Wednesday, February 29, 2012
For years, Joe Schmucker tossed, turned and snored at night, keeping both he and his wife awake.
"I wasn't getting any kind of rest at all. I was constantly awake because of the snoring," said Schmucker.
Hoping for a solution, Schmucker's doctor issued him a sleep test.
"I was hooked up to the equipment for 6 hours. I was asleep 60% of that time, which is close to 200 minutes. In that time, I woke up 117 times," said Schmucker.
For some, waking 117 times is actually a low number.
Research shows some sleepers wake up nearly 500 times in one night.
In fact, more than 40 million adults suffer from a chronic sleep disorder. 80% of those cases are un-diagnosed.
"I think we're all familiar with the consequences of not getting a good night's sleep. Now, imagine the consequences of never getting a good night's sleep," said David Rose, Sleep Wellness Center.
That is part of the reason Rose and several business partners started the Sleep Wellness Center of Wichita just two months ago.
"I think we're finding that it's a problem that's been there all along, but modern medicine has only recently caught up with properly diagnosing," said Rose.
Rose's lab, like others, tests for a variety of conditions that keep people awake. Some of those are restless leg syndrome, arrhythmia of the heart, neurological disorders, narcolepsy, insomnia and most commonly, apnea.
"The problem with sleep apnea, is it does not allow the individual to get into REM sleep, which keeps the patient at a shallow level of sleep, or wakes them up fully," said Rose.
To find out if a patient is suffering from apnea or other disorders, about a dozen wires are connected to a variety of points on a patients' body.
Once the wires are hooked up to the patient, and the patient is in bed, ready to sleep, they are filmed on a camera, as a technician sits just outside the room monitoring the entire night's sleep.
The wires are hooked up to a machine that records the sleep pattern on a computer, showing every snore, movement, eye blink and even when the patient grinds his teeth.
"That study has to be scored and interpreted," said Rose.
It is then sent back to the physician who prescribes the course of treatment.
In Schmucker's case, he suffered from sleep apnea.
With the help of a machine called a CPAP, Schmucker is now able to sleep at night.
"It makes a tremendous difference in the way you feel. Now, I wake up and I feel rested," said Schmucker.