Book a ride with KTCS
Book Now

Sleep Issues

Sleep issues or sleep disorders cause changes in your sleep duration, patterns, and quality of sleep. Sleep disorders can leave you feeling tired and without energy even after a regular night’s rest. 

Sleep disorders constitute a spectrum of conditions that disrupt regular sleep patterns, whether stemming from underlying health issues or heightened stress levels. In the United States alone, over one-third of adults claim they get less than 7 hours of sleep within a 24-hour cycle.

While occasional sleep disturbances are commonplace, persistent disruptions that affect your daily life may indicate a sleeping disorder. The impact of insufficient sleep extends to compromised energy levels, mood alterations, diminished concentration, and overall health deterioration.

Resolving the primary issue through appropriate treatment can often alleviate sleep-related challenges in cases where sleep issues may indicate an underlying medical or mental health condition.

At Kimball Health Services, we recognize that prompt diagnosis and intervention are important when dealing with sleep disorders. This is because these conditions have the potential to impact professional performance, strain relationships, and impede the ability to engage in routine activities. 

Types of Sleep Issues

Sleep disorders can manifest in many forms and are often associated with underlying health conditions. The following are the most commonly seen sleep issues.


Insomnia is characterized by difficulties falling or staying asleep and can be triggered by factors like jet lag, stress, anxiety, hormonal fluctuations, or digestive issues. It may also serve as a symptom of another underlying condition. 

Long-term insomnia can cause depression, impaired concentration, irritability, weight gain, and compromised work or school performance. Alarmingly, up to 50 percent of American adults grapple with insomnia at some juncture in their lives. The prevalence is notably higher among older adults and women. 

Insomnia is typically categorized as a chronic, intermittent, or transient condition, depending on its regularity.


Snoring is the sound of vibrations produced when air flows past relaxed throat tissues during breathing, creating a hoarse or harsh sound. As you transition from light to deep sleep, the muscles in the soft palate, tongue, and throat relax, potentially obstructing the airway and causing vibrations that result in snoring.

Multiple factors contribute to snoring, including: 

  • Anatomy of the mouth and sinuses
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • Body weight

Risk factors that heighten the likelihood of snoring include:

  • Gender: Men are more prone to snoring than women.
  • Weight: Overweight or obese people are at a higher risk of snoring.
  • Airway Configuration: A narrow airway due to a long soft palate, large tonsils, or adenoids can contribute to snoring.
  • Alcohol Use: Consumption of alcohol, particularly before bedtime, relaxes throat muscles, increasing the risk of snoring.
  • Nasal Issues: Structural defects like a deviated septum or chronic nasal congestion increase the risk of snoring.
  • Family History: A familial predisposition to snoring can also be a contributing factor.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Snoring is often associated with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is typified by loud snoring followed by breathing pauses during sleep. This occurs when muscles supporting throat tissues relax, causing the airway to narrow or close temporarily. 

If you have OSA, you might wake up with a snort or gasping sound due to interrupted breathing. While not all snorers have OSA, some symptoms that can indicate the presence of OSA include:

  • Breathing pauses during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat upon awakening
  • Restless sleep
  • Gasping or choking at night
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain at night

In children, snoring might be linked to OSA, particularly if accompanied by specific health issues like enlarged tonsils or obesity.

OSA is more often seen in older males than females, but it can affect people of any age, including children. Untreated OSA can contribute to severe health problems such as: 

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormal heart rhythm and pulmonary hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Endocrine conditions
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Neuromuscular conditions
  • Kidney failure
  • Pregnancy

Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for effective management and the prevention of associated health complications.

Diagnosing Sleep Issues

Diagnosing sleep disorders involves a thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider. They may conduct a physical exam to review your symptoms and recommend blood or imaging tests to understand the underlying causes of your symptoms.

You may also be asked to maintain a sleep diary to record your bedtime, sleep onset, wake-up time, daytime naps, and your feelings before and after sleeping. 

In some cases, your primary care provider may suggest consulting a sleep specialist who can conduct a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram. This test electronically records specific body and brain activities during sleep, and the data helps us analyze whether a sleep disorder is present.

Treatment of Sleep Issues

Treatment options for sleep disorders vary and may include:

  • Changing sleeping routines to establish a regular sleep schedule and proper sleep hygiene
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Using medications or supplements, such as sleeping pills, alerting agents, or melatonin
  • Adjusting medications or dosages causing excessive sleepiness (with approval from your healthcare provider)
  • Using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or a neurostimulator for sleep apnea control
  • Using light therapy
  • Surgical treatment

Your healthcare provider will tailor treatments based on your specific situation, discussing potential side effects before beginning any treatment. 

Here are some tips to help you improve your sleep quality:

  • Create a comfortable sleep environment with a cool, quiet, and dark bedroom. Use "white noise" or earplugs for noise, and try a sleep mask or blackout curtains for light interference.
  • Reduce pre-sleep stress through activities like making a to-do list earlier in the evening and maintaining a positive mindset.
  • Reserve your bed for sleep and intimacy and avoid activities like watching TV, eating, or working while in bed.
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine, such as a warm bath, soothing music, or reading. Incorporate relaxation exercises or meditation.
  • Turn clocks away, and leave the bedroom if unable to sleep within 20 minutes. Engage in a relaxing activity in another room without screen time.
  • Practice regular exercise habits to promote positive sleep, but avoid strenuous activities close to bedtime.

InspireⓇ Therapy for Sleep Apnea

If you have moderate to severe OSA and struggle with CPAP therapy, InspireⓇ therapy could be an option for you. InspireⓇ therapy uses a minimally invasive procedure to place the InspireⓇ implant under your skin. 

The implant sends gentle electrical pulses to stimulate the tongue muscle. This technology keeps your airway open throughout the night, allowing you to breathe easily and sleep soundly. Once your diagnosis is complete and you determine if you qualify, you may also be able to use your insurance plan for the procedure. 

Qualifying for Inspire Therapy

A diagnostic procedure called DISE (drug-induced sleep endoscopy) helps determine if InspireⓇ therapy is right for you. DISE helps study your airways in real-time while you are in a sedated state. 

DISE is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is also known as sleep nasendoscopy (SNE). It helps determine the cause of your OSA condition. InspireⓇ therapy typically works best in cases where the tongue is the underlying cause of your OSA.

At Kimball Health Services, during your consultation with our primary care provider or ENT specialist, Dr. Dickey, you will have a chance to discuss both CPAP therapy and InspireⓇ to find the most suitable solution for your condition.

Manage Sleep Issues at Kimball Health Services

At Kimball Health Services, our providers are committed to working with you to identify and address the root cause of your sleep concerns.

As one of the top critical access hospitals in the nation, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, patient-centered care. 

In case of an emergency, call 911 or walk into our emergency department anytime. For appointments, call ahead or fill out our online form. We're here for you whenever you need us.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram