Dreaming of a good night’s rest?
From Spotlight on Health May/June 2008
Thanks to her husband ratting her out, Cindy
Johnson, 50, of Dassel, now can look forward
to getting a good night’s sleep.
It all started at a routine physical this January
when her doctor discovered that Cindy’s blood
pressure was abnormally high. While
discussing her health, her husband, Ron,
informed the doctor that Cindy snored
horribly and sometimes stopped breathing
Cindy knew that her snoring had gotten
worse. She even suspected sleep apnea, a
condition in which breathing stops briefly
during sleep. While recovering after surgery,
once in 2001 and again in 2002, her oxygen
levels dropped. It was recommended Cindy
be tested for sleep apnea, but at the time she
didn’t see it as important.
“I didn’t realize the ramifications of not
getting treated,” Cindy said.
Sleep problems have been linked to high
blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and
congestive heart failure.
What she did notice was the lack of energy.
“Snoring woke me up at night. In the
morning I was still tired and my throat hurt,”
Cindy said. “At a previous desk job, where
there were long stretches of sitting, I struggled
to stay awake.”
Cindy is not alone; more than 100 million Americans of all ages regularly fail to get a
good night’s sleep.
After learning of Cindy’s sleep issues, her
physician ordered a sleep test at the
St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center. Cindy’s test
came back positive for obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA), which typically occurs when the
breathing passage narrows significantly and
causes breathing difficulty. This can happen
hundreds of times per night. To treat her OSA, Cindy was fitted with a mask to force air into her nose while
sleeping. Other treatment options include surgery or use of oral
appliances, which keep the airway open by holding the tongue or
Fortunately for Cindy, she caught her problem in the early stages.
Now, both she and her husband can rest easy.
Warning signs of sleep apnea:
Loud, frequent snoring
A pattern of snoring interrupted by pauses, then gasps
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Trouble concentrating, or becoming forgetful, irritable,
anxious or depressed
Morning headaches or nausea
Learn more about the St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center.