Could this sleep disorder be causing your restless sleep and daytime exhaustion?
There are many issues and factors that can affect your quality of sleep. We all know how important sleep is and not getting the proper, restful sleep you need can be detrimental. If you find yourself dealing with insomnia, tossing and turning, or if you wake up exhausted then you could be dealing with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). Don’t know what UARS is? Don’t worry; our sleep specialists in Portland and Astoria, OR, are here to tell you more.
What is UARS?
This sleep disorder occurs when the airways constrict and affect the quality of your sleep. Those with UARS don’t often know that they have this condition but will often experience persistent bouts of insomnia and extreme daytime exhaustion. Those with UARS are also more likely to snore.
What causes this sleep disorder?
The causes of UARS are actually quite similar to obstructive sleep apnea. Those with UARS may have loose tissue in the back of the throat, which is prone to collapsing and blocking the airways while asleep. In other cases, the tongue rolls back and blocks the throat throughout the night.
How is UARS different from sleep apnea?
UARS and sleep apnea seem rather similar, so one question that our sleep doctor gets often is, “What makes UARS different from sleep apnea?” While sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing throughout the night this doesn’t occur in those with UARS. Those with UARS will only experience a reduction in breathing due to airway constrictions.
While sleep apnea is also more common in men than women, UARS occurs equally in both men and women. Even though most people assume that sleep apnea is more serious, it’s important that UARS symptoms don’t go ignored, as this condition can easily progress into obstructive sleep apnea.
How is UARS treated in Portland and Astoria?
UARS is often treated in the same way as obstructive sleep apnea through a mix of lifestyle modifications and CPAP and/or oral appliance therapy.
Lifestyle modifications: This includes everything from losing weight (if necessary), quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and following good sleep habits.
Oral appliance: This custom dental appliance is used to either prevent the tissue in the throat from collapsing or the tongue from blocking the airways. It is worn at night and is custom-made to fit your mouth.
CPAP treatment: This is the most common sleep apnea treatment and can also be effective for treating symptoms of UARS. By wearing this mask over your nose and/or mouth at night this pressurized air helps keep the airways clear while you sleep.
Pacific Sleep Program is dedicated to providing comprehensive sleep medicine in both Astoria and Portland, OR. If you are experiencing symptoms of UARS then it’s time you called us today for an evaluation. We make it easier to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Is restless leg syndrome (RLS) keeping you up at night? Portland and Astoria, OR, sleep medicine specialists Dr. Gerald Rich, Dr. Radhika Breaden and Dr. Gregory Clark share a few tips that will help you cope with RLS.
What is RLS?
RLS causes a creepy, crawly, tingling sensation in your legs that makes it impossible to stay still. Moving relieves the symptoms, but often they occur again as soon as you sit or lie down. Although the annoying symptoms of RLS can occur during the day, people tend to notice them more at night when they're trying to fall asleep.
Nobody knows why some people get RLS, but the symptoms can be worse if you don't get enough sleep, drink alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, or use nicotine products. In some cases, RLS can be caused by nerve damage, kidney failure or iron deficiency.
How can I relieve my RLS symptoms?
You may find that RLS symptoms occur less often if you:
- Apply Heat to Your Legs: Soaking your legs in warm water or using a heating pad relaxes your muscles and may decrease your symptoms.
- Try a Nightly Massasge: Massage also helps relax leg muscles. Spending a few minutes kneading your calf muscles before you go to bed just may help prevent those uncomfortable sensations.
- Just Relax: Stress can make your condition worse. Any activity that reduces your stress level may be helpful. Whether you prefer exercise, yoga, meditation or listening to your favorite songs, a little stress relief may be just what you need to enjoy a peaceful night's sleep. If exercise is your favorite stress buster, be sure to indulge in a workout early in the day. Exercising too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Do you go to bed at the same time every night? If you don't maintain the same schedule, you may become chronically fatigued. Although being tired may seem like the ideal way to get a good night's sleep, fatigue may increase your RLS symptoms.
If those tips don't help, give us a call at our Portland or Astoria, OR office. Our sleep medicine specialists can offer recommendations and medications that will help you sleep better and eliminate those unpleasant sensations in your legs.
Restless leg syndrome treatment can relieve your discomfort. If you're troubled by RLS, schedule an appointment with sleep medicine specialists Dr. Gerald Rich, Dr. Radhika Breaden and Dr. Gregory Clark by calling (503) 325-3126 for the Astoria, OR, office or (503) 228-4414 for the Portland, OR, office.
Find out why you should treat your sleep apnea if you suffer from this disorder.
Are you wondering whether your tossing and turning nights and exhausting days are just the cause of everyday stressors or if there is something more at hand? Could you be suffering from sleep apnea? While most people do feel tired at some point during the day, someone with true sleep apnea experiences extreme fatigue no matter how much sleep they get. Here at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland and Astoria, OR, we are dedicated to providing quality sleep medicine to help those with sleep apnea get the care they deserve.
So, what exactly does sleep apnea do to your sleep and how does it affect your health?
If you thought that sleep apnea only affected the quality of your sleep, you’re mistaken. Think about it: You have a disorder that stops you from breathing multiple times throughout the night. This means that each night you aren’t getting the necessary amount of oxygen that your brain requires. Sure, you’ll feel groggy and zombie-like when waking up in the morning, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Untreated or unmanaged sleep apnea is linked with a slew of health problems such as:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart attack and heart failure
On top of these serious and potentially life-threatening health problems, sleep apnea can also affect your work performance and increase your chances of car accidents or work-related injuries due to extreme fatigue.
If you wake up feeling extremely tired all the time despite getting a full night’s sleep, if you find it difficult to concentrate at work, if you notice frequent headaches in the morning or if you are a loud snorer, then these are problems that need to be properly evaluated by a Portland and Astoria sleep medicine specialist.
If you want to learn more about the sleep medicine services we offer in Portland and Astoria, OR, then turn to the experts at Pacific Sleep Program to help you achieve the quality sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed. Don’t let sleep apnea dictate your sleep schedule.
What your doctors in Astoria and Portland, Oregon, want you to know
Snoring is a common problem. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 37 million people in the United States snore regularly. There are several reasons you might be snoring. Your doctors at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland, Oregon want to share the facts about snoring and what you can do about it. They have offices in Portland, and Astoria, Oregon to help you.
Snoring is caused when your soft palate, tongue, and throat relax completely during deep sleep. The soft tissues begin to vibrate causing snoring. The sounds will become louder as your airway narrows. If your airway is blocked completely, you may have sleep apnea which can be serious. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about half of people who snore regularly have sleep apnea.
There are several risk factors and causes of snoring. You are at greater risk of snoring due to:
- Oral anatomy; if you have a low soft palate, your airway can become narrow or blocked
- Structural issues with your nose; if you have narrowed nasal passages due to a deviated septum, it increases your chances of snoring
- Excess weight; if you are overweight, you may have extra tissue in the back of your throat which can narrow or block your airway
- Drinking alcohol; alcohol relaxes your throat, which can cause narrowing of your airway
- Sleeping position; if you sleep on your back, it will relax your throat, narrowing your airway
There are some lifestyle changes you can do to limit snoring. You can try:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Taking a nasal decongestant before bed
- Avoiding alcohol consumption before bed
- Sleeping on your side
For chronic, loud snoring, it’s best to visit your doctors at Pacific Sleep Program. They may suggest a sleep study to determine your sleep patterns, snoring, or if you have sleep apnea. They may suggest several effective treatments including:
- An oral mandibular advancement appliance, which moves your jaw and tongue forward, keeping your airway open while you sleep
- A continuous positive airway pressure appliance, which provides a continuous flow of oxygen while you sleep
- Tissue ablation or laser surgery to remove excess tissue
Snoring can be annoying to you and your family members, but you don’t have to put up with it. Call your doctors at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland, or Astoria, Oregon. They want to help you get a good night’s sleep, so call today!
Are you worried that your sudden bouts of sleepiness could actually be narcolepsy?
Do you or someone you love suddenly fall asleep throughout the day, usually in the midst of your daily routine? Are you worried that these sudden attacks of sleep could be something more serious? Our Portland and Astoria, OR, sleep medicine doctors - Dr. Gerald Rich, Dr. Radhika Breaden and Dr. Gregory Clark - are here to provide a little insight into the signs and symptoms of narcolepsy.
What is narcolepsy?
This neurological condition impairs how your brain regulates sleep and wakefulness. Those who suffer from narcolepsy are prone to extreme bouts of sleepiness and will often fall asleep suddenly throughout the day. This can happen at any time. You may suddenly find yourself asleep at your desk or you may find yourself prone to these attacks while eating or exercising.
What are the symptoms?
One of the telltale signs of narcolepsy is extreme fatigue during the day. This symptom is one of the most common symptoms of narcolepsy. You may feel sleepy without warning. You may fall asleep for only a few seconds or a few minutes throughout the day. You may find it difficult to concentrate or you may feel like you’re in a brain fog right before your narcoleptic attacks.
You may also experience sleep paralysis, in which you are unable to move or talk for a few seconds before falling asleep or when first waking up. Even though your body may still be in REM sleep, you will still know that you are awake but unable to move or speak. This can often be unnerving to some and may cause them to come into our office for help.
Narcoleptics may also have trouble sleeping at night. While they are prone to sudden sleep sessions during the day, this can lead to interrupted sleep at night. As a result, you may suffer from insomnia or find yourself waking up several times a night.
What are my treatment options?
Even though there is no cure for narcolepsy, your symptoms can easily be managed through lifestyle changes and medications. Our Portland and Astoria, OR, sleep specialists may prescribe stimulants or antidepressants. Certain lifestyle modifications include:
- Staying away from caffeine or alcohol a few hours before bedtime
- Maintaining the same sleep schedule every night
- Getting regular physical activity
- Taking small naps during the day, as needed
- Finding a support group
Pacific Sleep Program is helping those in Portland and Astoria, OR, get a better night’s sleep. Isn’t it time you got the quality, restorative sleep you’ve been looking for? We are here to help.
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