Academy members to learn own sleep cycles, importance

AJ Fournier, City Reporter

Members of the Academy of Lifelong Learning can study their own sleep cycles 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.

The program “Sleep Center for Sweet Dreams” will teach academy members the importance of sleep and the consequences of sleep deprivation. This is the first time the academy is working with the Sarah Bush Lincoln Sleep Disorders Center.

Rachel Hendrickson, the supervisor of the sleep lab, said the program is beneficial because it can help anyone in the academy who is having problems sleeping.

The event will begin with a 30-minute presentation in the Education Center of Sarah Bush, which will go over the basics of sleep, different sleep disorders and sleep stages. Following that will be an open house where the academy will get a walk-through of the sleep lab.

If an academy member goes to the program and decide they want to get help with a sleep issue, they can sign up to stay overnight on a different day to participate in a sleep study.

A technician will then connect the individual to various sensors and monitor the sleep stages the patient is going through.

Academy members can make an appointment for these overnight stays, which will start at 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

People participating in the study will typically go to bed at 10 p.m. and wake up at 5 a.m.

The patient will then wait to hear from the doctor to see if they need to come in again for additional testing or if they are diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Rodney Wildman, a registered sleep technician at Sarah Bush Lincoln, said a big issue employees at the Sleep Disorders Center have seen with people that do these sleep studies is they could need heart medication and not even know it.

“The heart issue could be from sleep apnea that’s undiagnosed,” Wildman said.

Wildman said these heart issues could also come about because the person’s heart is not receiving enough oxygen.

Since these events are only for academy members, the Sleep Disorders Center will also host two other events that are open to the public to discuss the topic of sleep.

The first will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Workman Room at Effingham Public Library, and the second at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 in the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education at Sarah Bush Lincoln.

AJ Fournier can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].