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Thoracic Medicine

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Sleep Medicine

Latest News

Often times when we can’t sleep or we feel tired throughout the day, there are common “quick fixes” which we use to help us fall asleep easier and give us an extra boost in the morning. However, some of these habits can often be detrimental to your sleep health, affecting you not just at night, but throughout the day as well.

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New research has found that the less we sleep in midlife, the faster our brains can decline and lead to cognitive impairment in old age.

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“What is happening in YOUR sleep?!? How can you really know? Ever thought of using a sleep app? There are some misunderstandings to what data is relevant when using sleep apps so understanding the limitations are IMPORTANT. "It is always recommended to follow up with a sleep study to be sure nothing is missed. “

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A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may raise the risk of osteoporosis, particularly among women or older individuals, according to a new study. OSA is a condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. If left untreated, OSA can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.  New research shows that OSA may also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

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Insomnia predisposes individuals to increased risk of stroke and this association is profound among young adults – up to eight times greater among insomniacs 18 to 34 years old.  The results of a recent study underscore the clinical importance of identifying and treating insomnia.

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Heavy drinking damages the body in many ways. In addition to liver failure, alcoholics are at a much greater risk of developing pneumonia and life threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), for which there is no treatment. Researchers suspect that alcoholics are more susceptible to these lung diseases because the immune system in the lung is no longer strong enough to protect from infection and damage, but, it had been unclear why the immune system in the lung fails.

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Do I Have A Sleep Disorder?

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale

sleep disorder

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a way of finding out how sleepy someone is during the day, and was first devised by Dr Murray Johns in Australia and published in 1991.

It is now used internationally by sleep clinics, research groups and sleep physicians.

Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS)

Below is the ESS, get a pen and paper and write out your score for each of the questions below. Then add your total score up out of 24.

0 – No chance of falling asleep
1 – Slight chance of falling asleep
2 – Moderate chance of falling asleep
3 – High chance of falling asleep

Sitting and Reading 0 1 2 3
Watching TV 0 1 2 3
Sitting inactive in a public place 0 1 2 3
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break 0 1 2 3
Lying down in the afternoon when circumstances permit 0 1 2 3
Sitting and talking to someone 0 1 2 3
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol 0 1 2 3
 In a car while stopped in traffic for a few minutes 0 1 2 3

If your total score was more than 5, you have mild sleepiness and may not be getting the proper sleep you need.

If your score is 10 or more you should talk to your doctor about how to improve your daytime energy levels and alertness.

Take your score to your doctor and talk about whether you might require a diagnostic sleep study.

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