So, what kinds of medical issues could be behind a bad night's sleep?
Could a mattress that costs more be the key?
Tonight, we're going to try and put together, sort of a guide and see what steps can be taken that might help us finally achieve that ever elusive perfect night's sleep.
"I find it very hard to fall asleep."
"When I finally do fall asleep, I sleep maybe 2, 3- hours. Then I'm up."
"Why can't I sleep? I'm so tired. I know I'm going to be up with the kids in the morning."
According to Consumer Reports, which surveyed more than 26- thousand of its subscribers, the number one reason we can't sleep is work related stress, followed by financial difficulties.
For those like Kurt Marten, there are also health problems.
Kurt: "I would wake myself up snoring. You know, not breathing and wake up, and then sometimes have trouble going back to sleep."
Caroline Gellner/Texoma Sleep Diagnostics: "He was taking a nap, and she came and got me, it was my step mother. And, she said, you've got to come and listen to this. And, I mean you could hear him through the whole house snoring away. It wasn't a faint snore. It was quite loud. But, the part that was most disturbing was when he would stop breathing. And, he would stop for quite a long period of time. And, it was in his sleep."
Kurt: "I would be from about the middle of my chest up, soaking wet like I'd run a marathon. Worn out, tired, exhausted."
But, as luck would have it, Kurt's daughter, Caroline works at Texoma Sleep Diagnostics in wichita falls, and she knew it was time for him to see a physician.
Kurt: "Had to go to the doctor first, and the doctor wrote a prescription. This is part of the process. Came here and did it."
Caroline: "You do the diagnostic polysomnogram first, and that is where they have electrodes from head to toe monitoring what happens internally while they sleep, any kind of motions, sounds, if they are making it into their rem cycles. They've got one here. If they're grinding. They've got them down on their legs, extremities for restless leg. They are watching the oxygen levels in your sleep, your heart arrhythmia."
Well, those symptoms are the same symptoms people live with year after year. And, what they do here at Texoma Sleep Diagnostics is determine how to best treat the problem that can be caused by so many different things.
A lot of times Obstructive Sleep Apnea is brought on by lifestyle, and different diseases. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, depression, a lot of patients are fairly overweight or obese.
Angie Lynn/Regional Polysomnograph Technician: "If you let signs of apnea go untreated, you're at high risk for high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Apnea puts a lot of pressure on your heart. So, by the time a patient ends up here at our facility, they usually had at least one of the three."
Caroline: "These are the leads, and they will go onto this small apparatus that the patient will have hooked onto them."
And, basically, this machine monitors each breath a patient takes during the study so that the information can be turned over to an interpreting physician, who will discuss treatment options.
Some might need a dental device, or a breathing machine like kurt.
Others might need to see a specialist.
Caroline: "Be it, they need to see an ear, nose and throat physician, because the anatomy and the structure of their nasal breathing, something an ear nose and throat doctor would have to assess."
It is possible, though, our trouble's much simpler, our mattress.
In a story we aired back in July of 2012, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 12- thousand subscribers.
Turns out inner spring mattresses, at the time, did not rate as well as others.
"You hear the big retailers and they'll say best mattresses, best price. It sounds like a slogan. You think it's true, but that's really not what our survey found."
So, what about medical means to help you get your zzzz's?
Consumer Reports has also looked into over the counter drugs like Tylenol PM, Advil PM, and Niquil.
All helpful, but not the best.
"40- percent of respondents said they help a lot, compared to the newer prescription sleep medications like Ambien and its generic, Zolpidem. Those scored at 70 percent."
But, a serious drawback.
A significant number of people were overusing prescription drugs.
And, given those drawbacks, alternative therapies, like yoga and meditation, are worth considering.
At least a quarter of those who tried alternative treatments found they helped, just as Kurt's breathing machine helped him.
"The difference in before and after is light years. I don't mean just a little bit of difference, it's a lot of difference. You wake up feeling better. You don't wake up worn out."
Other areas, from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, to poor sleep hygiene, drug and alcohol abuse, and even watching TV or drinking caffein too late can cause sleep depravation.
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