Avera Medical Minute: Getting a Better Night's Sleep - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Getting a Better Night's Sleep

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Dot Blaha can now get a good night's sleep. Dot Blaha can now get a good night's sleep.

When you call it a night tonight, hopefully you will sleep peacefully. For a lot of folks who have sleep apnea they will snore so loudly they will not only wake themselves up, but also their bed partners. We went to the Avera Sacred Heart Sleep Lab in Yankton to see how they are treating folks so they can finally get a good night's sleep.

Dot Blaha of Yank ton has sleep apnea.  She now wears a mask to bed. It has been not only a lifesaver, but real life dream maker. Dot didn't know how bad it was or that she even had sleep apnea until her family heard her snoring down the hall one weekend and encouraged her to get to the doctor and that lead her here to the Avera Sacred Heart Sleep Disorders Lab.

Lindy Mahoney is a Certified Sleep Technologist and the coordinator of Avera Sacred Heart's Sleep Lab. She explains, "Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder when a person stops breathing at night. When they stop breathing, they wake themselves up and that causes very restless sleep. When the episodes occur they stop breathing because of an obstruction in their airway and their oxygen levels go down."

Dot says, "I had to have a nap before breakfast. I was tired all the time. I couldn't make it through the news and I never got to see you. I was tired and dragging all the time."

After being analyzed, Dot found out she stopped breathing hundreds of times during the night for 14 seconds at a time. Every time she woke herself, her legs would jerk.  After being fitted with a CPAP mask (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) her breathing is better, her legs are still and the snoring is gone.

The hose that goes with Dot's mask is really long so she can move all over the bed.  And if you are worried about the noise, it sounds like a little fan until you hook it up to the mask and then it's really quiet. Especially when you consider how load the snoring was before you got the mask..

Dot says, "It's made a huge huge difference in my life. It really really has."

Dot doesn't need naps anymore and she can make it through the news with out nodding off. So if you're reading this Dot, when it's time to turn in, I hope you sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Getting analyzed for sleep apnea is covered by most insurance companies, but your doctor needs to prescribe that you should go to a sleep lab to be checked.


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