Mercy doctor to speak on sleep disorders at WayWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
By Jordan Finney
Staying awake for 24 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.1, which exceeds Ohio’s 0.08 legal driving limit.
According to Dr. Michael Neeb, the director of Mercy Sleep Disorders Program, sparse sleep destroys brain cells on a nightly basis and makes people less productive during the day.
Neeb will share his more than 30 years of experience in sleep medicine during a free educational lecture titled “Running on Empty: The Importance of Sleep” at 7 p.m. June 9 at Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave., in Perrysburg.
“I fell into the sleep world by accident,” said Neeb, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology. “Back in the 1980s, sleep was really starting to take off as a respected medical discipline. I’ve been fortunate to ride that wave. Getting a healthy amount of sleep makes a huge difference in your quality of life.”
Neeb hopes that his presentation will persuade people to start sleeping seven to nine hours every night.
“Why is it that I have to convince people to sleep more? It’s a fairly enjoyable activity and yet we all continually shortchange ourselves on how much sleep we’re getting,” Neeb said. “I’m here to suggest why that’s not a smart move.”
According to Neeb, sleep disorders may cause a number of health issues, including high blood pressure, weight gain and obesity, fatigue and depression.
“From a personal perspective, I’ve become very aware of how eight hours of sleep affects the clarity of my thinking and ability to speak clearly compared to six hours of sleep,” Neeb said. “I have been focused quite a bit over the last few years dealing with the issue of how sleepiness and sleep disorders affect us.”
Various psychological, medical, genetic and environmental factors create the circumstances for the more than 80 existing sleep disorders. Insomnia, the United States’ most common sleeping disorder, burdens 15-20 percent of the population with the challenge of falling or staying asleep.
Indicators of a sleep disorder include snoring, losing focus at work, having trouble waking up in the morning and sleeping in on the weekends.
“If you snore, then you should have it checked out,” Neeb said. “People laugh snoring off and it becomes funny. Sometimes snoring is snoring. However, many times snoring is just the tip of the iceberg and it needs attention.”
Snoring is the chief sign of sleep apnea, the most common disorder that sleep centers observe. Sleep apnea occurs when air supply gets cut off between the lungs and brain, causing the sleeper’s body to jolt awake during the night.
To prevent sleep disorders, Neeb encourages people to eat well, exercise, minimize stress, unwind for two to three hours before bedtime and establish a regular sleeping schedule.
“The biggest thing I can suggest is to pick a bedtime and stick to it every day of the week,” Neeb said. “Your body needs to know when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to get up.”
Neeb’s lecture on the importance of sleep is part of a larger partnership between Way Public Library and Mercy. The two organizations have co-sponsored health-related lectures since May 2013.
“The library itself is not just about books anymore,” said Lisa Richard, program coordinator at Way Public Library. “We consider ourselves a community center. It was a natural fit to partner with Mercy once they broke ground with the new ER in Perrysburg. We utilize their expertise to offer programs that benefit our community.”
These educational programs at Way provide information, entertainment and “a little something” for people to think about when making decisions down the road, according to Richard.
In addition to Neeb’s lecture, Mercy health professionals will be at the event to administer free blood pressure screenings for interested attendees from 6:30-8 p.m.
“Perrysburg is a community that we hold near and dear to our heart,” said Kathy Valtin, marketing and communications manager at Mercy. “We want folks to know that we would like to partner with them for their overall health needs — not just be with them when they’re sick.”
The library expects to continue its partnership with Mercy for many years to come, Richard said. “Running on Empty: The Importance of Sleep” will be the eighth health-related presentation that Mercy and Way have co-sponsored together over the past year.
“If the people of Toledo all got seven to nine hours of sleep per night, I believe we would be a much healthier and happier city,” Neeb said. “I believe we would have less cardiac conditions and less car accidents on the road from lousy driving. I suspect we’d be more tolerant of others and more productive in the workplace. That’s what consistent sleep has to offer you.”