Sleep deprivation ranks as a factor in three of society’s worst disasters: the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Investigators said mistakes made by sleep deprived workers triggered these catastrophes.
In our own lives, sleep deprivation occurs on a smaller scale but with potentially disastrous results including drowsy driving, unhappy bed partners, decreased productivity and long-term health consequences.
Studies estimate obstructive sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder, affects 18 million adults, yet it is underdiagnosed and untreated. There are around 90 distinct sleep disorders with most reflecting one or more symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, and abnormal events during sleep.
To meet the rising demand for sleep disorder diagnosis, North Kansas City Hospital will open a second four-bed sleep center this summer at 8640 N Green Hills Road in the Northland. The current four-bed lab is located on the hospital’s second floor.
“Population growth in the Northland means more people need access to this specialized testing. It’s great to bring the community the convenience of a second facility for quicker appointments and diagnosis,” says Tom Westen, coordinator of the two facilities.
Untreated sleep disorders increase the severity of almost every disease, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, congestive heart failure, memory loss, loss of libido, seizures, neuromuscular pain, loss of energy and depression.
Experts cite people with the most common sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, as seven times more likely to drive drowsy. Fatigue causes over 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year.
“Sleep disorders cause a profound effect on the lives and health of our community and can often be easily treated,” explains Joseph Henry, MD. “With our professionalism, skills and the genuine care and respect we show for each person, there is no better place for a sleep study.”
Dr. Henry serves as medical director for the hospital’s on-campus sleep facility and the new Green Hills location. He partners with Brian Ladesich, MD, to manage the sleep studies. Both pulmonologists, who are board certified in sleep medicine, practice with Meritas Health Pulmonary Medicine.
Sleep studies may be scheduled at either facility. The newly remodeled center will be open Wednesday through Friday with expanded days as needed. It will feature four rooms that resemble bedrooms, with two featuring larger beds and recliners.
Are you sleep deprived? Take our sleep quiz, then talk with your physician about next steps. The hospital’s sleep experts also host a monthly sleep health awareness group the second Tuesday of every month. Call 816.346.7450 to learn details.