Before industrialization made it easy to light city streets and homes late into the night, people had very different sleep patterns. When these patterns resurface today, they get labeled as pathology, but they might not be as dangerous as we think.

Sleep deprivation has become a way of life for many Americans. Can you tell the difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea? Sleep apnea may have even more dire health results than keeping your bed partner awake.  

One condition characterized by poor sleep is fibromyalgia, a hard-to-treat chronic pain syndrome. We get an update on how restoring sleep in sufferers improves their quality of life.

Guests: Mary Klink, MD, clinical associate professor of pulmonary medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is director of the Wisconsin Sleep Clinic.

A. Roger Ekirch, Professor of Early American History, Virginia Tech

Martin B. Scharf, PhD, Director of the Tri-State Sleep Disorders Center; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Wright State University College of Medicine

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  1. KAT
    Reply

    I have had chronic sciatic nerve pain in my back going down my left leg for the past 10 years. My sleep problems started about 4 years ago. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and they put me on a bi-pap machine. They found both obstructive apnea and central apnea in my study.
    My pain medication they think was most of the cause for the apnea. I lowered the dose of my pain medication which helped a little but I still have a lot of problems. My most recent sleep study indicated that I had almost no rem sleep during the night. My doctor basically said I was sleep drunk during the day. I have tried to get off the pain medication but then my pain increases and it disrupts my sleep.
    So basically it’s either my pain or my pain meds that disrupt my sleep. I get about 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night. I am very scared for my health. I just recently went to another sleep Dr. and they are adjusting my meds and I am going to do a new sleep study and a nap study. Hopefully they can help me this time.
    I also sleep with a full face mask because I am a mouth breather. I have never been comfortable with this mask. I have tried a couple of different types but none of them have worked for me. I am desperate for help. Can you point me in the right direction?

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