Karen Gambrel is a certified polysomnographic technologist at the Avera St. Luke's Sleep Lab..
The sleep lab at Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen has recently been completely remodeled and upgraded to keep up with demand. Up to 70 million Americans have sleep disorders with 5 % of adults having sleep apnea. Action News Anchor Nancy Naeve Brown asked a certified sleep technologist to describe this disruptive and potentially dangerous condition.
Karen Gambrel Sleep Technologist at Avera St. Luke's Sleep Lab says, "There are several types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the tongue falls to the back of the throat and cuts off the air supply to the brain and to the organs and that's when a patient either turns to the side or onto their stomach to open up that airway. Then we have central sleep apnea. That's when they completely stop breathing. There is no air movement at all. And then there is mixed sleep apnea. Obstructive, where the tongue falls to the back of the throat and a little central which is when they completely stop breathing and the tongue cuts off air supply too.
Q: When you have sleep apnea you really aren't getting a good night's sleep are you? And I would suspect your bed partner isn't either.
A: Not at all. With all the snoring, tossing and turning, leg kicking because they are trying to get air movement and they are not comfortable at all. The next morning they are tired and have excessive sleepiness during the day because they are fighting for air all night long.
It's important to talk to your doctor if you suspect you have sleep apnea. If they agree, they will more than likely order a sleep study. For more information call 877-AT-AVERA.