Essay on sleep apnea

2462 Words10 Pages
Sleep Apnea Human Physiology – Biology 60           The dictionary defines sleep as “The natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored” (Webster’s 638) If one is waking up on an average of 300 times per night, the chances of complete body restoration are minimal. The Greek word apnea literally means “without breath”. An estimated 30 million Americans stop breathing during their sleep sometimes 30-40 times per hour and often for a minute, or longer each time. Of these, about 20 million are in the early stages, and about 10 million have progressed to a level of severity that requires treatment. According to the National…show more content…
The factors used for diagnosing OSA were limited to overweight males in there 40’s; it is now known that OSA affects men and women of any age and children. The first sleep disorder was identified in 1956. The disorder was named “Pickwickian Syndrome” patients that suffered from this syndrome were all overweight and experiencing daytime sleepiness. The name Pickwickian comes from a Charles Dickens play “Pickwick Papers” one of the characters-Joe the fat boy-was so sleepy he fell asleep standing up (Dement 175). OSA was not discovered in the United States until 1970 when Dr. William C. Dement was asked by a colleague at the Stanford University Medical School to do sleep recordings on a group of Pickwickian Syndrome patients. The results of the all-night sleep study concluded that there was a significant amount of disruptive breathing through out the night. In 1965 a group of European researchers did a similar sleep study. At that time all of the studies of Pickwickian Syndrome were conducted on subjects during the daytime while the patients were awake and experiencing their daytime sleepiness. The European sleep study had found that patients stopped breathing for several seconds, many times a night, Dr. Dements had reached the same conclusions after his study showing that some patients stopped breathing for as long as 90 seconds per apneic episode this was a potentially deadly disorder. Unfortunately the Europeans discovery of this condition went

More about Essay on sleep apnea

Open Document