Lifestyle

A wakeup call for the Zless

By PAT JENKINS

Editor

Oh, say, can’t you z?

Experts say lack of sleep can ruin health and quality of life. The sleepless can suffer from depression, excessive daytime sleepiness, obesity or hypertension. Disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy (brief attacks of deep sleep) are a real concern.

The latest research and treatment options will be the subject of a Franciscan Health Systems-hosted free health talk next Wednesday in Federal Way. The talk, led by Dr. Arthur Knodel, a sleep disorder specialist from Tacoma, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Best Western Executel, 31611 20th Ave. S. A question and answer session will follow. Registration is required by calling toll-free at 1-888-825-3227 Monday through Friday.

St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way has one of the two sleep clinics in the Franciscan system. The clinic can help patients with their sleeplessness and related problems.

“We live in a relatively sleep-deprived society. We tend to short-change ourselves on sleep,” Knodel said. The resulting downsides include cranky people, poor school and job performances, and traffic accidents involving drowsy motorists.

“This is a major health problem” that generally gets little attention, as non-use of seatbelts in automobiles once did, Knodel said. “It’s not a joking matter.”

He said sleep disorders are more of a “phenomenon” in adults than in children. But he noted that youngsters 8 to 12 years old often don’t get the 10 hours of sleep that is recommended for that age group.

Editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at 925-5565 and editor@fedwaymirror.com

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