SAN ANTONIO - If you aren't getting enough sleep, your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression increase significantly.
That's why sleep studies can help solve sleep disorders, and in many cases save lives.
For years, 52-year-old Robert Walker knew he had difficulties sleeping.
"I wasn't getting enough sleep at night. I would wake up about four or five times during the night," Walker said.
It greatly affected his work.
"That's what I do all day on the phones and computers. I found myself falling asleep at the computer," said Walker. That's when his doctor recommended a sleep study.
"You're actually set up with several different pieces of equipment to diagnose sleep apnea more thoroughly," said University Health System physician's assistant Amanda Brosnan.
Sleep studies aren't as uncomfortable as many people think.
"We do it in a hotel, so it's very nice for the patient it's kind of like a mini vacation," Brosnan said.
"They put you in a comfortable bed. They give you movies to watch, and eventually, you will fall asleep," Walker said.
"What the sleep technicians are looking for when you are sleeping, is if you were to stop breathing," Brosnan said.
That's exactly what Walker was doing.
The diagnosis of sleep apnea, the addition of a CPAP machine, and the sleep study that found the problem likely saved his life.
"If you are falling asleep at work, and you are falling asleep while you were driving, it's a dangerous thing. It could be resolved by going to your doctor, getting a study and seeing if it is something you suffer with," Brosnan said.
For more men's health information, call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories, just go to wearthegown.com.
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