Program Offers Help for a Good Night’s Sleep

WARE — For most people, the past month has been a time to be bombarded with holiday parties, shop, clean house for guests, and otherwise get wrapped up in the season. When someone is pushed for time, the first thing that is sacrificed is often sleep, despite how important it is to staying healthy.

For many, the holidays are not the only time sleep problems surface. Nearly 700 million Americans suffer from a sleep problem; close to 60{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} have a chronic sleep disorder. Sleep problems affect men and women of every age, race, and socioeconomic class. Despite this widespread prevalence, most cases remain undiagnosed and untreated.

The public is invited to join Chad Mullin, director of Diagnostic Services at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, and David Williams, supervisor of the hospital’s Respiratory Therapy and Sleep Program, on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. as they discuss symptoms and treatment options for sleep-associated issues. The program will be held in the Main Conference Room located on the second floor of the hospital.

“Nearly everyone has occasional sleepless nights, but if you have trouble sleeping on a regular or frequent basis, you should talk to your doctor,” said Mullin. “You could have a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. Identifying and treating the cause of your sleep disturbance can help get you back on the road to a good night’s sleep.”

The program will discuss ways to improve the quality and quantity of one’s sleep, identify symptoms associated with more serious sleep issues, and sleep-study testing. Sleep studies, or polysomnographic studies, are a series of tests that evaluate what happens to the body during sleep. Sleep studies are carried out during the night so that normal sleep patterns can be reproduced; however, studies may be conducted during the day to accommodate night-shift workers.

The study measures sleep cycles and stages through the use of continuous recordings of brain waves, electrical activity of muscles, eye movement, breathing rate, blood pressure, blood-oxygen saturation, heart rhythm, and direct observation of the person during sleep. “Sleep studies are generally easy to tolerate, comfortable for patients, and give the sleep specialist and the physician the information they need to accurately diagnose and treat a sleep disorder,” said Mullin.

Refreshments will be served. To attend this program, registration is required by calling Baystate Health Link at (413) 967-2488 (800) 377-4325.

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