Millions of Americans could have healthier lives, be more productive at
home and work, as well as get more enjoyment out of life.
Lack of quality sleep gradually results in daily fatigue, loss of
concentration, as well as work- related loss of productivity and
accidents. While millions of Americans suffer with poor quality sleep,
only a small percentage seek help. Sleep
disorders affect men and women of every age, race and socioeconomic class.
“Almost everyone has periods of insomnia, where they have trouble
getting to sleep or sleeping through the night,” relates Dr. Vithalbhai
Dhaduk, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Marian Community
Hospital, Carbondale. “Many
victims think that there is no treatment for their condition or think it
is something they have to put up with. Others treat themselves with over-the-counter medications or
alcohol. When lack of
sleep impacts on the quality of life, the problem becomes a medical
concern that should be discussed with a doctor.”
Often symptoms are first identified by a bed partner or someone
else in the household who complains about loud snoring, thrashing, or
seeing that the other individual actually stops breathing for prolonged
times during the night. Sleep disorders and disturbances of sleep comprise a broad
range of problems. Some of
the major ones include sleep apnea and snoring, narcolepsy, insomnia and
disturbances associated with a variety of medical conditions and
“Most often a victim of a sleep disorder will first discuss the
situation with their family doctor,” outlined Dr. Dhaduk, a neurologist
with offices in Carbondale and Scranton.
“Many times there are things that someone with a sleep problem
may unwittingly do that prevents a good night’s sleep.
Alcohol slows brain activity.
When used at bedtime, it may help a person initially fall asleep,
but will disrupt sleep later. Over-the-counter
medications may stimulate rather than relax a person and usually only work
to mask underlying causes of sleep problems.
Caffeine stimulates the brain and interferes with sleep.
In addition to coffee, caffeine can also be found in tea, colas,
cocoa, chocolate as well as some prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Nicotine is another stimulant that interferes with sleep.
With an evaluation and medical examination, the physician can rule
out specific conditions or medical problems that may cause the sleep
disturbance. If this
evaluation fails to uncover the problem, the patient will be referred to a
sleep disorders specialist.
specialist in sleep disorders medicine will complete a medical assessment,
including a medical history and physical.
The physician may also speak to a spouse or other family members
about the patient’s sleeping and waking behavior.
In approximately 30 percent of sleep disorder cases, specific
physical conditions exist to cause the symptoms.
There may be excessive soft tissue making it difficult for the
patient to breathe properly. This
and many other conditions can be treated with various medical devices or
surgical procedures to reduce or relieve symptoms.
© 2001 Marian Community Hospital, Carbondale, PA. All
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