Are Allergies Really to Blame for Your Sleepless Nights?
Sleep Disorders Exacerbated by Seasonal Allergies May Be Leading Cause of Lack of Rest for Arizona Residents This Spring
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Winter rains in Arizona have given way to an abundance of flowers, grasses, trees and other pollen producing plants, leaving many Arizonans wheezing, sneezing and losing sleep due to seasonal allergies. But while seasonal allergies can impact the quality of sleep, men and women with unhealthy sleep patterns shouldn’t automatically assume that allergies are solely to blame.
“The beautiful spring in Arizona can be an extremely difficult time for the many people who suffer from seasonal allergies,” said Lauri Leadley, RPSGT, RCP, respiratory therapist and President, Valley Sleep Center. “However, where there’s correlation doesn’t mean there’s causation. An increasing number of people now suffer from sleep disorders, and when issues persist, it’s critical that you see a physician rather than self-diagnosing, which can exacerbate the problem.”
According to the International Sleep Institute, an estimated 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, 95 percent of which are undiagnosed and untreated. Common sleep disorders include obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and parasomnias.
Individuals with treatable sleep disorders often have two or more of the following complaints that may be exacerbated by allergies:
- The patient feels sleepy during the day, even when they get a good night’s sleep.
- The patient often wakes up at night and has trouble falling back to sleep.
- The patient feels irritable when he or she can’t sleep.
- It takes the patient a long time to fall asleep.
- The patient’s partner complains that his or her snoring prevents them from sleeping.
Individuals with sleep deprivation brought on by seasonal allergies can have the same or similar concerns.
“When men and women assume that their lack of sleep is attributed to seasonal allergies, they also assume that when the season passes, their sleep patterns will normalize,” said Leadley. “In most cases this isn’t true. If the patient does in fact have a sleep disorder, the issues will persist until the disorder is diagnosed and treated. In cases of sleep deprivation brought on by allergies, lack of sleep prevents the individual from being able to fight the allergies effectively, which will likely lead to prolonged symptoms.”
For men and women experiencing difficulty sleeping, a sleep study is the most comprehensive way to collect information and determine what is happening in their bodies while they are sleeping. When the study is conducted, physicians monitor the patient’s heart activity, breathing, brain waves and muscle activity, and determine if disorders or abnormalities exist. The data produced by the study is reviewed and interpreted by a diplomat of the America Board of Sleep Medicine and results are typically delivered in 72 hours.
“Because so many Americans have grown accustomed to hectic, fast-paced schedules, they assume that sleep is a natural casualty of their lifestyle,” said Leadley. “It’s important that people know that they don’t have to be resigned to getting just a few hours of sleep each night, barely having enough energy to get through the day. Talk to a doctor, address your issues and get your life back.”
For more information or to take the online sleep test to determine if you may have a treatable sleep disorder, visit www.valleysleepcenter.com. Valley Sleep Centers is one of the largest sleep diagnostics centers in the valley and provides more than 4,000 sleep studies per year.
About Valley Sleep Center
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and they are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems.