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  Researchers are puzzled as to why there seems to be a significant rise on rates of asthma in children compared to previous years. A study released from the CDC reported that nearly one in 10 children and one in 12 Americans have asthma. From 2001 to 2009, the overall rate of asthma increased 12.3%. In 2013, it cost $57 billion to care for asthma patients.

 Despite lower rates of smoking and second-hand smoke, the prevalence of asthma increased in all demographic groups, including men, women, whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Possible reasons for this sudden increase include various allergens, traffic fumes, pesticides, certain plastics, diet and obesity.

  Here’s one more possibility: Obstructive sleep apnea. We know that children are more overweight than ever, and along with this it’s expected that sleep apnea will increase as well. Multiple breathing pauses at night can literally suction up your stomach juices into your throat, which can then reach your nose or your lungs. This causes your nose and your lungs to become inflamed and overreactive to allergies, fumes, and even weather changes.

  Lack of deep sleep also causes your nervous system and your immune system to become hypersensitive, aggravating this vicious cycle.

Notice how it’s not just asthma rates that are going up. Many of the other childhood related conditions are going up as well: obesity, ADHD, autism, allergies, etc. These are all part of the same continuum that unfortunately, are treated as independent conditions. With multiple breathing pauses at night, any of these conditions can occur or aggravate an already existing condition.

  Having an asthma attack in the middle of the night can be a frightening and terrifying experience. Typically, these attacks happen in the early morning hours, just before awakening. 

  Now there’s research showing that poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy can increase a woman’s chances of developing preeclampsia (50%) and premature births (25%). Furthermore, infants born to mothers with poorly controlled asthma delivered babies that were about 0.2 pounds less than those born to mothers without asthma.

  We typically think of asthma being a separate, distinct condition from obstructive sleep apnea, and it’s treated in completely different ways. However, it’s not just coincidence that nocturnal awakenings from asthma and the most intense periods of apnea occur at the same time in the middle of the night—the early morning hours.

  The early morning hours are when REM sleep is most prominent, and this is the time when throat muscles are most relaxed. Having an apnea also is known to cause reflex, which is known to reach the throat as well as the nose and the lungs. In one small study in people with sleep apnea and asthma, treating sleep apnea with CPAP significantly improved nocturnal asthma symptoms. 

  We know that any degree of stress on the mother’s body can lead to a higher rate of pregnancy-related complications and low birth rates. Even snoring by the mother alone was found to result in lower Apgar scores in newborn infants. Apneas are also known to raise blood pressure and promote insulin resistance. Stress hormones are also known to increase when you have apneas.

  In light of all these findings, it’s not surprising that pregnant women with poorly controlled asthma have higher complications rates. This is another great example of “connecting the dots” between two seemingly unrelated conditions, which only adds to support my sleep-breathing paradigm.

At The Alaska Sleep Clinic, we provide consultation and therapeutic management for a wide variety of pediatric sleep disorders. We understand that your child's health is important to you and we want to assure you that our Board Certified Sleep Physicians are highly adept at treating child sleep disorders.  Click the link below for a free 10 minute phone consultation.

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Since today is the longest day of the year, it seems appropriate to discuss circadian rhythm and the role that daylight plays in our sleep cycle.

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Quality sleep is extremely important in the physiological, cognitive, and emotional development of children. At different stages of a child's development sleep needs change. In order to help children get as much quality sleep as possible, parents should have a strong understanding of the sleep requirements necessary for their children at various stages in their lives.

One study found that approximately 27% of children are sleeping less than is recommended for their age. Sleep debt in children can lead to an array of consequences including inattention, irritability, hyperactivity, impulse control problems, behavioral issues at home and school, learning troubles, and overall quality of life.

Poor sleep in children often leads to sleep troubles for the parents as well. When children frequently wake in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep, most parents respond by waking up themselves and helping soothe them back to sleep. Over time both the parents and the children can become sleep deprived.

Of all the potential sleep disorders found in young children, Behavioral insomnia is the most frequently cited, surpassing other sleep disorders including breathing disorders like sleep apnea (1-3%), sleep related movement disorders such as restless leg syndrome (2-8%), and parasomnias such as night terrors (5-35%) [source].

 
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"I spend several days at a time without enough sleep. At first, normal activities become annoying. When you are too tired to eat, you really need some sleep. A few days later, things become strange. Loud noises become louder and more startling, familiar sounds become unfamiliar, and life reinvents itself as a surrealist dream."

 –Henry Rollins

People suffering from sleep loss may not realize just how many causes to their sleep troubles are out there.

External factors, personal choices, other people, medical conditions, and sleep disorders can all work independently or jointly to rob you of much needed sleep.

Here we compile a list of the most common sets of sleep disturbances that may be causing you to ask "why can't I sleep?"

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It's A Part Of Who I Am | Season 1 Ep. 9 | THE LAST MAN ON EARTH - YouTube

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Today is Paul McCartney's 76th birthday!  Sir Paul may not use a CPAP machine; but he definitely appreciates good sleep!  After all, he and John Lennon did write these lyrics:

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Father’s Day is this weekend, and we are celebrating our dad’s with the gift awareness!

Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million Americans, but did you know that sleep apnea is more prevalent in men vs. women with a ratio of 8:1, according to the National Sleep Foundation? This disorder is defined as having “one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep” (NHLBI) and can be under-diagnosed because of the fact it that only a partner or sleep test can observe the symptoms.

Most of the time individuals are unaware that they may suffer from the condition and fail to seek necessary treatment. Some symptoms include waking up suddenly throughout the night short of breath, waking up with dry mouth or a sore throat, headache, daytime sleepiness, irritability or attention problems.

If left untreated, sleep apnea is linked to very serious conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. This is why it is vital for individuals to be tested and seek treatment early on.

If you or a loved one exhibits any symptoms of sleep apnea, call Alaska Sleep Clinic right away and speak to one of our board-certified sleep specialists.

Our Dad’s are selfless caretakers who consistently put our needs ahead of their own. Sometimes they need some encouragement to take care of themselves. Show your dad love and appreciation by making sure he knows how much you care and that you want him to be healthy.

Happy Father’s Day to all from all of us at Alaska Sleep Clinic!  We wish you a lifetime of love, laughter, and health!

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At The Alaska Sleep Clinic we have heard just about every excuse possible from patients about why they didn't believe their sleep apnea (or other sleep disorder) was a major cause for concern. Many of these patients didn't realize they had a problem until a loved one showed concern for their sleeping habits. Others weren't convinced serious health problems could result from sleep troubles. And quite a few people were more worried about the cost of having a sleep study than the negative impact that living with a sleep disorder could have on their lives.

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