How many times have you said to your loved one or children; sleep tight! But are you getting a good night's sleep? Some 70 million Americans have sleeping disorders like insomnia, teeth-grinding and sleep apnea. We met an Aberdeen man who is finally getting some zzzzzzz's after being treated for sleep apnea at Avera St. Luke's Sleep Lab.
Kevin Ragels from Aberdeen was part of the construction crew contracted to renovate and remodel the now upgraded Avera St. Luke's Sleep Lab. He also became one of the first patients to have a sleep study done once his work was done.
Kevin says, "Oh yeah, my snoring was unbelievable. I've been told that several times. You know (it's bad) when you nap and they're about ready to shake you back to life so I knew something was wrong and I figured this was a really good time to find out and how bad."
The sleep study showed he had a bad case of sleep apnea. When someone in the house has sleep apnea, no one in the house is getting quality sleep.
Karen: not at all. With the snoring, tossing and turning leg kicking trying to get air movement they aren't comfortable at all. The next morning they are tired, excessive sleepiness during the day because they are fighting for air all night.
Avera St. Luke's Certified Polysomnographic Technologist Karen Gambrel shows Kevin his sleep study and during an 8 hour period he stopped breathing more than 200 times. Just two hours into his slumber during that overnight study, they woke Kevin up and hooked him up with a mask and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. The air and humidity forces the airway open.
Kevin says, "That was the end. They told me I don't snore anymore. The next morning I work up and hadn't felt that good in a long time, a very long time. It was probably a life saver. It's pretty hard on you."
Karen Gambrel says, "It's awesome to see a guy like Kevin come in and be fixed the next morning. It's like, yeah, we did it! It's an awesome feeling to help someone breathe better and get a good night's sleep. It's what we live for."
Kevin said he waited way to long to get treated for sleep apnea. Now that he's getting some real shuteye, he says being alert and feeling alive in the afternoon has been a real eye opening experience, one he's happy to get used to.
It's important to talk over any problems you are having sleeping with your doctor. Like prescription medication, your doctor has to order a sleep study.