Rest and your health: Crouse Hospital hosts sleep seminar

On Thursday, Crouse Hospital's Sleep Center hosted a free seminar to educate the local community about sleep disorders and getting a good night's rest. The discussion specifically talked about insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome, and sleep apnea.

Serious health consequences can result from not properly treating a sleep disorder. "People who have sleep apnea and don't realize they have it are at risk for multiple medical disorders like high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes. They're at risk for car accidents," said Dr. Stephan Alkins, Medical Director of the Sleep Center at Crouse Hospital.

Sleep deprivation can truly be dangerous. Driving a car while having been awake for 17 hours or more is equivalent to driving drunk. In addition, the average American only gets six hours of sleep each night.

Crouse Hospital felt a growing need to talk about sleep issues, since part of its mission involves community education. "We know that there is an ever-increasing population of individuals out there that suffer from sleep disorders and also sleep-related breathing disorders," said Robert Pikarsky, Administrative Director of Cardiac and Respiratory Care Services at Crouse Hospital.

The seminar also discussed tips to help people fall asleep, such as not drinking caffeine or exercising at least four hours prior to bedtime.