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At Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorder Center in Auburn, AL, we always want to keep our clients informed. Check out our blog entries on the latest news and developments regarding sleep disorders.

Sleep Architecture: What it is and why it matters

April 8, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

Sleep Architecture: What it is and why it matters

[by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] Image courtesy University of Minnesota Libraries (open.lib.umn.edu ) Sleep architecture describes the parts of the biological process of sleep that create a whole "picture" of your night while asleep. Measuring the quality of one's sleep architecture includes data interpretations of components such as sleep stages, cycles, and sleep-wake phasing.  THE 4 SLEEP STAGES STAGE 1 (N1) [Up to 30 minutes, or ...

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What are the common sleep problems among diabetics?

April 7, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

What are the common sleep problems among diabetics?

 ​[by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] As if people with diabetes don't already have enough problems with their health, sleep disorders can be both common and frustrating for them.  ​SLEEP DISORDERS & DIABETES Some sleep disorders can be a root cause for the development of type 2 diabetes, such as untreated sleep apnea. Both the central and obstructive varieties of this sleep-breathing disorder can lead to oxidative stress on the ...

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Diabetes and Sleep: The Dawn Phenomenon

April 1, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

Diabetes and Sleep: The Dawn Phenomenon

DIABETES & SLEEP [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] You’ve probably not heard of this term unless you have diabetes or know and care for someone who does. It relates to a condition of the glucose-insulin balance we all experience upon awakening which is guided by transitions in circadian rhythms. Diabetes & circadian rhythms When a person finds they are insulin resistant or diabetic, they learn quickly that they must try to achieve a perfect balance of insulin and glucose in their blood at all times. However, our circadian rhythms have a different plan: in the morning, our bodies are primed to tolerate more glucose after a night’s rest, but at night, we become less tolerant to spikes in blood sugar. Significant rises in blood sugar at the end of the night comprise what is known as the Dawn Phenomenon. A diabetic person might go to bed with their blood sugar in check, only to wake up to find their numbers skyrocketing in the morning. Everyone has a dawn phenomenon. However, while nondiabetic people will also experience a rise in glucose in the morning as part of their circadian rhythm, their bodies naturally respond to this rise with the automatic release of more insulin to rebalance their blood sugar. For people with diabetes, this can be a significant challenge to wake up to, as they are incapable of generating insulin in response to these glucose spikes. What causes the morning glucose surge? In all human beings, the liver generates glucose from its stores of starch and fatty acids. Other organs also produce smaller amounts. These organs normally act on dips in blood glucose at night as we sleep by generating enough to achieve glucose-insulin balance. As the body’s circadian rhythms shift to signal awakening, stress hormones are released into the bloodstream to help achieve wakefulness. This surge of new hormones increases insulin resistance, which signals for the liver to make even more glucose to maintain a balance so we have enough energy to get out of bed. People who do not have diabetes are able to generate rises in insulin levels to handle the extra glucose burdening the bloodstream. However, people with diabetes no longer have the ability to do this on their own, and must use insulin. Dawn phenomenon can be dangerous for some diabetics, who may not see a relief in their glucose levels for hours after awakening. This is a long time to experience uncontrolled blood sugar and can lead to vascular damage as well as increased risk for stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, diabetic neuropathy, and heart disease. The heart health connection At night, our bodies are guided by shifts in a number of circadian rhythms that include changes in autonomic nervous system function (which regulates stress), heart rate, and blood pressure regulation. Different kinds of hormones, meant to relax us so we can sleep, predominate. Then, as the morning arrives, new sets of hormones surge into the bloodstream to prepare for awakening. In fact, it’s these differences in vital signs over the course of the night, and into the morning, that can lead to morning heart attacks for those with heart disease and/or diabetes. Both conditions have a significant impact on the circadian rhythms that directly work with the heart; disrupting the very rhythms designed to protect the heart can lead to damaging consequences. In addition, rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep occurs more frequently in the second half of the sleep cycle, especially near the end, and during this time, blood pressure can vary widely and heart rate may increase just as changes in blood sugar are also occurring which can affect heart function. Factor in untreated insomnia, sleep apnea, or any other source of ...

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National Sleep Awareness Month: Protect yourself from second-hand sleep problems

March 28, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

National Sleep Awareness Month: Protect yourself from second-hand sleep problems

MARCH IS NATIONAL SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH  [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] Sometimes you can practice healthy sleep habits, but your ability to get good sleep may still be compromised by factors that are beyond your control. In such cases, you may be experiencing something we call “second-hand sleep problems,” which happen to you as the result of other behaviors or elements of one's environment. ​If you suffer from ...

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National Sleep Awareness Month: Drowsy driving is impaired driving

March 25, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

National Sleep Awareness Month: Drowsy driving is impaired driving

MARCH IS NATIONAL SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH  [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] We love our cars in Alabama. In the Auburn-Opelika area, it’s still our favorite mode of transport to and from work and school. While Auburn isn’t the worst city in Alabama for commuter traffic, it still ranks 10th in state overall according to this poll. And even that isn't such a bad commute. But a ...

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National Sleep Awareness Month: Rule out sleep disorders first before diagnosing kids with ADHD

March 21, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

National Sleep Awareness Month: Rule out sleep disorders first before diagnosing kids with ADHD

MARCH IS NATIONAL SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH  [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] It might be surprising to learn that children have sleep disorders (beyond the common resistance to bedtime). However, school-aged kids can experience a wide range of sleep disorders, from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to insomnia to narcolepsy to parasomnias like sleepwalking and night terrors. If your child’s pediatrician routinely asks about their sleep health, congratulations! That’s ...

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National Sleep Awareness Month: Springtime is a good time to reset your circadian rhythms

March 18, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

National Sleep Awareness Month: Springtime is a good time to reset your circadian rhythms

MARCH IS NATIONAL SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] With the return of light following the time change, and this week's vernal equinox (which happens at 11:15am on Tuesday, March 20 here in Auburn), it's worth noting that our sleep-wake cycles depend upon our brains to process light to keep our rhythms on track.​  What is sometimes overlooked, however, is the importance of our ...

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National Sleep Awareness Month: When kids' sleep isn't dreamless and the dreams aren't sweet...

March 14, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

National Sleep Awareness Month: When kids' sleep isn't dreamless and the dreams aren't sweet...

MARCH IS NATIONAL SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] Sometimes, it's not getting kids to go to sleep at bedtime that's a problem for some families. Sometimes it's the more scary sleep problems known as nightmares and sleep terrors that keep both kids and parents awake at night.  Believe it or not, while these both sound like the same sleep disorder, they are two ...

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National Sleep Awareness Month: Sleepy Monday means more accidents, heart attacks

March 11, 2018 By Aishling Sleep Health Management - 0 Comments

National Sleep Awareness Month: Sleepy Monday means more accidents, heart attacks

MARCH IS NATIONAL SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH  [by Tamara Sellman RPSGT CCSH for Advanced Cardiovascular Sleep Disorders Center] Tomorrow is dubbed "Sleepy Monday" in response to the spring change to Daylight Saving Time, and for good reason. We're all a little more sleepy than usual on a Monday morning after we "spring" our clocks forward. While this may seem like a quaint characterization of modern-day America, the reality is a bit darker: Sleepy Monday is ...

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