Sleep disorders can pose serious health threat


There are more than 65 sleep disorders known to medical professionals today, and more are being discovered all the time, according to Dr. Charles Cole, a sleep specialist with Mountain States Health Alliance. 

“Many Americans don’t get enough sleep,” Cole said. “They get six or seven hours a night, and they’re going to get one hour less as soon as we switch over to Daylight Savings Time.”

Sleep disorders can affect every system of the body and are often associated with serious health threats like cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression and diabetes.

“About a third of the patients with hypertension have sleep apnea, which is one of the most common sleep disorders,” Cole said.

Many people think it is normal to wake up feeling tired or to grow tired during the day, but according to Cole, normal sleep should allow you to wake up feeling refreshed.

Symptoms that may indicate a sleep disorder include: 

  • Snoring;
  • Breathing interruptions during sleep;
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep;
  • Falling asleep during the day at inappropriate times; and
  • Trouble with memory, cognition and problem solving.

Visit the MSHA Center for Sleep Disorders online at

The Center for Sleep Disorders at Sycamore Shoals Hospital will host an open house on Friday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Joseph Neumann, clinical psychologist for the center’s new insomnia clinic. Dr. Neumann’s practice will focus on offering patients drug-free therapy to help combat insomnia. Friday’s open house event will also include information on how to purchase the right mattress, night-time skin care, bedroom designs that help promote sleep, exercise as it relates to sleep, and much more. For more information, call 423-431-6816.
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