Blog
By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
August 10, 2021
Category: Medical

When we don't get proper rest, we are at an increased risk of developing a mental health condition, like depression and anxiety. Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists, located in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, can discuss your sleep and mental health to determine the best treatment plan.

There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep, and you can break out of a vicious sleep cycle. Sleep is essential for the physical and mental upkeep of your body and brain. However, it is also needed to maintain cognitive functions, like learning, memory, attention, and emotion regulation. Sleep disorders may be causing your poor sleep.
 

Sleep Disorders

Several treatable sleep disorders cause inadequate sleep and harm your mental health.
 

Insomnia

When the inability to sleep occurs night after night, you may have insomnia, the most common sleep disorder. For example, if you experience lying awake for hours, waking up too early without the ability to fall back asleep, or waking up frequently in the night, you may have insomnia.

You can avoid insomnia by restricting caffeine consumption to the mornings, quitting smoking, and avoid eating heavy foods at night. A consistent sleep schedule and avoidance of screentime right before bed may also help.
 

Sleep Apnea

With sleep apnea, your breathing will stop and start while sleeping. When the pauses last several seconds, your body can come out of deep sleep and turn into a light sleep. The disruption can cause you to experience daytime drowsiness, poor mood regulation, and other more serious concerns when left untreated.
 

Restless Leg Syndrome

Do you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs? Are you experiencing an uncomfortable feeling in your legs? When you encounter this at night, you may have Restless Leg Syndrome, and this can cause significant issues with your sleep.

Dr. McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists, located in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, can diagnose your sleep disorder and help determine the best treatment.
 

Sleep Medicine

Sleep medicine is a medical subspecialty that focuses explicitly on diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. It is common for you to have a sleep disorder, and if you leave it untreated, it will start to have long-term consequences leading to an increased risk of chronic diseases and mental health disorders.

Physicians who work in sleep medicine look at the whole body, including your mind. There is a significant psychological impact of inadequate or insufficient sleep that can lead to poor mental health.

It's recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, on average. If you fall below this recommendation, it may be time to see a sleep disorder specialist.

Please make an appointment today with Dr. McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists, offices located in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, because he can help you with your sleep disorder. To make an appointment at the Bradenton, FL office, call (941) 792-8383, or you can reach the Sarasota, FL office location by calling (941) 827-0701.

If your snoring has ever woken you up or if your partner frequently nudges you awake because of it, you may be affected by sleep apnea, and this can harm your heart. At Florida Sleep Specialists, located in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, Dr. Jeremy McConnell can evaluate you for a sleep-related breathing disorder to avoid the negative impacts it can have on your heart and body.

Not All Snoring is Sleep Apnea

A sleep apnea disorder causes your breathing to start and stop while you sleep. Snoring is the sound that occurs as air passes in your throat during sleep. Even though not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, many that do have sleep apnea snore regularly. Therefore, it is worth checking out to be safe.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by a tissue obstruction in your airway that blocks airflow. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is caused by the brain failing to signal your diaphragm to contract and expand. Both are serious issues that must not go untreated.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect My Heart?

When you have obstructive sleep apnea, it isn't easy to keep your airway open while sleeping, and each time it closes, your breathing pauses. The pauses can occur five to 30 times an hour, and this causes you to wake up suddenly, sometimes gasping for air.

When you stop breathing, your body will release stress hormones that can cause heart disease over time. You can also be at an increased risk for stroke, liver disease, diabetes, or exacerbating an already present obesity diagnosis that leads to heart disease.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease?

Several risk factors contribute to heart disease and sleep apnea, and they include:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Thick neck
  • Narrow throat passages
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Male (higher risk than women)
  • Family history of sleep apnea, smoking, or alcohol abuse

What are the Signs?

Loud snoring with witnessed frequent pauses in breathing are the first signs to look for, but other symptoms include:

  • Waking up with a dry mouth or headache
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate or hold attention

How Can I Be Sure?

Dr. McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists, located in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, can evaluate your symptoms and conduct proper testing, like monitoring you overnight. This screening test can diagnose and determine the severity of your sleep apnea.

One particular test is called polysomnography, and it will allow Dr. McConnell to monitor your heart, lungs, and brain activity. At the same time, he can diagnose other possible sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome.

To learn more, call Dr. McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists at his office in Bradenton, FL, at (941) 792-8383, or the office in Sarasota, FL, at (941) 827-0701 today.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
August 06, 2021
Category: Medical

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for us to function well day-to-day, as well as increase our overall health and quality of life. But what can you do to sleep better when you aren't sleeping well? Whether due to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep disorders or irregular sleep habits can be treated with professional help from Dr. Jeremy McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists, with locations in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL.

Sleep Medicine

Sleep medicine is a medical specialty aimed at helping many people who are struggling with sleep disorders to sleep better. Through detailed medical history, specific questionnaires, and testing, sleep medicine specialists aim to get to the root cause of your symptoms to come up with the best possible treatment for you. Sleep medicine specialists can also educate you and your loved ones on specific symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for those sleep disorders that may be limiting your ability to sleep better. In this way, you can make an informed decision alongside your doctor on how to sleep better and improve your quality of life.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders can significantly affect your quality of sleep and overall safety. Symptoms of sleep disorders include difficulty falling asleep (insomnia), excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy), irregular breathing (sleep apnea), irregular movement (restless legs syndrome), or general problems with your body's natural sleep-wake cycles. With the help of a professional at Florida Sleep Specialists, each of these sleep disorders can be identified and treated to relieve your symptoms. In some cases, sleep disorders may even be cured so that you can have a better night's sleep without lingering symptoms of drowsiness or irritability.

Treatment From a Sleep Specialist

If you or a loved one is interested in getting a better night's sleep, come see Dr. McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL. For questions or to make an appointment, give us a call today at (941) 792-8383 for our Bradenton location, or (941) 827-0701 for our Sarasota location.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
August 05, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorder
Tags: Sleep Disorder  

Many people struggle with getting a good night's sleep from time to time. However, if you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep, or other irregular sleep habits regularly, these may be signs that you could be suffering from a sleep disorder. Since there are many different types of sleep disorders that affect people differently, it is important to see a sleep specialist, such as Dr. Jeremy McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists, with locations in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, to discuss symptoms and treatments specific to you.

Types of Sleep Disorders

A sleep disorder is a medical condition that affects not only your quality of sleep but also your overall health and safety. Good quality of life is dependent on a good night's sleep. Some of the more common sleep disorders involve problems with your body's natural sleep-wake cycles, irregular breathing or movement during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, or general difficulty falling or staying asleep.

If it takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep at night, this could be a sign of insomnia, which is both a symptom of sleep disorders and a sleep disorder itself. Not feeling well-rested, excessive daytime sleepiness and irritability are all symptoms associated with conditions such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Sleep apnea also involves difficulty breathing or irregular breathing patterns while sleeping, which may present as loud snoring. Narcolepsy is associated with falling asleep suddenly at inappropriate times, such as while driving. Excessive movement while sleeping or having an unpleasant feeling in your legs affecting your ability to fall asleep may be signs of restless legs syndrome (RLS).

With the help of a sleep specialist, each of these sleep disorders can be treated to relieve your symptoms or in some cases may even be cured to improve the quality of your sleep and daily activities.

Where To Seek Help

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms related to sleep disorders, it may be time to see Dr. McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists for help. With locations in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, it has never been a better time to take back your life by improving your sleep! Give us a call today at (941) 792-8383 for our Bradenton location, or (941) 827-0701 for our Sarasota location.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
May 27, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorder
Tags: Sleep   Diet  

Everyone knows that your diet is an important part of your health, but you may not know how much your diet can affect your sleep. Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, is here to help explain how diet can make or break your sleep patterns and how changing your diet can enhance your sleep.

Sleep and Your Diet

Diet and nutrition can severely affect your ability to sleep comfortably and maintaining your weight can increase your ability to get a full night’s sleep. Your doctor in Bradenton, FL, can help you develop a balanced diet that will benefit your entire life and not just your ability to sleep. A balanced diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables and will give you the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, helping you maintain a healthy weight and helping you get the sleep that you need.

An unhealthy diet can cause other sleep disorders to plague your life and cause you to be exhausted and make it hard to focus during the day. An unhealthy diet is a cause of obstructive sleep apnea and can cause you to snore and affect your breathing pattern as you sleep.

Without the ability to get a full night’s sleep, your brain won’t be able to function at full capacity and will affect your ability to focus at work or school, and can even be dangerous by causing you to fall asleep while driving. It’s also been proven that people that are sleep deprived are more likely to increase how much they eat during the day, causing a long cycle of an unhealthy diet causing a bad sleep pattern and vice versa.

Contact Your Sleep Doctor Today!

Your diet severely affects your ability to get a good night’s sleep and once both are maintained, you’ll find yourself feeling much more energized and able to focus throughout the day. Contact Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, today at (941) 792-8383!

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
May 26, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorder
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

If your loved ones are constantly complaining about being kept up by your snoring or you wake up from a full night’s sleep feeling exhausted, there may be something more serious happening while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can affect your breathing while you sleep and can cause severe issues to develop. Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, can help you identify your obstructive sleep apnea and help make any lifestyle changes you need to make to help cut your snoring down!

Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is when the throat becomes so narrow while you sleep that breathing becomes difficult and the brain increases the effort to breathe. This starts a cycle of waking up, falling asleep, struggling to breathe, and waking up again. This process can cause you to feel exhausted in the morning and make it hard to focus on your daily life.

You may not realize you’re struggling with sleep apnea because most symptoms happen while you’re asleep, but there are symptoms to look out for while you’re awake. Some of these symptoms include:

  • The need to fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as when driving or while working.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Becoming forgetful, irritable, anxious, or depressed.
  • Waking up with a headache or with nausea.
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.
  • Loss of libido.

Other symptoms that you can have an outside party look out for are:

  • Excessively loud snoring.
  • Long pauses in breathing while you’re asleep.
  • Short periods of being awake during the night.

Contact Your Doctor Today!

If you find yourself feeling exhausted despite having a full night’s sleep, you should call your sleep doctor as soon as possible to determine whether or not obstructive sleep apnea is affecting you. Contact Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, at (941) 792-8383 today!

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
May 21, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorder
Tags: Sleep Deprivation  

How your sleep specialist in Bradenton, FL, can help you sleep better

Occasional episodes of not being able to sleep are a common problem. They can be caused by increased stress, eating before bed, an uncomfortable mattress, and many other issues. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of sleeplessness, you could have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or insomnia.

The good news is, your sleep specialist can help you sleep well again. Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, offers a wide range of sleep disorder treatments, including treatment for sleep apnea and insomnia.

It’s important to remember that the effects of sleep deprivation can be lasting and profound. Sleep deprivation can affect your performance, decreasing your ability to do well at work or in school.

Sleep deprivation can cause you to:

  • Feel tired throughout your day
  • Experience low energy levels
  • Be unable to concentrate and focus
  • Experience mood swings and irritability

There are some things you can do initially to try and get a good night’s sleep. Remember to:

  • Have set times to wake up and go to bed
  • Stay active and exercise regularly
  • Avoid taking naps, or only take short naps
  • Avoid smoking and nicotine products
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Don’t eat large meals before you go to sleep
  • Check your medications to see if they might be causing sleeplessness

You need to also ensure your bedroom is a quiet place, with no TV or loud noises. It is often helpful to create a ritual before bedtime like reading, listening to relaxing music, or taking a warm bath. Stay away from reading your phone or computer screen right before bed.

There are several effective treatments for insomnia or sleep apnea. Treatment begins with a sleep study to determine if your sleep deprivation is caused by an underlying sleep disorder. After your sleep specialist determines what is causing your sleeplessness, he may recommend:

For insomnia:

  • Medications to help you sleep
  • Behavioral therapy to prepare you for sleep
  • Relaxation techniques, to calm your mind and body

For sleep apnea:

  • A CPAP machine, to maintain continuous oxygen through your airway
  • An oral appliance, to maintain an open airway by holding your lower jaw forward

To find out more about how sleeplessness can affect you, and how your doctor can help with insomnia or sleep apnea, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Jeremy McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, at (941) 792-8383. Call now, and sleep better soon!

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
May 20, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorder
Tags: Narcolepsy  

Your sleep specialist in Bradenton, FL, can help if you have a sleep disorder.

Narcolepsy is somewhat rare, but it still affects hundreds of thousands of people in this country, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Fortunately, your sleep specialist can help with diagnosing and treating narcolepsy. Dr. Jeremy McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, offers comprehensive sleep care services for sleep disorders like narcolepsy.

So, what is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder during which your sleeping and waking processes are disrupted. Narcolepsy causes rapid eye movement or your REM sleep cycle to begin within minutes of falling asleep. The REM cycle normally occurs much later after falling asleep. As a result, normal sleep patterns are disrupted.

Narcolepsy can cause the following symptoms:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness is the main sign of narcolepsy
  • Automatic behaviors are actions the narcoleptic is unaware of doing
  • Nighttime sleep disruption like waking up several times during the night
  • Sleep paralysis is a feeling of inability to move
  • Sleep hallucinations including seeing vivid images when waking up or fall asleep
  • Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle control
  • Irritability or restlessness is most often seen in children with narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a potentially dangerous condition, especially if you are driving or operating machinery when a drowsiness episode occurs. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, narcoleptics are 3 to 4 times more likely to be in a car accident.

If you suspect you or someone you know might have narcolepsy, the first step is contacting your sleep specialist. Your doctor will take a full medical history, including your signs and symptoms, date of onset, and other factors. Sleep studies are often part of the initial diagnosis.

If narcolepsy is diagnosed, treatment can begin. There is no cure for narcolepsy, so the goals of treatment are to ensure patient safety, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life. Treatment options include:

  • Behavioral modification, including taking short naps, developing a healthy exercise regimen, developing a sleep schedule, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives
  • Medication therapy, including medications to reduce daytime sleepiness, and reduce cataplexy

To find out more about the signs and symptoms of narcolepsy and how it is treated, talk with your sleep specialist. Call Dr. McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, at (941) 792-8383. Get some relief from narcolepsy by calling today!

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
March 22, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorder

"Excessive daytime sleepiness affects between 10% and 20% of the American population, and research suggests it’s on the rise," according to Sleep Foundation. Dr. Jeremy McConnell your board-certified sleep specialist in Bradenton, FL, diagnoses issues like excessive sleepiness and treats patients.

What is excessive sleepiness?

This is difficulty staying awake and falling asleep during the day, especially when you are doing an activity that doesn't require too much movement, like driving or sitting at work. You need to contact your doctor if this happens almost every day.
 

Fatigue is different but confused with excessive sleepiness, although someone can suffer from both simultaneously. The main difference is that people suffering from fatigue can't sleep even if they are tired and sluggish.

What are the causes of excessive sleepiness?

There are many reasons, but according to Sleep Foundation, "the most common causes of excessive sleepiness are sleep deprivation and disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. Depression and other psychiatric problems, certain medications, and medical conditions affecting the brain and body can cause daytime drowsiness as well."

What are some symptoms and precautions to take?

Symptoms of excessive sleepiness include trouble staying alert, irritability, memory problems, trouble focusing, and slower reaction times. It's best to contact Dr. McConnell in Bradenton, FL, if you notice these symptoms over a period of three months.
 

If you notice these symptoms, you risk increased car accidents, decreased work productivity, or academic performance, and difficulty regulating mood and emotions.

How To Treat Excessive Sleepiness

Treatment or management isn't standard because It depends on the cause. The most common causes of excessive sleepiness are a person's quality of sleep, chronic diseases, and stress. When your doctor is able to better understand the reason behind your sleepiness, they can diagnose and treat or manage your issue.

Need a consultation?

If you'd like to speak with a doctor, don't hesitate to contact Dr. McConnell in Bradenton, FL, at (941) 792-8383.

By Jeremy D McConnell, MD
March 19, 2021
Category: Medical
Tags: Sleep  

When you can’t fall asleep, it can be really frustrating and in turn, will affect your quality of life. When you constantly struggle with a lack of sleep, it can affect your ability to do everyday things, such as driving, and your performance at work or school. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, Dr. Jeremy McConnell from Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, is here to help answer any questions you may have about getting better sleep.

How a Lack of Sleep Can Affect You

When you struggle to get enough sleep or struggle to stay asleep, it can really affect your mental and physical health and take a toll on your body. Sleep helps our bodies in more ways than we may realize. Without proper sleep, your body is at a higher risk of heart disease as well as other conditions such as obesity, depression, and high blood pressure. Sleep is incredibly important for regulating your body.

Tips to Help You Fall Asleep

There are many different tricks and tips that your doctor in Bradenton, FL, may recommend that you can implement to help you sleep better at night. Some of the tips include techniques such as:

  • Creating a cozy, sleep-inducing bedroom. Comfort can make falling asleep a little easier.
  • Optimizing your sleep schedule. Sticking to specific sleep and wake-up times may help your body get into a natural rhythm.
  • Find time to move during the day and see the sun. Our bodies are regulated by light exposure and keeping active during the day helps your body relax at night.
  • Cut down on caffeine throughout the day.
  • Try relaxation methods, such as meditation. Meditation can help ease you into sleep.

Contact Your Doctor!

If you’re having issues falling asleep, call Dr. McConnell at Florida Sleep Specialists in Bradenton and Sarasota, FL, at (941) 792-8383 today!





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