Blog
By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
July 06, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea can leave you feeling unrested in the morning and sleepy throughout the day, which can make it difficult to concentrate or remember things when needed. If you are struggling with sleep apnea, we can help. At Sleep Manatee, Dr. Jeremy McConnell, who is board-certified in sleep medicine, can formally diagnose your sleep disorder. Together you develop a personalized treatment approach for managing your sleep apnea so you can finally achieve restful sleep. If you are interested in learning more, contact our office in Bradenton FL.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition associated with brief pauses or interruptions in breathing while you sleep. The interruptions in breathing are caused by the airway becoming partially blocked. As tissues in the throat relax, they can collapse across the airway and interfere with the flow of air. The interruptions in breathing can interfere with the ability to achieve restful sleep and many individuals who struggle with sleep apnea often feel unrested in the morning. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping for breath
  • Interrupted breathing
  • Feeling unrested upon waking
  • Headaches upon waking
  • Feeling sleepy throughout the day
  • Irritability throughout the day
  • Difficulty concentrating

Sleep Studies

A sleep study is an effective method for diagnosing a specific sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. This is conducted overnight in a relaxing setting, possibly our Bradenton FL office. While you sleep, data is collected in a variety of areas, including your breathing, oxygen levels, heart rate, movements, and sleep patterns. The information that is collected while you sleep is used to accurately diagnose your specific sleep disorder so a personalized treatment approach can be developed to help you sleep better.

Treatment Options

Seeking treatment for sleep apnea is important for several reasons. By helping you breathe properly while sleeping, treatment results in more restful sleep, which leads to more energy throughout the day and improved ability to concentrate and remember things. Additionally, many sleep disorders are associated with an increased risk of heart problems. Treating sleep apnea can potentially decrease the risk of developing some types of heart disease. Some treatment options include:

  • Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)
  • Oral appliance therapy
  • Nasal surgery

If you are struggling with sleep apnea, Dr. Jeremy McConnell and our team of sleep medicine professionals can develop an effective treatment plan for you. The right treatment can help you sleep more soundly so you have more energy during the day. Schedule a consultation with Dr. McConnell at his office in Bradenton FL to discuss sleep apnea treatments. Call Sleep Manatee at (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
April 27, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Sleep   Stress  

Whether you’re stressed about sleep or so stressed you can’t sleep, these strategies can help.

With everything going on it’s not surprising that more and more people are dealing with stress and anxiety. More than one-third of Americans say that coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health, and the majority feel that it’s impacting their daily lives. We know that these are strange, unpredictable times, but our Bradenton, FL, sleep medicine doctor, Dr. Jeremy McConnell, also knows just how important sleep is for your health and wellbeing.

Here are some ways to improve the quality of your sleep even if you’re feeling stressed out:

Adopt Good Sleep Hygiene

You’ve probably heard the term “sleep hygiene” mentioned quite often these days. Good sleep hygiene means following a routine in which you go to bed around the same time each night and wake up the same time each day, regardless of what day it is. Other sleep hygiene habits that can improve sleep include:

  • Shutting down electronics about one hour before bed
  • Adopting a calming bedtime ritual such as reading a book or relaxing in the tub
  • Making sure your room is the optimal temperature for sleeping (between 60- and 67-degrees F)
  • Limiting naps to no more than 30 minutes
  • Avoiding large meals or snacks before bed, which can also disrupt sleep
  • Avoiding caffeine for about 4-6 hours before bedtime
  • Limiting alcohol consumption and abstaining within three hours of going to bed

Try Meditation

Stress can make it more challenging to obtain quality sleep each night, which can also just add to our stress. The last thing we want is for you to experience stress around going to bed each night. Mindfulness meditation has been highly effective in helping anxious and stress-prone people get better sleep. Even just small amounts of meditation each day can help to calm our anxious, racing thoughts and improve our sleep.

Regularly Exercise

Participating in some form of physical activity the majority of the week can help to ease anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as improve wellbeing and sleep. Even something as simple as a 30-minute run could help to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Afternoon aerobic workouts have been shown to help with insomnia and also help people fall asleep faster.

If you are battling sleepless nights, know that the team at Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL, is here to help. Let us help you obtain the quality sleep you deserve—call us at (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
April 27, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Sleep Hygiene  

It’s time to take a look at your sleep hygiene and determine ways to improve your current sleep routine.

While we will all deal with a bout of bad sleep here and there, if you are having trouble falling or staying asleep you may be wondering what you can do to improve your sleep. If getting into bed is making you anxious, our Bradenton, FL, sleep medicine doctor, Dr. Jeremy McConnell, can help.

Limit Screen Time

While being exposed to sunlight is good for you during the day, too much light at night can cause sleep problems. This is because light tricks the body into thinking it’s daytime, which throws off your body’s circadian rhythm.

Blue light, which comes from your computer or phone, is the worst offender. Fortunately, there are apps that can block blue light on your computer. You can also choose to wear blue-light-blocking glasses, as well. However, the best option is to power down all electronics (including TV) for about two hours before going to bed.

Avoid Drinking Caffeine Later in the Day

While that jolt of caffeine in the morning can be a blessing, especially when it comes to helping you stay focused and energized, you won’t need this kind of stimulation in the evening. People who consume caffeine within six hours before going to sleep are more likely to deal with sleep problems, as caffeine can stay in the blood for anywhere from 6-8 hours. If you really just love the taste of coffee, switch to decaf in the afternoon.

Limit Daytime Naps

While power naps offer a wide range of benefits, from improving mood and energy levels to reducing stress, napping for too long can cause nightly sleep issues. If you are experiencing sleep problems, you may want to consider shortening your naps during the day or consider nixing the nap altogether and opt for going to bed a little earlier.

Get into Consistent Sleep and Waking Times

If you battle with restless sleep or insomnia, setting a consistent bedtime each and every night can support your body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. Even though you may be tempted to go to bed late on weekends, you may find that your sleep quality on weekends is worse than on weekdays.

If you are still having trouble sleeping even after implementing these strategies, it is important that you consult with a sleep specialist to find out what’s going on. The team at Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL, is here to help—call us at (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
April 08, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Sleep Hygiene  

Could a sleep hygiene issue be affecting your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep? Dr. Jeremy McConnell of Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL, offers treatments and strategies that help improve your sleep.

How you can improve your sleep hygiene

Good sleep is dependent on a variety of factors, ranging from the foods you eat to the temperature of your bedroom. If you've been having trouble sleeping, these tips may help you get a little more rest:

  • Exercise Regularly: Daily exercise, even if it's only for 15 or 20 minutes, can improve sleep. Although exercising is helpful, working out just before you plan to go to bed can keep you up.
  • Decrease Your Use of Stimulants: Drinking coffee or cola or using nicotine products before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. Alcohol can cause the same problem. Although a drink may make you feel sleepy initially, you may find yourself wide awake just a few hours after you fall asleep.
  • Avoid Foods That Bother Your Stomach: It's difficult to sleep if you have heartburn or an upset stomach. It's a good idea to avoid eating or drinking foods and beverages that trigger these symptoms, such as fatty or fried foods, carbonated beverages, and spicy or rich foods.
  • Spend Some Time Outdoors: Regular exposure to sunlight helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
  • Limit Blue Light Exposure: Blue light from digital devices and LED devices can affect your level of melatonin, the natural hormone that helps you fall asleep. You may find that you sleep better if you stop using your devices an hour or two before you plan to fall asleep.
  • Improve Your Sleeping Environment: A lumpy mattress or flat pillows may cause aches and pains that affect your sleep. Replacing your mattress and bedding can improve your sleep, as can keeping your room as dark as possible. Sleep.org notes that the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67F.
  • Visit a Sleep Specialist: Your Bradenton sleep specialist can identify the factors that cause your sleep problems and develop a treatment plan that helps you sleep better.

Do you have trouble sleeping? A visit to Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL, can help you handle insomnia symptoms. Schedule an appointment with Dr. McConnell by calling (941) 792-8383 to schedule your appointment.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
April 08, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Did you know that your snoring could indicate a sleep disorder? At Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, Dr. Jeremy McConnell diagnoses a variety of sleep problems, including one of the most common: sleep apnea. Learn more how it could affect your systemic health and well-being.

Your snoring could peel paint

We've all heard, or been the object of, jokes about loud snoring. But, in reality, snoring isn't funny at all. It seriously impacts systemic health, daily functioning and interpersonal relationships. Over time, it may worsen, being accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • Gasping and choking
  • Breathing pauses (apnea)
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Headaches, particular in the morning
  • Poor concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Decreased libido, menstrual problems and erectile dysfunction
  • Nocturia, or waking at night to go to the bathroom
  • Increased blood pressure and blood sugars

These symptoms and more characterize sleep apnea. Factors such as neck circumference, age (over 40), gender (male), and obesity are risk factors, reports the National Sleep Foundation. While it has widespread systemic health effects, sleep apnea can be treated successfully, and your sleep doctor in Bradenton, Dr. Jeremy McConnell, helps scores of people.

Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea

A review of your symptoms and a fully-monitored sleep study at Sleep Manatee will pinpoint the reasons behind your snoring. Frequently, Dr. McConnell discovers one of three kinds of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, in which the tissues at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway as the person sleeps (and snores)
  2. Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, in which the brain and respiratory system do not communicate with each other properly
  3. Mixed Sleep Apnea, characterized by features of both OSA and CSA

With a definitive diagnosis, he can tailor a treatment plan perfect for your lifestyle and sleep patterns.

Common treatments include:

  • Oral appliance therapy, a customized acrylic appliance, worn at night, which re-positions the lower jaw and opens the airway
  • CPAP machines, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which air through a facial mask worn through out the night (the stream of air keeps the throat open)
  • Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, keeping the same bedtime every night, avoiding caffeine. alcohol, bright light and heavy meals late in the evening

Find out more about sleep apnea

At Sleep Manatee, our sleep experts can help you have refreshing sleep consistently and also enjoy a healthier, happier and more productive life. Call our office team for a consultation with Dr. Jeremy McConnell: (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
February 25, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Narcolepsy  

Narcolepsy is basically a lifelong disorder of the nervous system that results in abnormal or irregular sleep patterns that could negatively impact your quality of life and general health. According to the Stanford Medicine Center for Narcolepsy, it’s a rare disorder that is estimated to affect approximately 1 out of 2,000 individuals. Narcolepsy symptoms typically start to present themselves around the ages of 10 to 25, but it’s usually not recognized immediately.

Narcolepsy causes severe sleep attacks and daytime sleepiness. In most cases, it likewise causes temporary and unexpected muscle control loss, commonly called cataplexy. While narcolepsy isn’t fatal, episodes could result in life-threatening circumstances, injuries, and accidents. Here at Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL, Dr. Jeremy McConnell, MD, can diagnose narcolepsy and recommend the best treatments suited to your case.

Causes of Narcolepsy

Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes narcolepsy up to this day. However, studies have shown that most individuals who suffer from cataplexy and narcolepsy have a reduced amount of hypocretin, which is a brain protein. One of the primary functions of this protein is regulating the sleep-wake cycle.

That said, studies state that low levels of hypocretin may be the result of various factors. One factor is a gene mutation that causes low hypocretin levels and attacks healthy cells in the body. Other factors including infections, toxin exposure, and stress may likewise contribute to developing narcolepsy.

Common Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy symptoms are typically attributed to improperly regulated REM or rapid eye movement sleep. The intensity and frequency of the symptoms vary from one person to another and can include the following:

  • Muscle loss control or cataplexy
  • Severe daytime drowsiness and sleepiness
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Hallucinations when trying to fall asleep

These symptoms might occur regardless of whatever you’re doing or the time of day. When this occurs, your REM sleep happens spontaneously and uncontrollably. In addition, take note that narcolepsy could be related to other sleep disorders including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Jeremy McConnell, MD, here at the Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL. Dial (941) 792-8383 for more details.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
January 23, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: CPAP Therapy  

When your snoring awakens the entire household, something is amiss. At Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, Dr. Jeremy McConnell uncovers the reasons for snoring. More often than not, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) causes it and other worrisome symptoms. CPAP therapy is a common, and very effective, treatment.

Details on OSA

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that about 25 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is characterized by:

  • Excessively loud snoring
  • Daytime fatigue and sleepiness
  • Sudden waking and gasping for air
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Problems with memory and concentration

Additionally, some research shows a link between sleep apnea and diabetes, stroke, and hypertension.

How does it happen? it seems that males 40 and over develop this condition more frequently. Other precipitating factors include large neck circumference, sleeping on your back, obesity and alcohol consumption before retiring at night.

What you can do

If you have some of the above symptoms, see board-certified sleep physician Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Sleep Manatee. He'll do an in-office or at-home sleep study to watch what happens as you sleep. If you do have sleep apnea, don't worry. It can be treated.

How CPAP helps sleep apnea

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This bedside apparatus delivers a constant stream of air through a thin tube and into a facial mask. The airflow keeps the soft tissues at the back of the throat open as the patient sleeps. Snoring stops, oxygenation improves and the physical effects of OSA decrease.

The rates of sleep apnea have sharply increased over the past 20 years. However, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy actually reverses brain damage related to OSA. Other scientific research indicates a reduction in post-op heart and lung complications, hypertension and night-time cardiac arrhythmias when people consistently use their CPAP machines.

Could you benefit from CPAP?

There's one way to find out: contact Sleep Manatee in Bradenton. Arrange a consultation with Dr. Jeremy McConnell. He'll review your symptoms and medical history and run the required diagnostics. CPAP therapy may improve your sleep and your health, too. Call us today at (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
January 20, 2020
Category: Sleep Apnea
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea is a condition that can interfere with your ability to achieve restful sleep. Sleep apnea is associated with periodic interruptionssleep apnea in breathing throughout the night, which can leave you feeling tired and unrested in the morning. Here at our office in Bradenton, FL, Dr. Jeremy McConnell can treat your sleep apnea and identify the factors contributing to it.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition associated with brief pauses in breathing while sleeping due to an obstructed airway. One way a person’s airway can become obstructed while sleeping is if the tongue rolls back and partially blocks the air from traveling through.

Sleep apnea is associated with several symptoms, in addition to snoring. For instance, you could have sleep apnea if you regularly feel unrested upon waking and are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Interrupted breathing while sleeping
  • Making choking or gasping sounds when sleeping
  • Snoring throughout the night
  • Feeling unrested upon waking
  • Feeling sleepy or fatigued during the day
  • Feeling irritable throughout the day
  • Experiencing difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Headaches upon waking

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Several factors are associated with an increased risk of developing sleep apnea. For example, men or more susceptible to developing sleep apnea than women. Being affected by obesity, hypertension, being middle-aged, and having a family history of sleep apnea are risk factors for sleep apnea.

Being affected by obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for developing sleep apnea. One reason for this is that excess fat in the neck area can contribute to obstructed breathing, one of the common symptoms of sleep apnea. A person with obesity that loses weight tend to experience fewer sleep apnea symptoms and are able to sleep better. During a consultation, Dr. McConnell can assess how your weight or other factors might be affecting your sleep apnea and develop a plan for achieving better sleep. Dr. McConnell is a board-certified obesity specialist and treatment of obesity is a major part of his practice.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Sleep apnea makes it difficult to achieve quality sleep. Certain factors such as being affected by obesity can aggravate your sleep apnea. We can help you address these factors, treat the sleep apnea, and help you achieve the restful sleep you deserve. To schedule an appointment with Dr. McConnell, call our office at (941) 792-8383. 

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
December 20, 2019
Category: Sleep Apnea
Tags: sleep study  

Many people underestimate the importance of quality sleep time. Some people do not get enough sleep, while others have difficulty sleep apneaachieving restful sleep at all. Whatever the reason for not getting enough rest, a lack of sleep can adversely impact your health. Fortunately, a sleep study can reveal factors affecting your ability to achieve restful sleep. At our office in Bradenton, FL, Dr. Jeremy McConnell can order a sleep study to learn more about your sleep patterns and develop a plan for helping you achieve quality sleep time.

Sleep Studies

One reason why some individuals are unable to achieve quality sleep time is due to a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, sleepwalking, restless leg syndrome, or periodic limb movement disorder. Sleep studies are helpful for determining if a sleep disorder could be interfering with your ability to achieve restful sleep. Sleep studies are conducted overnight, allowing the doctor to observe your sleep patterns throughout the course of a full sleep session.

Sleep studies are conducted in a relaxing and comfortable environment. While the patient sleeps, different types of data are collected to help the doctor learn more about the patient’s sleep patterns. For example, small electrodes are taped to a patient’s arms and legs to determine if periodic limb movement disorder is interfering with sleep. The electrodes make it possible to record arm and leg movements during sleep. Information on a patient’s heart rate, breathing, blood oxygen level, and brain waves can also be gathered during a sleep study.

Some sleep tests can be performed at home. This allows you to follow your normal routine and sleep in the comfort of your home. The testing will monitor your breathing during your sleep.

Based on the results of a sleep study, a plan can be developed for helping the patient finally sleep better. For patients with restless leg syndrome, for example, minimizing caffeine intake and regularly exercising can help improve sleep. For other patients, an iron deficiency could be contributing to restless leg syndrome or periodic limb movement disorder. Treating iron deficiency can minimize extensive arm or leg movements when sleeping and help promote better sleep.

Contact Us

To learn more about how a sleep study could help you, schedule an appointment with Dr. McConnell by calling our office at (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
November 08, 2019
Category: Medical
Tags: Snoring  

Does your snoring wake your entire household? Are you irritable during the day and can't function the way you want to? You may be Snoringsuffering from a common sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Characterized by super-loud snoring and episodes of breathing cessation (apnea), OSA should be treated. At Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL, board-certified sleep physician, Dr. Jeremy McConnell, diagnoses and treats a wide range of sleep disorders, including OSA. He can help you feel and function better, and stop that snoring!

 

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The Cleveland Clinic says that OSA is one of the most common sleep disorders in the US, and it's very serious. Caused by the relaxation of soft tissues at the back of the throat and the consequent obstruction of the airway, this sleep disorder deprives the brain of oxygen.

Affecting millions of adult Americans--males over 40 mostly--OSA is characterized by:

  • Extremely loud and persistent snoring
  • Multiple episodes of startling awake and gasping for air
  • Daytime fatigue and sleepiness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Headaches upon awakening in the morning
  • Problems concentrating

Unfortunately, OSA contributes to problems in systemic health as well. Obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and hypertension are commonly associated with sleep apnea. If you are over 40, menopausal, obese, have a large neck circumference, abuse alcohol, or smoke, your chances of developing sleep apnea increase, says the National Sleep Foundation.

 

What you should do

See Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Sleep Manatee in Bradenton, FL. Tell him about your snoring and other symptoms you or your loved ones may have noticed. He likely will recommend an in-house or at-home sleep study to determine what happens as you sleep at night.

This easy test helps Dr. McConnell accurately diagnose and treat all kinds of sleep disorders, including OSA. Your care plan will be fully customized to your needs.

 

Treating snoring

The two most common treatments for OSA are CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and oral appliance therapy. CPAP machines deliver oxygen via a facial mask worn throughout the night or whenever you take a nap. The oxygen keeps the airway open so snoring and apnea lessen.

Oral appliance therapy involves a customized acrylic device which places the lower jaw in a more forward position. It keeps the back of the throat open.

In addition, Dr. McConnell frequently advises these simple strategies to open your airway:

  • Sleep on your side
  • Do not eat or drink (especially alcohol or caffeine) a few hours before going to bed
  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise and stay active

 

Don't wait

Snoring and sleep apnea don't go away by themselves. You'll benefit from the reliable and compassionate management of your sleep disorder which Dr. McConnell and his team provide. For more information and to arrange a personal consultation, please call our office at (941) 792-8383.





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