a parent or caregiver, it can be distressing to witness your child going through night terrors.

What are Night Terrors?

Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are episodes of intense fear or terror that occur during sleep. They usually occur within few hours after bedtime. Unlike nightmares, after a night terror a child is not able to remember the dream when he or she awakens in the morning.

Night terrors are more common in children aged 3 to 8 years but can occur at any age. Sometimes, recurring sleep terrors are a symptom of other sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea. They affect 2% to 7%of children and usually peak between ages 4 and 7. Most children outgrow them before their teens.

Causes:

The exact causes of night terrors are not fully understood, but several factors can contribute to their occurrence including:

  • Overstimulation: Overtiredness, exhaustion, or disrupted sleep patterns can trigger night terrors.
  • Genetics: A family history of night terrors or other sleep disorders may increase the likelihood of a child experiencing them.
  • Stress or Anxiety: Emotional stress, anxiety, or significant life changes can contribute to night terrors in some children.
  • Fever or Illness: High fevers or certain illnesses may be associated with an increased risk of night terrors.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) –untreated OSA increases the amount of arousals children have overnight and can increase the risk of night terrors occurring, This should particularly be considered if they are having multiple night terrors a week or in the same night as that would be an abnormal frequency for night terrors alone.

Symptoms:

Recognizing the signs of night terrors can help you differentiate them from other sleep disturbances. Common symptoms include:

  • Sudden awakening from sleep with a look of intense fear
  • Loud screaming or crying that is difficult to console
  • Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
  • Sweating and physical agitation
  • Difficulty recognizing or interacting with others during the episode
  • Limited or no memory of the even upon awakening

Managing Your Child’s Night Terrors:

While they can be distressing, there are several steps you can employ to help your child through a night terror

  1. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Establish a regular sleep routine to ensure your child gets enough restful sleep each night. Consistency can help prevent overstimulation and reduce the occurrence of night terrors.
  2. Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine: Implement calming activities before bedtime, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath. This can help your child relax and transition into sleep more easily.
  3. Create a Safe Sleep Environment: Make sure your child’s bedroom is safe and free from any potential hazards. Use a night light if your child feels more comfortable with some light in the room.
  4. Minimize Stress and Anxiety: Encourage open communication with your child and provide reassurance and support during the day. If your child is experiencing stress or anxiety, consider incorporating relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or visualization, into their daily routine.
  5. Avoid Triggers: Identify and minimize potential triggers for night terrors, such as certain foods, drinks, or activities close to bedtime. Additionally, limit exposure to stimulating media before sleep.
  6. Ensure Safety During Episodes: If your child experiences a night terror, make sure they are safe by gently guiding them back to bed without waking them fully. Attempting to wake or restrain them may prolong the episode or increase distress.
  7. Seek Professional Advice: If night terrors persist or significantly affect your child’s well-being or daily functioning, consider consulting your pediatrician or a sleep medicine professional for further evaluation and guidance.

Night terrors can be unsettling for both children and parents, but with understanding and effective strategies, they can be managed. By creating a consistent sleep routine, providing a supportive environment, and minimizing potential triggers, you can help your child navigate through night terrors and ensure they have a restful night’s sleep.

Our sleep medicine specialists at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center can determine whether these events are night terrors or whether they are symptoms of a more serious sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Our doctors will combine the information they learn from your child’s sleep history, physical exam, and other test, like a sleep study, to make the diagnosis.

Ten Tips to Beat Insomnia

Ten Tips to Beat Insomnia

An estimated forty million Americans deal with insomnia each year. Below we will touch on some tips to help you beat insomnia.

Chronic insomnia can have a negative impact on your health. It can increase your risk of depression and high blood pressure. Insomnia also can lower your quality of life.

Common symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Poor memory
  • Mood disturbance
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Low motivation or energy
  • Increased errors or accidents

Insomnia can be a frustrating and challenging condition, but there are several strategies you can try to help manage it.

Here are some tips for dealing with insomnia:

  1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Establish a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improve your sleep quality over time.
  2. Create a sleep-friendly environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet. Use comfortable bedding and invest in a good mattress and pillow. Consider using earplugs, an eye mask, or a white noise machine if necessary.
  3. Limit exposure to screens before bed: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with your sleep. Avoid using smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, engage in relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath.
  4. Avoid stimulating substances: Reduce or eliminate the consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially in the evening. These substances can disrupt your sleep patterns and make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
  5. Establish a pre-sleep routine: Engage in relaxing activities before bed to signal to your body that it is time to wind down. This could include listening to calming music, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, or doing gentle stretches.
  6. Create a comfortable mindset: If racing thoughts or anxiety keep you awake at night, try keeping a journal or writing down your worries before bed. This can help clear your mind and alleviate stress. You may also find it helpful to practice mindfulness or engage in cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques.
  7. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can improve sleep quality. However, try to complete your exercise routine at least a few hours before bedtime, as exercising too close to bedtime can have a stimulating effect.
  8. Avoid napping: If you are having trouble sleeping at night, it is best to avoid daytime napping. If you do need to nap, limit it to a short duration (around 20-30 minutes) and schedule it earlier in the day.
  9. Consider your sleep environment: Evaluate your bedroom for factors that may be disrupting your sleep, such as uncomfortable temperatures, noise, or an unsupportive mattress. Make any necessary adjustments to create a more sleep-friendly environment.
  10. Consult a healthcare professional: If your insomnia persists despite your efforts, it may be beneficial to consult a healthcare professional. They can help identify any underlying causes and suggest further treatment options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) or medication if appropriate.

Remember that everyone’s sleep needs are different, so it may take some time and experimentation to find what works best for you.

If your symptoms continue consult a sleep medicine center that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Comprehensive Sleep Care Center has 10 convenient locations.

  • Virginia- Alexandria, Arlington, Chantilly, Dumfries, Fredericksburg, Lansdowne, Manassas, Woodbridge
  • Maryland – Bethesda, Germantown

 

Why am I so tired but I can’t sleep at night?

Why am I so tired but I can’t sleep at night? There can be several reasons why you might be having difficulty sleeping at night.

Here are a few common factors that can contribute to sleep problems:

  1. Stress and Anxiety: Stressful life events, work pressure, or personal issues can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Anxiety about the day ahead or general worry can keep your mind active and prevent you from falling asleep easily.
  2. Poor Sleep Habits: Irregular sleep schedule, consuming caffeine or stimulating substances close to bedtime, using electronic devices (such as smartphones or laptops) before bed, or having an uncomfortable sleep environment can disrupt your sleep.
  3. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, chronic pain, or psychiatric disorders, can interfere with sleep. If you suspect a medical condition is causing your sleep problems, it’s advisable to consult a sleep medicine professional.
  4. Environmental Factors: External factors like excessive noise, uncomfortable room temperature, or an uncomfortable mattress and pillow can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  5. Poor Sleep Hygiene: Not following good sleep hygiene practices can disrupt your sleep. This includes having an irregular sleep schedule, not maintaining a relaxing bedtime routine, or engaging in stimulating activities before bed.
  6. Medications or Substances: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can interfere with sleep. Additionally, substances like nicotine, alcohol, and certain stimulants can disrupt your sleep patterns.

Each night millions of people in the U.S. struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. For some, this is only a brief problem. For others, it can be insomnia.

If you’re consistently having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep help is available:

  • Talk to your doctor about any ongoing sleep problems. Ask about the sleep-related side effects of your medications.
  • Contact a sleep disorders center that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Here are 8 tips to better sleep.

What is a CPAP and why do you need one?

What is a CPAP and why do you need one?

U.S. President Joe Biden has begun using a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP, to treat his sleep apnea and improve his sleep quality White House officials said on Wednesday.
So, what exactly is a CPAP?

A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is a medical device used primarily to treat sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These pauses in breathing can disrupt sleep and lead to other health issues.

 

How does a CPAP work?

The CPAP machine works by delivering a constant flow of air pressure to the person’s airways through a mask worn over the nose or both the nose and mouth. The increased air pressure helps to keep the airways open, preventing them from collapsing or becoming blocked during sleep. By maintaining open airways, the CPAP machine ensures a continuous and uninterrupted flow of oxygen, allowing the person to breathe normally while asleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Who needs a CPAP?

The primary purpose of CPAP therapy is to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, which include excessive snoring, daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and poor concentration. It can also help reduce the risk of associated health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes. CPAP therapy is usually prescribed after a sleep study or a diagnosis of sleep apnea by a medical professional.

It is important to note that CPAP machines are prescribed and monitored by healthcare professionals. They can provide different settings and pressures tailored to individual needs. Regular usage of the CPAP machine during sleep is essential to get its full benefits and improve overall sleep quality and health.

If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, our sleep medicine specialists at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center are here to help. We have ten convenient locations in Alexandria, Arlington, Bethesda, Chantilly, Dumfries, Germantown, Fredericksburg, Lansdowne, Manassas, and Woodbridge. Visit out website or give us a call at 703-729-3420 for more information on sleep apnea and its various treatment options.

Drowsy driving – Do you know the dangers?

Drowsy driving – Do you know the dangers?

Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. It is the dangerous combination of driving when sleepy. This usually happens when a driver has not slept enough, but it can also happen because of untreated sleep disorders like Sleep Apnea. People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders are 7 times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also cause drowsiness, and alcohol can interact with sleepiness to increase both impairment and drowsiness.

Nearly 30 percent of American drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel, according to a recent National Sleep Foundation poll, and more than half said they have driven while drowsy.

Maybe it has happened to you. You end up at your destination and don’t even remember much of the drive. You jerk awake when you hear the rumble strips and realize the vehicle was drifting toward the shoulder. Drowsy driving is impaired driving. It affects your ability to drive safely, even if you do not fall asleep at the wheel.

Drowsy driving can:

  • Slow down your reaction time
  • Decrease awareness
  • Impair judgment
  • Decrease eye hand coordination
  • Increase your risk of crashing

Whenever you are getting ready to drive, ask yourself, “Am I alert enough to operate a 3,000-pound moving machine on public roads?”

Drowsy Driving = Impaired Driving

Being awake for 17- 19 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. After longer periods without sleep, performance reached levels equivalent to a BAC of 0.1%.

Who is most at risk?

  • Young people, especially males under age 26
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours
  • Commercial and long-haul drivers
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders
  • Business travelers who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged

Just like drunk, drugged, and distracted driving, drowsy driving is a real public health issue. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving has caused thousands of car crashes each year killing an estimated 6,400 people in the U.S. alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports an estimated 100,000 crashes each year are caused primarily by drowsy driving, resulting in more than 71,000 injuries and $12.5 million in damages.

8 Drowsy Driving Warning Signs to Watch for:

  1. Finding it hard to focus on the road, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  2. Starting to daydream, wandering eyes, and having disconnected thoughts
  3. Having trouble remembering the last few miles you’ve driven
  4. Missing an exit or ignoring traffic signs
  5. Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  6. Finding it hard to keep your head up or nodding off
  7. Drifting from your lane or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
  8. Restlessness, irritability, and aggressiveness including tailgating

If you notice these warning signs for drowsy driving, pull over to a safe place and get some rest.  Get out and stretch your legs or drink a caffeinated beverage. Simply turning up the radio or opening a window are not effective ways to keep you alert. Resume driving once you feel more alert and refreshed.

 Be Proactive

 Falling asleep at the wheel is preventable! Here are some things you can do before hitting the road:

  • Plan your long trips with a companion.
  • Schedule regular stops for your trip, every 100 miles or two hours.
  • Avoid alcohol and be aware of any medications that may cause drowsiness.

 Get the sleep you need to be alert and refreshed when you drive

 Consult one of our sleep medicine specialists here at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center if you are experiencing frequent daytime sleepiness or often have difficulty staying awake while driving.  Call our office and make an appointment with one of our sleep medicine professionals. Let us help you to Say Hello to Sleep Again.

Comprehensive Sleep Care Center has 10 locations in Virginia and Maryland (AlexandriaArlingtonBethesdaChantillyDumfries, FredericksburgGermantownLansdowneManassasWoodbridge).