Sleep Disorders – When It’s More Than Just Snoring

Friday, February 15, 2013 9:00 AM comments (0)

Sleep-DisorderSnoring can impact more than just a restful night of sleep for you and a partner. Snoring is a condition that is caused by the narrowing of the airways and relaxation of muscles in the back of the throat. When chronic, it can reduce the amount of oxygen being supplied to the body, put unnecessary stress on the heart or cause you to stop breathing.

Snoring can be an indicator of other health conditions. For example, sleep apnea—a condition that nearly half of chronic snorers have—can often be linked to cardiac and pulmonary diseases.

Alfredo Gonzalez, MD, Cardiologist at NorthShore, identifies the following symptoms to help determine if you have a sleep disorder:

  • Trouble staying awake during the day (daytime somnolence). If you have a tendency to fall asleep while driving or while in a conversation, you should consider being screened for a sleep disorder. Having a hard time staying awake when doing less-strenuous activities (such as reading or watching a movie) may also be a signal.
  • Feeling tired or fatigued. Not feeling refreshed and re-energized after a night of sleep can be an indicator of a sleep condition, especially if you feel this way consistently.
  • Complaints by your partner that you snore either frequently or all the time at night. There is no way that you can know if you snore at night or not, so it can be helpful if another person tells you.
  • Leg movement in your sleep that disturbs the other party. This can consist of involuntary movement of your limbs—often  jerky—that may or may not wake you up.

How many hours of sleep on average do you get a night? Do you know if you snore?

Living a Heart-Healthy Life

Friday, February 08, 2013 8:31 AM comments (0)

 

Heart-Health-blogLet’s put the heart back into February. Aside from Valentine’s Day, this month is a great time to give some heartfelt attention to our cardiovascular systems. Small changes can be made to your day-to-day routine to help keep your heart in shape.

Hani Salti, MD, shares the following advice for ensuring a healthy heart:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise often. Physical activity not only has great benefits on our cardiovascular system—improvements can often be seen within a few weeks of beginning a routine—but it also can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. This in turn can help reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
  • Give up tobacco for good. Smoking takes a toll on your lungs, but it does the same for your body. Smokers have a much higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who don’t smoke.
  • Eat right and watch your portions. A smart, nutritious diet can greatly improve many body functions—and the heart is one of them. If you have a hard time watching your portions, try to eat slower. You may be surprised to learn you’re full before needing to reach for seconds.
  • Eliminate stress and focus on the positive. We live in a world where multi-tasking has become the new normal. Be sure to take time out of your busy day on a daily basis to unwind and relax.
  • Know your genes. If heart disease runs in your family, you may want to pay closer attention to ways to keep your heart healthy. You may also want to consult with your physician to see what other prevention and early detection measures you should employ to reduce your risk.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through their Million Hearts™ Initiative identifies the “ABCS” of improving cardiovascular care: Aspirin for those at risk; Blood pressure control; Cholesterol management; and Smoking cessation.

How do you keep your heart healthy?

 

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