Sleep lab helps identify causes of sleep problems


PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — More than a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep.

According to the CDC, a lack of sleep can increase the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and obesity.

If you’re getting less then the recommended seven hours a night, you might want to visit a sleep lab.

Mike Harrison works for Horizon Health, but he’s also been a patient in its leep lab.

“In addition to being really tired all the time, I had headaches, especially in my eyes, my blood pressure was really, really high and I couldn’t concentrate, Harrison said.

When a person goes and stays at the sleep lab, staff will try to make it feel like home.

“If they watch TV, I leave the TV on,” said sleep lab technician Mike Marx. “If they want a radio, we find a radio. Fan? You get a fan. So we really try to make it comfortable for them.”

Small wires or leads are attached to a patient.

While a person sleeps, staff monitor things like a person’s brain wave, heart rhythm and breathing.

A specially trained doctor then studies the results.

They find out why a person is having trouble getting rest.

“The doctor reads the study and that information is so helpful in helping these people,” Marx said.

Also during the study, participants might use what’s called a C-PAP machine to help with their breathing and increase oxygen intake.

“I seen people who literally told me they never sleep and when I put them on a C-PAP and try to wake them up in the morning, they say please let me sleep. I’ve not slept like this for years,” Marx noted.

Harrison now uses a C-PAP machine every night. He even takes it with him when he travels.

“Oh, I sleep a lot better,” Harrison said. “I sleep a lot better. I don’t get the headaches anymore and the blood pressure is under control.”

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