Catnap. Doze off. Hit the hay. Whatever terminology we choose to christen that glorious eye-closing, conscious-suspending process, sleep is essential to our overall wellbeing. And when we don’t catch the necessary amount of Zs, let’s just say everyone suffers. The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research estimates 70 million Americans experience some type of sleep problem, the majority of which go undiagnosed. Whether it’s insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep) or sleep apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep) a tight-knit team at Bon Secours St. Francis is making sure Upstate snoozers can slumber soundly.
Get Well // Along with sleep care, Bon Secours St. Francis routinely offers free educational health classes. This month’s include: A New You: Making and Keeping Healthy Resolutions, Money Management and the Importance of Saving, Maternity Management, and more. Call (864) 400- 3651 to learn more.
Dr. Ahmad Boota, certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, is one of the primary physicians at the St. Francis Sleep Center and has been serving since its inception in 2006. Though his background is pulmonary care, Dr. Boota has always been fascinated with sleep science and how it relates to overall health. “Sleep affects everything in life,” he says. Regardless of the disorder, Dr. Boota begins with the basics. He starts with sleep hygiene, working with patients to establish a nighttime routine. Things to avoid? Dr. Boota recommends staying away from caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and exercise right before bed, as it disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.
After establishing consistent sleep habits, Dr. Boota prescribes natural remedies, like melatonin and herbal teas, before he’ll turn to prescription drugs. “Everybody likes to have a quick x for everything . . .” he says. “But it’s called a sleep aid because it helps you, it aids you in sleep. It doesn’t mean it’s going to x it, but it’s a tool we can use.”
For conditions like sleep apnea, a sleep study is sometimes required, which involves overnight monitoring and testing to see how often a patient wakes. But if a cold hospital bed with uncomfortable wires and loud beeping just popped to mind, think again. The recently renovated sleep lab offers its guests stylishly decorated rooms, complete with a comfy queen mattress and fluffy pillows. It’s a test you won’t lose any sleep over.
The Bon Secours St. Francis Sleep Center is located at the hospital’s downtown campus at 3 St Francis Dr, #340, and the Millennium campus at 2 Innovation Dr, Greenville. (864) 269-2801, bonsecours.com