Pearls of Wisdom

Posts for category: Sleep Medicine

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
October 04, 2017
Category: Sleep Medicine
Tags: Mark Brown   Sleep Challenge  

Dr. Mark Brown's Sleep Challenge

 

    I am going to challenge you to prove to yourself that sleep really is important to good health and well-being. I ask for 1 week of your life, Sunday through Friday. Follow these 10 recommendations and if you are not better rested, more productive, in a better mood, and feeling better in general by the weekend I want to hear about it. Really. Send me an email or letter to let me know what didn’t work. If you follow my suggestions I am confident you will understand the power of sleep.

  1. Prepare for bed every night thoughtfully. Make sure that you have time to wind down for bed every night this week. No last minute disruptions. When it is time to sleep, start getting ready and go!
  2. Follow the Eight Hour Rule. Every night, go to bed AT LEAST 8 hours before your alarm clock is set to go off. Don’t worry this week about what you are missing on TV. Record it and watch on the weekend if you must!
  3. Be cozy in your bed. Make sure that your mattress is comfortable, the sheets are clean, the pillows are fluffed, and your PJs are pressed.
  4. Your bed is sacred ground. This is your oasis from the stresses of the day. Sleep and sex and the only 2 activities allowed. Make a conscious effort to leave the day behind before you get ready to sleep.
  5. Keep the room as cool or as warm as you like it. Find the temperature that is conducive to your sleep and set it. Let your bed partner adjust to your temperature this week if they need to.
  6. Nap wisely. No naps late in the day. If you catch a little shut-eye, do it before 3 PM and make it short (less than 30 minutes).
  7. Eat smart. Have the last meal of your day at least two hours before bedtime. Going to bed with a stomach full of food is a recipe for indigestion and Insomnia.
  8. Exercise at the right time: early in the day. Exercising within an hour of bedtime can be stimulating, not relaxing.
  9. Caffeinate early (if you must). Caffeine is a stimulant. Avoid having it after 3 PM.
  10. Drink early (if you so choose). While alcohol makes you sleepy, it also interferes with healthy, regular sleep cycles. No alcohol after dinner. Water is your friend before bed.

 

    Follow these 10 steps every night Sunday through Friday. By Saturday morning, you will be better rested. Honest. And as a result, you will perform better at home and at work and be in a better mood.

    When you prioritize sleep, you will be happier, healthier and more productive. It just happens. If you do this Challenge and DO NOT feel better, there is likely more to your sleep problem than not taking care of yourself. Talk to your primary care doctor to make sure that there are no health problems looming that impact sleep.

 

Dr. Mark Brown's Smarter Sleep: Real Answers. Science Based Solutions. Healthier Sleep

 

Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS

 

Read More from Smarter Sleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reprinted by permission from Mark T. Brown, MD from Smarter Sleep, Clear Answers, Science Based Solutions, Healthier Sleep. Old Wives Tales Publishing, 2015.

 

Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX who is double Board Certified in Otolaryngology and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Mark Brown, MD is the author of Smarter Sleep: Real Answers, Science Based Solutions, Healthier Sleep. Dr. Brown treats sinusitis, nasal congestion, nasal fractures, dizziness/vertigo, ear infections, tonsilitis, sleep apnea and insomnia for both adults and pediatrics. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
September 23, 2014
Category: Sleep Medicine

Insomnia  Sleep Doctor Austin, TX

The night before my Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) I lay in bed, heart pounding, until what seemed like 3:30 in the morning. I was miserable, certain that the next day was going to be a disaster and I would fail.  Obviously I made it through that test and on to medical school, but I will never forget that feeling: Hopeless, helpless, and seemingly at the mercy of my racing thoughts and anxiety.

Imagine having that feeling every night. Imagine being afraid to go to bed because you just know that you aren’t going to sleep and that tomorrow will be even more dismal than today. Chronic insomnia is one of the most difficult and disruptive sleep conditions. Millions of Americans suffer nightly.

Talking to a primary care doctor or even a specialist about your beliefs and approaches to sleep can go a long way toward getting you back on track. And there is absolutely no shame in taking a medicine to sleep. Medicated sleep is better than no sleep by a long shot.

If you are one of the unfortunate persons who struggle nightly with sleep, seek help. There are treatments, medical and otherwise, that can really improve the quality of your life, night and day. 

 

Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS

 

 

Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine. Dr.Paige Peterson, audiologist, and the Audiology Department offer hearing aids and tinnitus solutions that are appropriate for your individual needs. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
February 13, 2014
Category: Sleep Medicine
Tags: Sleep Apnea   austin   Mark Brown   Texas   Legislation   Sleep   Dentistry   TSBDE  

 

There is a proposed rule change in front of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) to allow dentists to primarily diagnose and treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea with a physician’s participation. As I state in the letter below, sent to the TSBDE, I am proud to collaborate with dentists in the care of my patients with Sleep Apnea.

 

“The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is considering changes entitled “CHAPTER 108. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT, SUBCHAPTER A. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, 22 TAC §108.12” that is a misdirection in the care of Texas Sleep Apnea patients. As a board certified sleep physician, I am in a position to help patients make good decisions regarding their sleep health. I am proud to include dentists in that care. However, dentists are not qualified to be the primary caregivers diagnosing and treating Sleep Apnea. Dental education is not broad enough to make a dentist an expert in the medical complications of sleep apnea. They are able to provide a device, the Mandibular Advancement Device (or MAD), that has limited applicability in sleep apnea therapy. In the right patient the MAD is very beneficial. The number of “right patients” is a small percentage of the whole. My fear is that a dentist will see a morbidly obese patient, determine rightly that the patient has sleep apnea, apply their tool (the MAD) which inadequately treats the patient.. It only takes ONE patient premature death due to poorly treated Sleep Apnea to make this rule change a bad  idea.

 

Please do not pass this rule change. The right answer is to continue to work with the medical sleep community, collaborating to provide good care for patients with Sleep Apnea.”

Mark T. Brown, MD FACS 

 

Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.

 

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
November 19, 2013
Category: Sleep Medicine
Tags: Sleep Apnea   sleep lab   Mark Brown   Insomnia  

                                      image courtesy of cheezburger.com

Sleeping Better Really is Important!

One of my favorite scientific article titles is “Dubious bargain: trading sleep for Leno and Letterman.” (Basner MDinges DF.Sleep. 2009 Jun;32(6):747-52.) The premise of the commentary is that people don’t value sleep – they’d rather watch late night TV. The problem lies in when the alarm is set. That part of your day doesn’t have any flexibility. Your job or family responsibilities start on schedule during the week whether you went to bed at 10:00 or at midnight. Those two hours of lost sleep have a real impact on your life.

So the question remains, are Jay Leno and David Letterman worth it? If you ask me, a sleep specialist, the answer would be a resounding NO.  Adults require 7 to 8 hours of sleep to be healthy. In this country we value effort and results to the exclusion of self. It is one of the enduring reasons why the US is the strongest and largest economy in the history of the world. We use the Edison approach; working harder and longer brings reward. And it does. But if you are not rested and ready for those longer hours your productivity suffers.

So is late night TV worth it? I think not. Not if you are trying to conquer the world. Think about your health and success then next time you are flipping on the TV instead of flipping off your brain to go to sleep. Most of the time the late night chuckles don’t profit you as much as a few more hours of shuteye.  

Mark T. Brown, MD

Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.