Blog Archive

Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Get the Facts Dec 19th, 2018

You may have heard of sleep apnea, but do you really know what it is? Far from a harmless sleep disorder that keeps you from a sound night’s rest, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including sudden cardiac death. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 22 million...

What is a Split Night Sleep Study and why would I need one? Dec 19th, 2018

    When you are scheduled to undergo a sleep study, you may not realize that there is more than one kind of sleep study. Aside from the home sleep apnea test (HSAT)—which you may have already experienced—there are three main in-lab, overnight sleep tests you might encounter. Many people start with...

Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Get the Facts Dec 19th, 2018

Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Get the Facts You may have heard of sleep apnea, but do you really know what it is? Far from a harmless sleep disorder that keeps you from a sound night’s rest, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including...

Tips for Cleaning Your CPAP Machine Dec 19th, 2018

Every day you take great pains to ensure that you’re wearing clean socks and underwear for hygienic purposes. This ingrained standard of care is the type of thing you should be doing when it comes to your CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. Just think, you spend a fair number...

Parasomnia: 5 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know Dec 4th, 2018

Parasomnias are abnormal behaviors that occur while you sleep, such as sleepwalking, sleep talking, sleep eating, hallucinations, or recurrent nightmares. Parasomnias affect about 10% of Americans. Although you may not think of parasomnias as a health concern, they can cause potentially serious problems. In some cases, parasomnias can lead people...

How Sleep Problems Increase with Age Nov 15th, 2018

If you feel like you’re not sleeping as well now as you did when you were younger, you’re not imagining it. Because of changes that your body undergoes over time, sleep problems tend to increase with age. Older people can have more trouble going to sleep, staying asleep, and sleeping...

Can Melatonin Really Help You Sleep? Oct 29th, 2018

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.   People who often have trouble getting the sleep they need experience symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, trouble concentrating, poor performance at school or work, and moodiness.   Many people turn to the...

Why Women Have More Difficulty Sleeping Than Men Sep 12th, 2018

It’s not fair, but it’s true: Women have more difficulty getting a good night’s sleep than men. On average, women have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep than men, and as a result, they’re more likely to experience daytime sleepiness, trouble with concentration, and even physical problems such as...

6 Unexpected Health Risks Associated with Insufficient Sleep Aug 15th, 2018

You know how crummy you feel when you don’t get enough sleep. You’re exhausted, unfocused, and worn out. You struggle to concentrate on your work and you snap at your family and friends. You may eat too much junk, skip your workout, and overreact to stress.Fatigue wipes you out. But...

How Blue Light Before Bedtime Disrupts Sleep Jul 11th, 2018

How Blue Light Before Bedtime Disrupts SleepIf you typically spend time using electronic devices or watching television before bed, you may want to reconsider, especially if you have trouble sleeping.Here’s why: Electronics emit light that can keep you awake and contribute to sleep problems. Even some types of light bulbs...

Is Menopause Keeping You Awake at Night? Jun 21st, 2018

Getting adequate sleep is so good for your health. Well-rested people tend to get sick less often, think more clearly, and feel less stressed than those who are chronically sleep-deprived. Good sleepers are also less likely to gain weight and develop heart disease and diabetes.Not getting enough sleep can make...

Can’t Sleep? 7 Signs You Should Have a Professional Sleep Evaluation May 23rd, 2018

Do you toss and turn at night? An estimated 50-70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder. This means there are a lot of people awake at night with you, but you don’t need to struggle — in fact, it’s unhealthy when you do. Sleep is essential to...

What Does a Home Sleep Study Entail? Apr 30th, 2018

If you wake up feeling sluggish and fatigued, odds are that something is disturbing your sleep. Sleep disorders are tough to pin down since they can only be properly diagnosed while you sleep, which often means you need to pack up for an overnight visit to a sleep lab. Here...

Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Get the Facts Feb 23rd, 2018

Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Get the FactsYou may have heard of sleep apnea, but do you really know what it is? Far from a harmless sleep disorder that keeps you from a sound night’s rest, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including sudden...

Why sleeping difficulties can increase with age Jan 31st, 2018

To sleep like a baby – some days it’s all many of us really want, yet it seems as we age, that good night’s sleep becomes increasingly elusive. If you feel you’re not sleeping as well as you have before, you’re not imagining it. The amount of deep sleep you...

How Much Sleep Is Too Much Sleep? Dec 15th, 2017

      Not many of us ask ourselves this question; indeed, for many American adults and increasingly for children, sleep is like money—there’s never enough and we always want more. The CDC estimates that about one-third of adults don’t get sufficient sleep, and the National Sleep Foundation estimates the...

What Stage of Sleep Is Most Important? NREM vs REM Sleep Dec 14th, 2017

      Not all sleep is equal. Since the 1930s, modern medicine has known that a full night’s sleep is not a single, continuous experience. Based on EEGs (electro encephalograms) of their nocturnal subjects, sleep researchers discovered distinct, measurable changes in both the body and brain, occurring regularly and...

Insomnia Treatment Options: Sleep Specialist and at Home Solutions Oct 24th, 2017

    Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting an estimated 30–50% of Americans at some time or another. This year alone, about 1 in 10 Americans will struggle with a period of sleeplessness. If you have ever had insomnia, you know how frustrating it can be:   racing...

Can’t Sleep? Common Causes and Reasons Oct 20th, 2017

    Do you ever find yourself complaining, “I’m having trouble sleeping” or “I can’t sleep”? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re not even among a small but distinguished group of unfortunates. According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), a pretty massive number of adults in the U.S....

Health Consequences of Untreated Insomnia Oct 17th, 2017

  If you’re one of the 70 million Americans who experience insomnia from time to time, you probably are familiar with at least a few of the side effects that come from sleep deprivation. Puffy eyes, dark circles, dizziness, slow decision-making (or poor decision making), dry eyes, headaches, nausea. These...

Is It Insomnia? (Diagnosis and the Sleep Specialist) Oct 9th, 2017

      If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may have insomnia. But how can you know for certain that a sleep disorder—or this particular sleep disorder—is to blame for your lack of sleep? It’s possible that your inability to sleep could be traced to some...

What Is Insomnia? (Signs and Symptoms) Oct 9th, 2017

      Most of us are familiar with classic insomnia: a temporary period of time during which, for whatever reason, we just can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. In fact, insomnia is very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 70 million Americans are dealing with...

Pain Medications and Sleep and Breathing Jul 15th, 2017

    Sleep is a restorative need for all creatures, particularly humans, but it requires not only specific conditions, but also enough time for the full beneficial effects to occur. Body and brain must work together to make "good sleep" a reality. When sleep is disrupted for any reason, whether...

What is Somnoplasty? (Uses, Procedure, Side Effects, and Success Rate) Jun 30th, 2017

    When you breathe normally, air makes its way to your lungs by passing through your mouth, over your tongue, and past your soft palate, uvula, and tonsils. Your soft palate is the area at the back of the roof of your mouth. Your uvula is the dangling structure...

Sleep Apnea Surgery Procedures and the ENT Specialist/Doctor Jun 29th, 2017

    Sleep apnea is a common disorder where you have at least one pause in breathing or have shallow breathing as you sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes. They happen as many as 30 times or more each hour, reports the National Heart, Lung, and...

Low Testosterone Therapy and Sleep Apnea Jun 23rd, 2017

  Recent research on sleep apnea, particularly obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has revealed some shocking findings regarding sleep and a man's libido. It turns out, there's a relationship between low testosterone and sleep apnea. Men who don't get enough sleep, have fragmented sleep, or have obstructive sleep apnea, tend to have...

Low Testosterone: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors Jun 22nd, 2017

    Testosterone is a hormone that your body produces. When you have low testosterone (low-T), it means your body isn't producing enough of this hormone. Although both men and women produce testosterone, men produce it through their testicles. This T-hormone affects the sexual development and appearance in men. It...

Pain Medications and Their Effect on Sleep Architecture Jun 14th, 2017

  Sleep is important to health.  There is no dispute about that, and quality of sleep is influenced by a wide variety of factors, including stress, diet, temperature, type of mattress and pillow, noise levels, physical ailments, medications, and overall health and hygiene. Sleep problems are not age or gender...

Pain and Sleep: Diabetic Neuropathy May 31st, 2017

    According to the American Diabetes Association diabetes affects more than 29.1 million Americans, approximately 9.3% of the population. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder, meaning that it affects hormone levels. Although much of the attention is paid to the effects of diabetes on the blood sugar levels and the...

Is Fibromyalgia real? The Link Between Fibromyalgia Pain and Sleep May 30th, 2017

    Fibromyalgia is one of the more mysterious and controversial diagnoses that exist in modern medicine. Doctors and scientists debate about many issues related to this diagnosis: is fibromyalgia real? What is the origin of fibromyalgia pain? How should doctors approach fibromyalgia treatment? Now, emerging scientific research has improved...

Pain and Sleep: Its Effect and Consequences May 25th, 2017

    According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one in four Americans have suffered from chronic pain. At any given time, millions are experiencing acute pain following an injury. While pain significantly disrupts everyday life and lessens our ability to perform daily activities, it also has a serious...

Consequences Of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children May 16th, 2017

      Obstructive sleep apnea is a very serious medical condition, affecting an estimated 25 million adults in the United States, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. However, the possibility of children developing sleep apnea is often overlooked. Individuals of any age can develop sleep apnea, and...

Lack of Sleep and Its Effect on Blood Sugar Levels May 15th, 2017

    More than 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with millions more falling into the “prediabetes” range. Keeping blood glucose levels under control is essential to good health, both for people with diabetes and those who do not have the...

The Importance of Sleep and Memory Consolidation Apr 26th, 2017

    We spend approximately ⅓ of our time asleep, yet scientists still have yet to fully understand the true purposes of sleep. Almost all animals sleep, meaning that there must be some benefits to sleeping that caused it to be evolutionarily conserved across species. Traditional theories about sleep stated...

Stress, Anxiety, Depression and the Role of Sleep Apr 19th, 2017

    Research may support the idea that quality sleep can help reduce high levels of stress, anxiety and address symptoms of depression. What is the relationship between sleep and stress, anxiety and depression? If you get more or better quality sleep, will that help you feel calmer and less...

The Need for Quality and Quantity of Sleep Apr 7th, 2017

    Irritability, loss of focus and daytime sleepiness can all occur when you do not get enough sleep. But what exactly are we talking about when we discuss getting a good night’s rest. If you sleep the recommended amount of time, does that mean you will wake up refreshed...

The Best Portable CPAP Machines for Camping: Z1 vs Transcend Apr 6th, 2017

    For those who love camping, there is nothing like pitching a tent in the middle of a beautiful forest glade and enjoying the utter peace and quiet of sleeping out in nature, under the stars, away from all the noises of civilization. Unfortunately, if one or more people...

Seasonal Allergies, Sleep Apnea, and CPAP Problems Mar 29th, 2017

    Nasal congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, a scratchy throat—these are just a handful of the symptoms that come with springtime allergies. Suffering through these symptoms is an unpleasant inconvenience in ordinary circumstances. But if you use CPAP therapy, allergies are more than just unpleasant. Seasonal allergies...

7 Tips for Night Shift Weight Loss Mar 28th, 2017

    If you work a graveyard shift—or any shift work, including rotating shifts—you may find that the schedule is wreaking havoc on your ability to stick to a healthy eating and exercise program. On top of that, the disruptions to your circadian rhythm can throw off your body’s hormonal...

Sleepwalking: Causes, Reasons, Risks, and Treatments Mar 20th, 2017

      From childhood, we have been seen Hollywood’s depiction of the phenomenon of “The Sleepwalker,” a.k.a. a somnambulist. In countless cartoons, movies, sitcoms, etc., a sleeping person (usually dressed in full pajamas and a sleeping cap, complete with tassel) calmly sits up in bed, pulls aside the covers,...

Sleep Related Eating Disorder: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Mar 15th, 2017

  Sleep Related Eating Disorder (SRED): What Is It? Sometimes referred to as sleep eating or a nocturnal sleep eating disorder (meaning it happens at night), sleep related eating disorder (SRED) is classified as a non-REM sleep parasomnia—an involuntary, abnormal behavior that occurs at some point during the four non-REM stages of sleep. SRED is exactly what...

What Is Sleep Paralysis? (Signs, Symptoms, and Causes) Mar 7th, 2017

    William Shakespeare refers to it as an “old hag” in his play “Romeo and Juliet.” Dutch physician Isbrand Van Diemerbroeck in the mid–1600s documented a patient who believed the Devil or a large dog appeared to crush the breath from her. The Greek physician Galen wrote of it...

What is Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome? (Diagnosis and Treatment) Mar 3rd, 2017

    Very obese children and adults who have daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea — but in up to 20% of cases, the diagnosis may be even more serious. Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome, or OHS, is a sleep-related respiratory problem that can cause serious and in some...

Why Am I Tired All the Time? I Sleep All the Time! Mar 1st, 2017

    “I’m waking up tired.” “I need an afternoon nap.” "Why am I tired all the time? I sleep all the time and it never seems to be enough!"  “I’m just dragging, all day, every day.” Do any of these complaints sound familiar to you? Even if you’re going...

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) Feb 27th, 2017

    You probably know how annoying snoring can be, especially when you’re the one having to listen to it. However, if you’re the one snoring and it causes you to repeatedly stop breathing for several seconds at a time, it can also result in cardiovascular problems (heart) that could...

The Split Night Sleep Study: Challenges and Problems Feb 23rd, 2017

    To someone who may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the two-night overnight/nocturnal polysomnogram (NPSG) plus continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) Titration Study is considered the “gold standard” of sleep studies. But what if, for some reason, you are unable to devote two nights at a sleep...

What is Kleine-Levin Syndrome (aka Sleeping Beauty Syndrome)? Feb 22nd, 2017

    Chances are, you have experienced that dragging, dull semi-conscious feeling you get from sleep deprivation (lack of sleep). All you want to do is take a nap. However, for individuals who are suffering with primary hypersomnia, they are dealing with this feeling every day. They feel only half-awake...

What is REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)? Signs, Symptoms, & Diagnosis Feb 21st, 2017

  For many people, dreams are a normal part of sleeping and are purely mental activities that happen during your REM (rapid eye movement) cycle.  While your body is resting, it's in your mind that your dreams occur. However, when you are suffering with REM sleep behavior disorder, you actually...

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease: Risks and Dangers Feb 8th, 2017

    Getting enough sleep — at least six hours per night for adults — is critical to maintaining good health. If you chronically sleep too little or have your sleep constantly interrupted by apnea, you may be at a higher-than-average risk for a cluster of health problems: lower immunity,...

Why does the sleep study evaluation process take so long? Feb 7th, 2017

    You wouldn’t visit a foot doctor (podiatrist) to treat suspected diabetes, would you? Or a reproductive health specialist if you think you’ve gotten a sprained ankle? All levity aside, you would, of course, visit the appropriate medical specialist for the appropriate medical condition. The same goes for any...

What is a Home Sleep Study/Test (HST)? (Reasons and Indications) Jan 31st, 2017

    Have you been a lifelong loud snorer? Do you wake up tired, unrested, irritable? Are your days spent fighting sleepiness at work, at home, and even while driving? If so, you may be considered among those with a high probability of suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Also called “sleep...

What is an Overnight Sleep Study (Polysomnogram)? Jan 25th, 2017

    If your doctor suspects you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, sleep related movements, or narcolepsy, he or she may refer you to a sleep center for an overnight sleep study, or polysomnogram. The purpose of this sleep study is to monitor you while you sleep, to get a...

Tips For How To Deal With 3 AM Insomnia Jan 24th, 2017

You may not think you have insomnia; after all, you have no trouble feeling exhausted and drifting off to sleep when your head hits the pillow. But night after night, you find yourself awake and staring your alarm clock at about the same time: 3:00 A.M. Why does this keep...

Overnight Sleep Study: What are all These Wires for Jan 20th, 2017

    If your physician recommends that you undergo an overnight sleep study, also known as nocturnal polysomnography (NPSG), you might be curious what it involves and what you can expect from it. You might also wonder what are the wires used in the sleep study are for. An NPSG records your...

Cranial Problems and Sleep Breathing Disorders Jan 18th, 2017

      Cranial problems can often lead to sleep breathing disorders. Craniofacial anomalies (CFA) are a distinct set of deformities found in facial bone and head growth. Anomaly means 'different from normal' or 'irregularity'. These abnormalities are present at birth (congenital) and vary in intensity with some being mild...

Facial Structure, OSA, and CPAP: Problems and Solutions Jan 12th, 2017

    Human evolution shows us that there are distinct variations in facial structure and features. Anthropologists have been examining these traits for some time to see if ancestry plays a role in this diversification. Other research has been conducted to see if your facial structure and features has any...

ADHD vs Sleep Apnea in Children: Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors Jan 11th, 2017

    Sleep apnea in children is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed entirely. Many children are being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as they’re acting out and getting into trouble at school. Often, these children are being prescribed Ritalin, when the real cause of their behavioral issues is sleep apnea....

Should I Let My Dog (or Pet) Sleep With Me? (Pros and Cons) Jan 10th, 2017

    The debate over whether dogs should sleep with you has good arguments on both sides of the fence — or onboth sides of the bed in this case. An interesting survey from WebMD discovered that dog owners are somewhat divided over whether their furry friend should sleep in...

The pros and cons of napping Jan 4th, 2017

    Today's medical media often send out mixed messages when it comes to best practices for good health. Taking naps has been the subject of scrutiny recently. Some research points to napping as beneficial to employee productivity. Other research suggests that long naps may actually be linked to chronic...

Sleep better in 17 days with these best practices Jan 3rd, 2017

    New Year's resolutions tend to favor quick change for permanent results, but by day 17... who is still sticking to their new plans? By day 17, most of us have abandoned ship. Improving your sleep habits might be an easy resolution to achieve in just one period of...

Diet Resolutions for Better Sleep in 2017 Dec 29th, 2016

    2017 is just a couple days away. By now, you’ve probably started thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions. If sleeping better is one of your goals for the new year, getting on top of your sleep hygiene and exercise habits are two solid starts. But how about diet...

Exercise Resolutions for Better Sleep Dec 28th, 2016

    According to statistics, health-related lifestyle changes are consistently ranked among the top 5 New Year’s Resolutions Americans make each year. In January of 2016, for example, 41% of Americans vowed to live a healthier lifestyle, and nearly 40% expressed a desire to lose weight.   Making Exercise Resolutions for...

Best Sleep Health Resolutions for 2017 Dec 27th, 2016

    Believe it or not, 2017 is just a few days away. Right now we’re in that most special time of year — the quiet lull between holiday parties, when we start thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. Because the season is saturated with overindulgences, most of us put...

5 ways to light up your holidays, your home, and your mood Dec 22nd, 2016

    Though the season itself is dark at this time of year, we tend to enjoy more in the way of lights as part of the holiday experience. Hanukkah menorahs, Christmas tree lights, grand and festive winter light displays across entire neighborhood lawns, solstice lanterns, and lighted stars topping...

The Darkest Night Of The Year, According To Our Circadian Rhythms Dec 21st, 2016

    Today and tonight mark the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. Of course, the significance of this date has everything to do with our reliance on the light-dark cycles of the planet to keep our circadian rhythms aligned with the Earth's revolution around...

Cozy bedding tips for cold winter nights Dec 20th, 2016

  Check out these other tips for keeping a comfortable bedroom during the winter so you can make sure you get all your Zzzs:  How to practice good sleep hygiene: Tips & Tricks

Tips for avoiding (sleep) debt during the holidays Dec 15th, 2016

During the holidays, we can set ourselves up for the accrual of a long-term sleep debt if we don't make sleep a priority. (What is sleep debt?) Here are some tips for avoiding sleep loss whenever possible and getting the best sleep you can during a hectic time.   What is...

Ways that sleep deprivation can impact your holidays Dec 14th, 2016

The holidays may leave us with images of children struggling to fall asleep at night in anticipation of a visit from a certain jolly man in a red suit, but the reality of lost sleep at this time of year is far more sobering.  Sleep deprivation has a negative impact...

When sleep loss leads to weight gain Dec 13th, 2016

We lose sleep for all kinds of reasons. We also gain weight for all kinds of reasons.  However, when it comes to either concern, there's a well-established association between insufficient sleep and obesity. While there are a multitude of factors that determine whether these two are linked for any particular...

Concussions: Can they lead to sleep disorders? Dec 8th, 2016

As many as 2 million Americans a year are affected by concussions or other forms of traumatic brain injury, but many of them do not link their head traumas to sleep problems that develop after the fact. They may not even mention head injuries to the doctors they visit regarding their...

Sleep and its impact on dementia Dec 7th, 2016

Disrupted sleep is a common problem for people suffering from dementia.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends that all individuals who have been diagnosed with some form of dementia also be screened for sleep disorders; they report that "Two-thirds of those in long-term care facilities suffer from sleeping problems." Treating some common...

Epilepsy and sleep: The silent struggle with nighttime seizures Dec 6th, 2016

    Epilepsy is a complex neurological condition with well-established ties to sleep health. Its 2-way relationship with the sleep-wake cycle makes it difficult to diagnose, especially for those who only have epileptic seizures at night (nocturnal seizures).  What is epilepsy and why does it share such common ground with...

What is a CPAP Titration Sleep Study? Dec 1st, 2016

Sometimes a patient will participate in a sleep study to identify or confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Imagine their surprise, then, when they discover they need to go back to the sleep center and take part in yet another sleep study? This doesn't always happen; some sleep studies identify sleep disorders...

Follow this CPAP therapy timeline to achieve success Nov 29th, 2016

For those starting continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy (or other types of PAP therapy) for the first time, there are lots of unknowns to consider. We try to take the fear of the unknown out of the process because we know that the better prepared and educated you are...

Don't blame your Thanksgiving turkey for feeling sleepy today Nov 24th, 2016

Nov 24, 2016 |  Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH  |  excessive daytime sleepiness, tryptophan, insulin resistance It's easy to blame the Thanksgiving turkey for causing your late-day lethargy on this day of feasting. After all, the poor bird can't speak for itself, and it's the centerpiece of most holiday meals in the...

Great gift ideas for the CPAP user in your life Nov 23rd, 2016

Who hasn't struggled to think of the perfect holiday gift for a loved one who seems to have everything?  If that loved one in your life is a CPAP user, we can help you solve that problem.  CPAP users are used to keeping on top of supply replacement and replenishment...

Is caffeine affecting your sleep? Nov 22nd, 2016

    Seattleites love their coffee. According to a coffee culture article in The Daily Beast, we number 35 coffee shops for every 100,00 residents, making us the most caffeine-saturated American city. (Another fun fact: we frequently rank as having the most bookstores per capita, too.) At $36 per month, our average personal monthly coffee...

Should CPAP users worry if they lose power to their machines? Nov 17th, 2016

Winter is coming, and so is the weather that comes with it: high winds, heavy ran, snow, and ice, all of which can cause the power grid to go down during the night. Blackouts are an inconvenience for everyone, but they're particularly worrisome for people who rely on electricity to run their...

What is bruxism and how does it impact sleep? Nov 16th, 2016

Bruxism is the act of clenching or grinding your teeth, either out of habit or unconsciously. Though some people grind their teeth unwittingly during the day, most tooth grinders engage in what's called nocturnal bruxism — nighttime tooth grinding or clenching that occurs during sleep. Doctors and dentists sometimes refer to these people as "bruxers."...

Is vaping a better option than smoking at bedtime? Nov 15th, 2016

  Vaping: what's in the e-cigarette cartridge, exactly? A typical e-cigarette cartridge, or vape cartridge, is an electronic nicotine delivery system. When you inhale an e-cigarette or vape product, you're breathing in a heated chemical aerosol or vapor that nearly always contains nicotine, the highly addictive substance found in cigarettes and other tobacco products.  Many smokers or recovering...

Are you thinking about buying a CPAP battery backup? Nov 10th, 2016

Nov 10, 2016 |  Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH  |  cpap For some people, the frustration of using CPAP has nothing to do with the actual application of the therapy. They may truly love using their mask and enjoy its benefits. However, they may have a different problem: unreliable access to electricity...

How to treat sleep apnea in children Nov 9th, 2016

  Children, as we recently discussed, are just as likely to suffer from sleep apnea as adults. Their experiences and symptoms often resemble those of adults, but for some children, sleep-disordered breathing is directly related to their development.  Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable in children. While their treatment options vary somewhat from...

Can kids have sleep apnea? Yes! Know the signs, symptoms & causes Nov 8th, 2016

  Sleep apnea has long been considered a medical concern for older people, but the reality is quite different.  Children, from infancy to adolescence, can also suffer from sleep apnea. According to American Family Physician, "Obstructive sleep-disordered breathing is common in children. From 3 percent to 12 percent of children snore,...

Power outage alert: Back up your CPAP in Seattle today! Nov 3rd, 2016

One thing we can count on, living in Seattle, are weather-related power outages. The wind picks up, the trees blow down or lose branches, and there goes the electricity!  Most people don't think too much about how an overnight power outage could affect them.  However, CPAP users rely on a...

How to prepare for a sleep study (polysomnogram) Nov 2nd, 2016

    When you are scheduled for a nocturnal polysomnogram, otherwise known as an attended sleep study, you may have lots of questions and concerns about this kind of test. Keep in mind that the sleep medicine technologists at most sleep centers are prepared for all of these inquiries; they are also...

What is CPAP failure? Compliance, adherence & insurance Nov 1st, 2016

A troubling phase in the sleep apnea lexicon: CPAP failure. This term is used primarily by insurers, but it can be mistaken as judgment against sleep apnea patients who have given treatment a valiant effort but aren't seeing a positive result.     What is CPAP failure, and why do they call it...

10 CPAP supplies & accessories that might be new to you Oct 27th, 2016

Once you set up your CPAP therapy system at home, you should be "good to go." However, in the event you have specific struggles with using CPAP, or have specific needs above and beyond the typical user, you do have options.  Disclaimer: There are many dozens of products that can help...

When should you replace your CPAP supplies? Oct 26th, 2016

Not sure when you should be replacing or replenishing your CPAP equipment? Clip and save this handy schedule and keep with your CPAP supply stash for regular reminders. Remember, the cleaner and better maintained your equipment, the longer it will last you, but many parts (like filters and CPAP masks) require replacement as they...

Is your deductible met? You can save on CPAP supplies NOW Oct 25th, 2016

This is the time of year when you could be saving a good deal of money on all facets of your sleep apnea therapy.  Insurance deductibles are often met by this time of year for many. Might this be your case? If so, we offer this insider tip: Now is the time to take...

Characteristics of the best Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Companies Oct 20th, 2016

Many new CPAP patients don’t realize they have options for purchasing or renting equipment for their therapy. In-house durable medical equipment (DME) providerswork in tandem and on site with sleep specialists at sleep centers.  (Sound Sleep Health is a sleep center that provides built-in DME provision and support for all...

Check out these solutions for 6 common problems with CPAP (Part Two) Oct 18th, 2016

In our last blog post, we discussed 3 of 6 common problems with using CPAP: trouble falling asleep, dryness, and problems with congestion.  Here's a guide to 3 other key complaints from CPAP users and some basic solutions.    Solutions to 6 common problems with CPAP (4-6) #4: The skin on...

Check out these solutions for 6 common problems with CPAP (Part One) Oct 13th, 2016

    Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is considered the gold standard for treating sleep apnea (especially obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA).  However, while some people take to this therapy just fine, it may be more problematic for others.  Here's a guide to 6 key complaints from CPAP users and some...

Understanding Your CPAP Filters: Reasons and Replacement Oct 12th, 2016

    Some of the more important parts of sleep apnea machines are not typically noticed during their use. The filters (there are two) ensure that the air used in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is safe and healthy to breathe. If you've ever changed a filter anywhere else—from an air conditioning...

How to make friends with your CPAP machine Oct 11th, 2016

    Getting to know your CPAP therapy can be awkward and uncomfortable, just like it can be when you are getting to know a perfect stranger. However, the benefits to a positive relationship with your sleep apnea treatment far outweigh the risks of untreated sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)...

CPAP mask problems: Is it just a bad fit or time for a replacement? Oct 6th, 2016

  Critical to using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the way your mask fits. A leaking CPAP mask compromises the quality of your treatment; optimal therapy depends on a secure seal between the mask and the face. Leaks out of the tops, the sides, or the bottoms of masks can...

How to find the Best CPAP Mask Oct 5th, 2016

    Whether you've been newly diagnosed withsleep apnea, or you are in the market for a new CPAP mask, you still need to find a mask that fits you correctly and feels good. This means you need one that prevents air from leaking and one that you can put...

The high price of untreated sleep apnea Oct 4th, 2016

  After insomnia, sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder in the US, affecting nearly 20 million Americans. As much as 10 percent of the entire US adult population suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep apnea. Anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of people with OSA may...

What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? How do you treat it? Sep 29th, 2016

  When fall arrives in the Pacific Northwest, it comes wrapped in a dark, gray, wet blanket.  Take one quick look outside. Yes, unfortunately, the dark season is here. We've all got names for the general drop in energy and enthusiasm we experience to some degree when the seasons change:...

What is melatonin and how does it work? (Benefits and Usage) Sep 27th, 2016

According to statistics published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) last August: "Melatonin use among adults in the United States more than doubled between 2007 and 2012," with over 3 million people currently taking the supplement. This substance has recently gained attention as the subject of new research...

Cancer & sleep apnea: The blood oxygen compromise Sep 22nd, 2016

Sometimes it may seem as if every chronic health concern can be traced back to untreated sleep apnea. And in many ways, that's not an unrealistic conclusion, given what we know about sleep breathing disorders and how they systemically influence all the different biological processes we undergo as human beings.  But...

When chronic pain is the enemy of sleep Sep 21st, 2016

    According to statistics from the 2015 Sleep in America™ Poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation:  Nearly a quarter of those who suffer with chronic pain report higher stress levels Nearly half of those who suffer with chronic pain experience problems at work due to pain-related sleep loss  People...

How to use relaxation techniques & exercises to fall asleep Sep 15th, 2016

    Often, insomnia is the outcome of our inability to relax at night. It can be hard to wind down after a long, stressful day. However, the consequences of untreated insomnia are too serious to ignore.  The good news is that relaxation techniques for sleep and breathing exercises abound for those who wish...

How can sleep benefit from massage therapy? Sep 14th, 2016

Insomnia, as we've discussed at this blog previously, leads to problems with intense fatigue and cognitive "fog," as well as adverse influences over mood, if it becomes chronic and remains untreated. However, according to research gathered by the American Massage Therapy Association and endorsed by the National Institutes of Health,...

Why is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) recommended for insomnia? Sep 13th, 2016

  What is the treatment you first think of for managing insomnia? Most people automatically think of hypnotic sleep aids like Ambien as the go-to treatment for sleeplessness. However, a non-drug therapy for insomnia called CBT-i is poised to be the most effective and common way to treat insomnia. What is CBT-i?  CBT-i...

Did you know? Stubborn insomnia may actually be sleep apnea Sep 8th, 2016

  Recent research suggests that those with stubborn insomnia—who have not responded to a variety of drugs and therapies—may not have insomnia at all. Another stealthy sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), may actually be to blame.   What the latest research tells us Albuquerque sleep researcher Dr. Barry Krakow has long suspected a...

Ignore insomnia at your peril: Side effects & consequences Sep 7th, 2016

    Not getting enough sleep can make anybody miserable, even if it's only one night, now and again. For some, though, insomnia is a frequent and ongoing reality. The challenge for them is in finding solutions that work. After all, treating insomnia doesn't only improve sleep health, it prevents a host...

What kinds of medical problems cause insomnia? Sep 6th, 2016

    You may struggle with sleeping problems even though you practice good sleep hygiene.  Did you know that many chronic illnesses or medical conditions can also cause insomnia? What is insomnia? It's defined as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, and awakening too early. (You can read more about...

9 ways teens benefit when schools start later Sep 1st, 2016

  Parents all across the metro area may not be entirely clear on the benefits of the public school district's change to later start times for high schoolers (and for many middle schoolers as well) in Seattle public schools. Here's a list of evidence-backed reasons why your adolescent kids might...

Check out Seattle Met's latest issue featuring Seattle's Top Doctors! Aug 31st, 2016

For the second time, Sound Sleep Health's Dr. Gandis Mazeika has earned accolades as a 2016 “Top Doctor” in the Sleep Medicine category by Seattle Met magazine. Previously, Dr. Mazeika was lauded in 2010.  The Seattle Met honor is important because it's determined by physician peers in the greater Seattle area voting for those they consider the...

Seattle Public Schools launch new start times Aug 30th, 2016

    Seattle teens are making history when they start school this September. The Seattle Public Schools board of directors decided last November to delay bell times for teen students in response to local concerns from medical professionals, parents, educators, and students regarding the rising epidemic of sleep deprivation nationwide.   This fall,...

Untreated sleep apnea and high blood pressure: Risks, causes, and correlations Aug 25th, 2016

    There are people who have been diagnosed with some form of sleep apnea who have not taken the critical step of starting therapy for it.  They may mistakenly believe they can "live" with their sleep apnea, or they may be intimidated by treatment options (or not know about their options...

Alternative therapies for treating your sleep apnea Aug 24th, 2016

  The most common approaches for treating all sleep health problems include: Prescriptive devices  Surgical Pharmaceutical  Behavioral All of these, of course, require you to undergo diagnostic observation by a sleep specialist in order to receive your differential diagnosis and to start treatment. For sleep-breathing disorders—obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in particular—some of the treatment options...

If it's not sleep apnea, what is it? Aug 23rd, 2016

Sometimes people have a problem with breathing during sleep that is not diagnosed as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) after they've had a sleep study. Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) is a form of obstructive breathing during sleep which only yields a partial blockage of the airway and does not result in low oxygen...

Marijuana: Is it an effective sleep aid? Aug 18th, 2016

  Since Washington state legalized marijuana in November 2012, a key question in the field of sleep health has been raised repeatedly:  Can marijuana help us sleep better?  People with insomnia say that it does. However, the research is limited, though we do know a few things about marijuana and its impact on...

That evening drag: the problem of smoking and sleep apnea Aug 17th, 2016

    Smokers often believe that having a bedtime cigarette helps them to sleep better.  Nicotine does seem to relax the body in certain ways to make this theory believable.  However, smoking does more harm than good when it comes to sleep health.  If you consider how smoking also leads...

Are common medications interrupting your sleep? Aug 16th, 2016

  The reasons we might experience insomnia or sleep fragmentation are varied. Emotional stress, pain, sleep disorders, medical conditions, and poor sleep hygiene are the most talked about root causes for sleeplessness. But what about your prescriptions? Might they be contributing to poor sleep?  Yes. As a matter of fact, there are several...

When is oxygen therapy performed in a sleep lab? Aug 11th, 2016

For many patients facing the challenges of using some form of positive airway pressure (PAP) to treat their sleep breathing disorders, the question is often asked:  "Why not just use oxygen at night?" After all, one major problem with untreated sleep apnea is the precipitous drop in oxygen levels in the...

COPD: Breathless and sleepless at the same time Aug 10th, 2016

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is now considered by the Centers for Disease Control to be the fourth leading cause of death in the US.  The acronym, COPD, refers to 2 common breathing disorders: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both conditions make it difficult to breathe during the day while you are awake. At...

5 things you need to know: Central Apnea & ASV therapy Aug 9th, 2016

If you've never heard of central sleep apnea and don't know what ASV is, don't worry. Neither are common, but a lot of discussion has centered on both central sleep apnea and ASV in the last year because of safety concerns. Check out our primer on these specialty sleep health...

FAST FACTS: How to make sense of your sleep study: AHI versus RDI Aug 8th, 2016

If you've ever had a sleep study and gone over the results with your sleep specialist, you may have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of acronyms used when measuring certain key aspects of your sleep.  All of them matter, to be sure. However, there are two which are of particular interest for those who...

How to exercise your way to sleep apnea relief Aug 4th, 2016

Most people understand that both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—a mechanical dysfunction of breathing during sleep—and central sleep apnea (CSA)—a neurological dysfunction of breathing during sleep—have long-term negative impacts on health. What we don't always think about is how having sleep apnea may impair us during the day, when we're awake.  A common side effect of sleep apnea is excessive...

People with sleep apnea: Are you diabetic? Aug 3rd, 2016

Many people who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) also have diabetes. If you have sleep apnea and you're not treating it, the odds that you'll become diabetic (if you aren't already) are pretty high.  Yes, that's right... untreated obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.  Wait... OSA...

When you come to the intersection of sleep apnea and obesity Aug 2nd, 2016

Many people associate sleep apnea with being overweight, and to a certain extent, it's true.  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be caused by the bodily conditions that obesity can bring (although being overweight is not the only cause).  Meanwhile, perfectly thin people can also suffer from sleep apnea as well. It might be...

FAST FACTS: Is it possible for sleep apnea to be genetic? Aug 1st, 2016

  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) certainly can be said to run in families. Although there is no such thing as a "sleep apnea gene," there are three ways you can look at family traits as evidence you are likely to develop it: Genetic predisposition Family resemblance Lifestyle and environment   Genetics Inherited...

How to find stillness when you have periodic limb movements Jul 28th, 2016

  There is no cure for the movement disorder of sleep known as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. However, the 4 percent of Americans who suffer from this curious neurological condition can manage its symptoms through lifestyle changes and medications. Not only can they recoup some of their lost energy and...

How can you distinguish Periodic Limb Movements from Restless Legs? Jul 27th, 2016

Your spouse has recently complained that you kick your legs as you sleep. It makes sense when you see how topsy turvy the sheets and blankets are when you wake up in the morning. Though your movements aren't dangerous to your or your spouse, they do insist that your kicking and...

Why Should You Know About Periodic Limb Movement Disorder? Jul 26th, 2016

  Many people recognize that insomnia and sleep apnea are common sleep disorders. However, there's a class of sleep disorders that is fairly common, and yet many people don't know about it. Movement disorders of sleep affect people of all ages, but nearly a third of all people over the age of...

FAST FACTS: First Night Effect and the Sleep Study Jul 25th, 2016

  Have you ever wondered if, during your sleep study, you might sleep differently than normal? Maybe you can't sleep at all, or your sleep seems shallow and not adequate enough for the test to be an accurate portrait of your sleep health? If so, wouldn't these factors and variables contaminate...

Sleep architecture: The stages and cycles of sleep Jul 21st, 2016

  It may surprise some people that sleep is not a singular process.  Rather, it is characterized by a series of patterns of brain activity that are distinctively different from what we encounter during the day while awake.  Sleep is not really as simple as shutting down the brain and...

Our favorite Seattle sleep medicine dentists Jul 20th, 2016

Seattle is known for being a community of early adopters. In the field of sleep health, this is definitely the case, as dental sleep medicine emerges as a new arena for identifying and treating people with sleep breathing disorders.  Compared to other areas of the country, our region is quickly evolving a...

What's the difference between a snore guard and an oral appliance? Jul 19th, 2016

The latest trend in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) involves an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): oral appliance therapy (OAT). While CPAP is an excellent treatment for OSA, not everyone can tolerate it or may not be physically capable of using it. There are new oral appliances...

FAST FACTS: 5 examples of poor sleep hygiene Jul 18th, 2016

In many cases, the problems we have with sleep aren't related to an undetected sleep disorder or other health-related cause. Sometimes we just do things that unwittingly sabotage our sleep. Here are some of the worst personal habits that can mess with the quality and quantity of our sleep:  ...

Dentists: How to screen for sleep apnea Jul 14th, 2016

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-breathing disorder in which the upper airway becomes obstructed during sleep, leading to significant pauses in breathing that become repetitive patterns over the course of the night. When left untreated, OSA has been shown to be associated with the development of high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, diabetes,...

Congratulations! Dr. Gandis Mazeika wins "Top Doc" honor for 2016 Jul 12th, 2016

Sound Sleep Health is thrilled to report that Dr. Gandis Mazeika has been honored as a 2016 “Top Doctor” in the Sleep Medicine category by Seattle Met magazine.  This is the second time Dr. Mazeika was recognized by this regional publication; it also awarded him the honor in 2010.  It's important to note that no...

FAST FACTS: 10 clues you might be sleep deprived Jul 11th, 2016

Sleep deprivation doesn't always show up in obvious ways. The constant yawning, need for naps during the day, and struggle to get out of bed in the morning even after a full night of sleep are clear signs of sleep deprivation. But they aren't the only ones. Here are ten other signs...

Visit our sleep health booth at the Mill Creek Festival & Street Fair! Jul 7th, 2016

  Pay us a visit at the Mill Creek Festival & Street Fair! Come talk with our sleep specialists directly! We have helped thousands throughout the Pacific Northwest to improve their sleep. Poor quality sleep, regardless of the cause, can impact stamina, focus and mood, and may eventually take a toll on overall health....

Renton man's Ambien Experience: A Cautionary Tale Jul 7th, 2016

Sound Sleep Health recently helped KOMO News 4 parse out the puzzling aspects of a recent 9-1-1 phone call. The call was  made by a Renton man reporting that he'd been in a small plane crash. Here's what happened and what you need to know about Ambien (a prescription sleeping medication)...

What is Dental Sleep Medicine? Jul 6th, 2016

Dental sleep medicine has been around for over three decades. It was first pursued in conjunction with other treatments (namely continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP) for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While CPAP continues to advance as a therapy for treating sleep breathing disorders, dental alternatives (snoring mouthguards and oral appliance...

Dental sleep medicine luncheon slated for July 27 Jul 5th, 2016

  Gandis Mazeika, MD presents:   Dental Sleep Medicine Luncheon: "Screening Dental Patients for Sleep Apnea & Snoring" Date: Wednesday, July 27thTime: 12:30pm to 1:30pmLocation: Sound Sleep Health                    509 Olive Way, Suite 1435                    MDB Conference Room, 3rd Floor       ...

FAST FACTS: The difference between APAP and CPAP Jul 4th, 2016

If you are diagnosed with a pretty straightforward case of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you may be prescribed positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy for treatment. Those who qualify for CPAP therapy may often qualify for APAP. What is the difference between the two treatments?   CPAP: As its name suggests, continuous positive airway pressure...

Why is it hard to fall asleep away from home? Jun 30th, 2016

We've all experienced the oddness of sleeping in a strange place. We're in a different bed, with or without our usual bed partners. The lighting is different, the sound levels are different. The bedding looks, feels, and smells different. We could be exhausted from a day of traveling or attending...

Traveling with a CPAP Machine: Tips, Tricks, and Options Jun 29th, 2016

One of the key reasons why a person using CPAP may not be as compliant with their therapy is travel. Whether it's for vacation, work, or other reasons, there are many who think they can just leave their CPAP machine at home for a few days because they mistakenly believe they can go without using positive...

Top Reasons to Have a Sleep Study (Test) Jun 28th, 2016

You may have wondered whether you have a sleep disorder. Maybe you had a string of nights when you couldn't fall asleep. Or: A friend may have recommended that you have a sleep study. A loved one may have complained about your snoring or joked about your antics while asleep. Or you...

3 Ways to deliver air pressure: CPAP masks Jun 26th, 2016

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is considered the gold standard for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, the best CPAP machine in the world will make no difference if the right mask for delivering your therapy is not partnered with it.  Good news! The days of large shield-shaped masks reminiscent of old-school deep-sea diving...

Sleep Medicine Acronyms (From APAP to Zzzz): Part 4, S-Z Jun 22nd, 2016

It can be frustrating trying to understand medical jargon of any kind. Sleep medicine acronyms are no exception. Here is a series on abbreviations you are likely to encounter during your visits to a sleep specialist or sleep center.  This fourth section highlights terms that start with the letters S through Z. See...

Sleep Medicine Acronyms (From APAP to Zzzz): Part 3, N-R Jun 21st, 2016

It can be frustrating trying to understand medical jargon of any kind. Sleep medicine acronyms are no exception. Here is a series on abbreviations you are likely to encounter during your visits to a sleep specialist or sleep center.  This third section highlights terms that start with the letters N through...

Sleep Medicine Acronyms (From APAP to Zzzz): Part 2, E-M Jun 20th, 2016

  It can be frustrating trying to understand medical jargon of any kind. Sleep medicine acronyms are no exception. Here is a series on abbreviations you are likely to encounter during your visits to a sleep specialist or sleep center.  This second section highlights terms that start with the letters E through...

FAST FACTS: 14 reasons why you can't sleep at night Jun 19th, 2016

  If you can't sleep tonight, or didn't sleep last night, chances are, one of the reasons listed below explains why:   14 reasons why you can't sleep at night You have racing thoughts You slept in late or took a nap Your bed partner is a snoring machine (this includes both human and pet partners)...

Sleep Medicine Acronyms (From APAP to Zzzz): Part 1, A-D Jun 15th, 2016

It can be frustrating trying to understand medical jargon of any kind. Sleep medicine acronyms are no exception. Here is a series on abbreviations you are likely to encounter during your visits to a sleep specialist or sleep center.  This first section highlights terms that start with the letters A through...

Hypersomnolence: Is there such a thing as too much sleep? Jun 14th, 2016

While insomnia is a frequent battle for many people, feeling tired all the time while getting enough sleep is a challenge for others.  Hypersomnolence, or feeling tired all the time despite having adequate sleep at night, can be problematic for anyone who needs to stay awake and alert during the day.  While...

Where to buy CPAP supplies (DME, online, or retail?) Jun 13th, 2016

  If you've just received the results of your sleep study and discovered you need CPAP(or some other version of PAP therapy) to treat your sleep apnea, you may be surprised to find there are several ways to go about sourcing and purchasing your equipment and supplies.   Shopping for CPAP  To help...

FAST FACTS: Alcohol and Sleep Jun 12th, 2016

5 good reasons to skip the evening nightcap at bedtime #1. Alcohol disrupts sleep architecture While it's true that alcohol may help you to fall asleep faster, this doesn't come without a price. The metabolism of alcohol in the bloodstream during sleep leads to disruptions in overall sleep architecture.  We don't have...

How Much Does a PAP (CPAP, APAP, BiPAP) Machine Cost? Jun 8th, 2016

At Sound Sleep Health, we offer all the necessary equipment to start you on a new course of PAP therapy, as well as accessories and supplies for replenishment.  As with our sleep testing services, we believe our patients deserve transparency about the costs associated with our durable medical equipment provision.  As always, remember that the cost...

Does Insurance Pay for a CPAP Machine? (Coverage and Cost) Jun 7th, 2016

Just as with the costs associated with sleep studies, patients are equally concerned about the costs of buying and using positive airway pressure (PAP) therapies like CPAP, BiPAP, and ASV. Insurance can play a large part in this. Insurance plans will cover a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or other PAP device...

Does Insurance Pay for Sleep Studies? (Coverage, Costs, and Rates) Jun 6th, 2016

Insurance coverage may be the only kind of umbrella that rainy day Seattleites actually use when they can. But insurance can be complicated, especially when it's applied to specific kinds of medical procedures and tests. When it comes to sleep health diagnostics, the question begs:   Does health insurance cover sleep studies? ...

FAST FACTS: Signs that you might have sleep apnea Jun 5th, 2016

The most obvious signs of sleep apnea—the loud snoring, the gasping—are often the only reasons some people come to see the doctor about sleep breathing disorders. However, there are several other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea you need to be aware of. These are often overlooked indicators that, by themselves,...

Sleep Apnea and Truck Drivers Jun 2nd, 2016

It's estimated that 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women in the general population have sleep apnea (with many more still undiagnosed).  However, for truck drivers, the incidence of sleep apnea rises dramatically, to 20 percent of all drivers. Recent research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggests the number is...

How much does a sleep study cost? (Prices and Rates) Jun 1st, 2016

At Sound Sleep Health, we provide a full range of sleep testing services, including CPAP titration studies, home sleep testing, multiple sleep latency tests, maintenance of wakefulness testing, PAP naps, EEG diagnostics, and actigraphy. Regardless of your insurance status, you are encouraged to ask questions about medical pricing related to the sleep testing procedures we...

What is the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test? May 30th, 2016

There are a number of other tests performed in sleep clinics besides sleep apnea tests. They help measure the range of effects caused by other sleep disorders. One of them is used to measure how easy it is for some to stay awake, as opposed to fall sleep.  What is a Maintenance of...

FAST FACTS: Signs and symptoms of hypersomnolence May 29th, 2016

If you've been reading this blog, you've noticed there are many ways to refer to feeling sleepy all the time, such as: ...daytime fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, hypersomnolence, nodding off during the day, feeling tired all the time, narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia... Hypersomnolence refers to ongoing feelings of sleepiness during the day even...

How does a CPAP machine work? May 25th, 2016

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder of breathing mechanics.   In order to treat it, the simplest, and most effective, solution is to use a mechanical therapy that falls under the category of positive airway pressure (PAP).   CPAP, APAP, BiPAP, and ASV are all versions of this kind of...

The Best CPAP Mask: Pros and Cons of 3 Different Styles May 24th, 2016

For newly diagnosed sleep apnea patients, using CPAP for the first time can be challenging, made even worse if you select a mask that doesn't fit. Your success with using CPAP relies on how well your new CPAP mask fits. Before you choose your first one, here's an overview of the types available and...

"How do I clean my CPAP?" May 23rd, 2016

Once you start your CPAP therapy to treat your sleep apnea, you may wonder how hard it is to keep your system clean, and how frequently you need to keep it clean.  Here are some handy tips for making sure your CPAP machine and accessories are clean and well maintained. Keeping your...

FAST FACTS: THE ABCS OF POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE May 22nd, 2016

Positive airway pressure (PAP) actually refers to several therapy delivery systems used to treat various forms of sleep apnea.   APAP Stands for "automatic positive airway pressure" Delivers 1 single stream of pressurized air; however it delivers this stream inside a preset range of pressures as predetermined by the physician...

Sleep apnea and brain damage: one more reason to wear your CPAP mask May 18th, 2016

Brain damage is serious business, and researchers are on the lookout for causes as well as potential therapies that not only repair injured brain tissue, but reverse the damage. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked in multiple studies to brain damage in those who have the sleep disorder but are not...

What is Lucid Dreaming? (History, Benefits, and Techniques) May 17th, 2016

There's been a lot of recent discussion about the ability to practice something called lucid dreaming. Perhaps the release of the film, Inception, launched what is now an ongoing fascination with consciousness, dreaming, and memory. Today's tools of neuroscience are making it easier than ever to examine this behavior, which happens during what is...

Hypertension and Lack of Sleep May 16th, 2016

Today (May 17, 2016) is World Hypertension Day. Hypertension (otherwise known as high blood pressure), affects at least a third of all adults, according to the most recent data published by the Centers for Disease Control.  Most people don't inherently feel like they have high blood pressure, which is one reason why...

FAST FACTS: DROWSY DRIVING IN WASHINGTON STATE May 15th, 2016

Recently in Bellingham, a jury found a local man not guilty of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault for falling asleep at the wheel and crashing into a group of high school boys. Two were killed in the incident.  The man admitted to falling asleep, and those around him witnessed his sleepiness...

Hot summer nights? Don't be sleepless in Seattle May 11th, 2016

We've had a few scorching days in Seattle already this year, and it isn't even June. Chances are, this hot and dry weather, like the kind we had last summer, will hinder sleep. What is it about a hot summer that makes sleeping so challenging? When weather runs to extremes,...

Lack of Sleep and Mood Disorders: A Connection May 10th, 2016

Of the many things that a healthy sleep process achieves, one of them is the regulation of mood. As we sleep, we process emotional information and experiences so that they, in turn, become memories. When we don’t get enough sleep, we shortchange ourselves this process, leading to the likelihood we...

FAST FACTS: SLEEP APNEA vs SNORING May 8th, 2016

  DID YOU KNOW?    Sleep apnea almost always includes snoring as a symptom HOWEVER... Ordinary snoring does not necessarily signal sleep apnea  Sleep apnea-related snoring occurs mostly during REM sleep HOWEVER... Ordinary snoring happens across every sleep stage Sleep apnea is considered a sleep-related breathing disorder HOWEVER... Ordinary snoring is not considered a sleep disorder  Sleep apnea may be completely silent  HOWEVER... Ordinary snoring is never completely silent   Sleep apnea is...

Burning the midnight oil and creativity May 4th, 2016

May 05, 2016 |  Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH  |  circadian rhythms Are you a creative person? And if so, do you tend to stay up later than most other people in your household?  A link between staying up late—"to burn the midnight oil," as the cliché goes—and creativity has been found...

Phototherapy and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) May 3rd, 2016

  Phototherapy, also known as light therapy, bright light therapy, or blue light therapy, is a popular buzzword these days for people trying to improve their sleep health. What is it, exactly? And who can it help?   What is phototherapy? Phototherapy is a proactive regimen of controlled, intentional light exposure using specific kinds...

Check out our new CPAP Support Group! May 2nd, 2016

  You're invited!   June's CPAP Support Group Discussion: "CPAP Tips and Tricks" Date: Tuesday, June 7thTime: 6:00pm to 7:00pmLocation: Sound Sleep Health (Kirkland)13531 Juanita-Woodinville Way NE Our new free quarterly meetings are casual and open to those who suffer from sleep apnea or know someone who does.  This is a great opportunity for you to meet with others who share...

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) and Teenagers May 2nd, 2016

The scenario of the late-night teenager being dragged out of bed in order to go to school is classic. Up until recently, such behavior was blamed on poor sleep hygiene, laziness, and maybe the side effects of hormone imbalances.  Now we know better. Research shows our kids are more likely to...

Blue light therapy for sleep disorders: Insomnia, DSPS, and ASPS Apr 27th, 2016

  New technology and research on circadian rhythm dysfunction has opened up opportunities to apply therapy using blue spectrum light to help reset the body clock.   What is blue spectrum light and why does it matter to sleep? In this blog, we've previously discussed circadian rhythmsand how they rely on...

Insomnia vs Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome Apr 26th, 2016

  Some people will go to bed at a certain time of night, say 10 or 11 pm, and find it takes them a really long time to fall asleep. However, once they fall asleep—at 1 or 2 in the morning—they sleep completely through the night and get a full...

What is Insomnia? (Types and Causes) Apr 25th, 2016

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in adults. It has a significant impact on both life expectancy and quality of life, as this sleep disorder lays the groundwork for hosting major health problems as well as social or economic burdens later, if left untreated.  What's more, untreated insomnia leads to serious problems...

Insomnia and food allergies = food-allergy insomnia Apr 20th, 2016

Food allergies may be a silent culprit for some. They can lead to all kinds of symptoms that can wreck a perfectly good day. Take unidentified or untreated food allergies to bed with you, and you can be sure that both your days and nights will suffer.  What is food-allergy insomnia? According...

Peristalsis and Sleep: How both work in tandem with circadian rhythms Apr 20th, 2016

Though it may be common to get out of bed at night to use the restroom, very rarely is it due to a need to empty the bowel. Our brains and bodies are built, in fact, to "avoid the void" at night as we sleep.  What is Peristalsis? The way...

Acid Reflux and Sleep Apr 18th, 2016

In the old days, we called it heartburn. Now we call it acid reflux, or by its acronym GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disease. Whatever you want to call it, if you’ve ever had it and tried to sleep, you know what an uncomfortable exercise in frustration that can be. GERD affects millions of people worldwide...

Food and Sleep: What and when we eat matters to the body clock Apr 13th, 2016

Much has been made in the media about the relationship between what you eat and how well you sleep. Since eating and sleeping are two seemingly separate processes, it might seem like a leap to assume that one can influence the other. However, the human body is an interconnected system....

Idiopathic hypersomnia: feeling tired all the time Apr 12th, 2016

Life in the 21st century proceeds at a chaotic pace, leaving so many of us feeling like we are exhausted all the time. To be sure, the fatigue is real: we're working overtime, not sleeping enough, and hauling around a sizable amount of sleep debt as a result. But there's...

Night Terrors vs Nightmares: Both Can Be Very Frightening Apr 11th, 2016

It's common for people to think nightmares and night terrors refer to the same frightening sleep-related experience. After all, they both happen at night and they both seem terrifyingly real. However, there are measurable differences between night terrors and nightmares.    Nightmare vs night terror: What's the difference? In our recent discussion at this blog...

What is a Parasomnia? Things that go BUMP in the night! Apr 6th, 2016

"Things that go bump in the night" may be the best way to describe the category of sleep disorders known as parasomnias, which describe odd patterns of behavior that take place during sleep.  What is parasomnia? This category of unusual sleep disorders generally occurs during arousals between sleep stages. Its...

Circadian Rhythm Disorder and the Sleep Wake Cycle Apr 5th, 2016

  All human beings follow a specific pattern of activity and rest that more or less corresponds with the 24-hour period of the day. This specific pattern is guided by our circadian rhythms. What are circadian rhythms? These are the natural rhythms by which our body processes are tuned. Both internal and external...

What is REM sleep? Apr 4th, 2016

Rapid-eye movement sleep, or REM sleep, has captured the fascination of scientists studying sleep as well as dreams. This unique cycle in our sleep architecture has a form and function distinct among the other “nonREM” stages of sleep. We cycle through all the stages of sleep in a progression from...

What is Cataplexy and How is it Treated? Mar 30th, 2016

One of the more stunning symptoms of narcolepsy (see What is Narcolepsy? Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis) is an unusual type of neuromuscular event known as cataplexy.   What is cataplexy? Cataplexy occurs in narcoleptics when the body experiences a sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone for a brief period—less than 2 minutes—which...

What is a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)? Mar 29th, 2016

  You recently learned about the sleep disorder, narcolepsy, here at Sound Sleep Health (Narcolepsy: Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis). Critical to arriving at a diagnosis is the use of a specific kind of daytime sleep test known as the MSLT, or the multiple sleep latency test, to confirm a suspicion...

How much sleep do I need? Mar 28th, 2016

With the welcome light of longer days, warmer temperatures, and even some sun breaking through our Pacific Northwest cloud cover on occasion, it’s easy to find inspiration to launch a new diet or ramp up a fitness schedule. However,  a third practice—getting enough sleep—cannot be ignored if these other goals are to...

What is Narcolepsy? (Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis) Mar 23rd, 2016

Boston lawyer and marathoner Julie Flygare brought national attention to the sleep disorder known as narcolepsy with the release of her memoir, Wide Awake & Dreaming, in 2013. At age 22, she was diagnosed with this unusual—though not altogether rare—sleep disorder while studying at Harvard Law School. Prior to Flygare's emergence as an advocate for...

Restless Leg Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms Mar 22nd, 2016

One of the most common sleep disorders may be the one that many people don't even think about. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) affects up to 10 percent of all Americans; according to the National Institutes of Health, as many as five million individuals suffer moderate to severe cases. Also referred to...

Sleep and skin health: Beauty sleep is not a myth Mar 21st, 2016

There's no easier, quicker way to highlight the signs of aging than to shortchange yourself a good night's sleep. Aging happens, but when signs of it seem premature, you are best advised to examine why and find solutions. Americans spend millions of dollars on anti-aging efforts these days. This seems to have changed what we...

Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV) and Central Sleep Apnea Mar 17th, 2016

We have discussed the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) frequently at this blog. Recently we also introduced central sleep apnea syndrome (CSAS), a different kind of sleep apnea which occurs when the brain fails to signal to the respiratory system that it needs to continue breathing during sleep. CSAS is not a problem...

The Role of Sleep and Weight Loss Mar 14th, 2016

Following a healthy diet and getting ample exercise have long been the fundamental building blocks for achieving weight loss. However, you could sabotage your own best efforts by not factoring in a third and equally important practice: getting enough quality sleep.  It seems counterintuitive to push sleep as part of a...

The hazards of Daylight Saving Time: risks and tips Mar 14th, 2016

The switch to Daylight Saving Time (DST) has come and gone. If you’re like most Americans, you didn’t plan for it, and now you’re feeling sluggish and wonky. Why time changes make us tired What’s one lost hour? It doesn’t seem like much. In fact, for average Americans, the amount...

When is my partner's snoring more than annoying? Mar 10th, 2016

Remember, as a child, watching cartoons and seeing the creative, charming ways in which snoring was depicted? People floating above their beds with the inhale, landing softly with the exhale... the cute whistling noises and soft rattles reimagined into amusing songs? That's probably not the way your bedpartner snores. If only...

Shift Work, Hormones, and Hunger: A Vicious Cycle Mar 9th, 2016

If you’re among the 20% of Americans who work shifts other than the typical 9 to 5, you may be aware that your unconventional schedule comes with some challenges. Shift workers often have difficulty getting high quality sleep. Because of this, during your waking hours you may face challenges like...

Using Auto-CPAP (APAP) Therapy: It's not a set-and-forget option Mar 9th, 2016

  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be difficult to treat. Finding the perfect air pressure setting for some patients can be a real challenge. For this reason, many physicians prescribe an Auto-CPAP (or APAP) machine instead of a CPAP delivery system, because they put their trust in the “smart technology” that comes...

Sleep Apnea, Opioid Pain Medication, and the Sleep Study Mar 7th, 2016

  Chronic pain is the enemy of sleep. It leads to sleep complaints for an estimated 28 million Americans. At the same time, millions also suffer from another chronic problem: sleep apnea. Doubtless, because of the sheer numbers of people experiencing these problems, there will be crossover between these two patient populations....

When To Get New CPAP Supplies (Masks, Tubing, Filters & Machine) Mar 2nd, 2016

  Once you receive and begin to use your CPAP equipment, you will need to take good care to maintain it. You will also need to check it on a regular basis to make sure it’s not broken, leaking, or worn out. Most elements of your CPAP setup are fairly...

Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain: Reasons and Answers Mar 1st, 2016

  You may have noticed that we’re big fans of healthy weight management at Sound Sleep Health, and that’s no coincidence: we know first-hand how untreated sleep apnea can lead to weight gain and how being overweight can contribute to sleep apnea. Research shows that up to 80 percent of...

Are you sleeping all the time? (Reasons, Causes and Solutions) Feb 29th, 2016

In case you didn't hear about it in the news... Americans are challenged to get adequate, quality sleep. A CDC report last week reveals that a third of all adults in the US do not get the National Sleep Foundation's recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. This indicates that...

The Best Sleep Centers in Seattle Feb 24th, 2016

We at Sound Sleep Health take pride in providing a full range of high-quality sleep health services for our patients. Sometimes patients who need sleep clinic services are unable to make an appointment with us and request that we make recommendations. While we hope you would make Sound Sleep Health...

Causes of Bedwetting in Adults: Diagnosis and Treatment Options Feb 23rd, 2016

  Causes of Bedwetting Bedwetting in adults differs from bedwetting in children in a couple of important ways. First, childhood bedwetting is fairly common, whereas in adults, bedwetting is uncommon: at most, two percent of all adults experience it, according to data from the National Association for Continence.  Second, childhood bedwetting...

Problems with CPAP: When is BiPAP therapy the best treatment? Feb 23rd, 2016

It’s fairly common for those who are newly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to be placed on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat it. CPAP is considered the gold standard for treating OSA and the first-line treatment option for most cases of sleep apnea. However, it’s not the only variety...

Central Sleep Apnea: Causes, Diagnosis, and Therapies Feb 17th, 2016

Most people associate the term "sleep apnea" with its most prevalent variety, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which refers to mechanical issues in the upper airway that can lead to the partial or complete collapse of the airway during sleep.  However, there is another category of apnea that, while it's not as...

The Sleep Medicine Team: Physicians, Technologists, Educators, Dentists Feb 16th, 2016

A patient who suspects they have a sleep disorder learns pretty quickly that they cannot just hire a sleep doctor to fix their problem. Rather, what they enter into is much better: a relationship with a team of specialists who work in tandem across the continuum of that patient's care to ensure...

What is the best sleep study for my problem? Feb 16th, 2016

When sleep physicians refer to sleep studies, they are actually talking about a full range of different tests which are conducted based on protocols and parameters established by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). There are dozens of sleep disorders that require some form of testing in order to identify and...

How to practice good sleep hygiene: Tips & Tricks Feb 10th, 2016

There are numerous good habits you can adopt to help you achieve a better night's sleep as well as improve your alertness and energy during the day. If you regularly practice these habits, you are "practicing good sleep hygiene."  Despite what the term implies, sleep hygiene is not just about showering before...

What Is Sleep Debt and Why Should I Avoid It? Feb 8th, 2016

You've probably heard the term "sleep debt" and wondered what it means. Are hours of sleep something you can set aside in your own personal circadian bank to spend later? Can you really pay back lost sleep? If so, how? What is sleep debt? According to current recommendations from the...

What Is Sleep Apnea? (Signs, Symptoms, and Risks) Feb 8th, 2016

The term "sleep apnea" has become familiar to Americans, and for a good reason: it's estimated by the National Sleep Foundation that 18 million people suffer from this sleep-related breathing disorder, many of them undiagnosed and, consequently, untreated. OSA is more common in men and in post-menopausal women, but children can...