Tips to Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep from MRHC

The amount of sleep you get every night affects your well-being, but the quality of your sleep makes a difference too. According to the Centers for Disease Control, inadequate sleep doesn’t just make you tired, it can increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, and depression.

“Not only does insufficient sleep put people at risk for chronic diseases, but it also contributes to motor vehicle crashes and machinery-related injuries,” said Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) Respiratory Therapist, Tina Gehling, RRT, RCP, BSHM, EMT.

For those struggling to sleep, Gehling offers these tips for a more restful night:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule
  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink
  • Create a restful environment
  • Limit daytime naps
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine
  • Manage stress
  • Contact your primary care provider if you continue to struggle sleeping

Daylight savings will take effect on March 12 – causing all of us to “lose” an hour of sleep. But if you are among those whose sleep continues to suffer, there may be a reason, other than the time change, to blame.

“Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve,” said Gehling.

If you are having trouble sleeping, repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night, waking up not feeling rested or experiencing weight gain, obesity, or even snoring, it could be because of your sleeping habits. To diagnose and treat sleep disorders, MRHC recommends completing a sleep study. Testing can be completed in one night in the convenience of the patient’s own home with the ability for the patient to go to work immediately after the study.

“By doing at-home sleep studies, we are able to put patients on an autoPAP if results show they have sleep apnea, a very common disorder,” said Gehling.

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder that staff routinely see. Gehling notes this is a condition in which there is a delay in breathing that can last for at least ten to 30 seconds during sleep. In severe cases, this can happen multiple times a night without the individual noticing or waking up. As a result, sleep apnea has been linked to heart attacks, heart arrhythmias, and strokes. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be deadly.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness or fatigue, morning headaches, frequent nighttime urination, loud snoring, irritability, and more. Risk factors include family history, neck circumference, large tonsils, and age – among many others.

Sleep Apnea Questionnaire

Do you:

Snore or have been told that you snore?
Sleep during the day?
Feel drowsy when driving?
Wake up with morning headaches?
Have frequent memory or judgement problems?
Experience frequent irritability?
Noticed mood changes?
Wake up and/or make frequent trips to the bathroom during the night?
Weigh 20% or more than your ideal body weight?
Have a neck size 17 inches or greater (male) or 16 inches are greater (female)?
Have high blood pressure?
Have a decrease in sexual drive?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consult with your primary care provider about scheduling a sleep study by calling (712) 655-2072.

Diabetic Finds Comfort from MRHC Wound Care Clinic

wound care team

“I woke up one morning and noticed that the bottom of my foot was sore. It was tender to the touch and the pain was excruciating to walk. I knew right away that I needed to get into the doctor and have it evaluated,” said Ralph Dobler of Manning.

Although Ralph had experienced the effects of diabetes for several years prior, he was following a proper diabetic diet, he was watching his health and ensuring he was keeping active. Unfortunately, Ralph had learned the hard way a few years prior that if he doesn’t take care of his wounds, it could lead to amputation.

“I knew that if we could get on top of the wound right away that we would have the potential to save my foot.  At 74 years old, Ralph has been dealing with the side effects of diabetes for many years.

More than 29.1 million Americans have diabetes and sixty to seventy percent of people with diabetes have limited or no feeling in their feet. “It’s much easier to treat a minor foot problem before it becomes serious,” said Kendra Tiefenthaler, RN, Clinical Coordinator for the MRHC Wound Care Center. Kendra Tiefenthaler

The wound care team believes that Ralph’s immediate attention to the issue and willingness to commit to weekly treatments until the wounds were healed is what ultimately prevented him having an amputation.

Approximately 25-30% of patients with diabetes develop a foot sore or ulcer. Though foot ulcers can be anywhere on the foot, most occur on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe.

There are several reasons why diabetic patients have foot problems, but the most common reason is that they suffer from nerve damage called neuropathy, which causes loss of sensation in the feet.  These patients also suffer from poor circulation, which can make your foot less able to fight infection and heal.

Signs of a Possible Foot Ulcer:
  • Lack of sensation (feeling) in your feet
  • Feeling of “pins and needles” in your feet
  • Feet hurt while walking or resting
  • Sores don’t heal
  • Skin on your feet becomes thick, dry or scaly,
  • Calluses develop easily on the soles of your feet

“At MRHC, we have the ability to treat any open wounds caused from vascular complications, post-surgical procedures, diabetes and more,” said Tiefenthaler.  “Oftentimes patients will see the most benefit from weekly treatments where the provider addresses any concerns, evaluates wound progress, and cleans/redresses the wound to ensure timely healing.”

How to care for your feet and prevent diabetic ulcers:
  • Check your feet daily. Look for blisters, cuts and scratches. Use a long-handled mirror or place a mirror on the floor to see the bottom of your feet. Always check between your toes.
  • Keep your feet clean. Wash daily, dry carefully – especially between the toes.
  • Moisturize your feet. Apply a moisturizer as recommended by your physician, but never apply between toes as that can lead to a fungal infection.
  • Do not walk barefoot. That includes on sandy beaches and pool/patio areas.
  • Wear properly fitted shoes. Shoes should be comfortable when purchased. Do not wear narrow, pointed toe or high-heeled shoes.
  • Inspect the inside of your shoes daily. Check for foreign objects, tears or rough areas on the inside of the shoe.
  • Do not wear shoes without socks or stockings. Wear clean, properly fitted socks. Cotton or cotton-blend socks are recommended.
  • Avoid temperature extremes. Test water temperature with your hand or elbow prior to bathing. Do not soak your feet in hot water or apply a hot water bottle. If your feet feel cold at night; wear socks.
  • Trim your toenails regularly. Always cut your nails straight across.
  • Do not use over-the-counter remedies for corns. See a podiatrist to have these evaluated.
  • Avoid crossing your legs. This causes pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, resulting in less blood flow to your feet.

As we wrap up American Diabetes Month, MRHC wants to remind people with diabetes that they are at a higher risk for non-healing foot wounds – and therefore amputations – than most Americans. One in four patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. The wound healing center at MRHC can provide guidance for prevention and treatment of these wounds.

If you are experiencing pain or complications from an open wound, contact the MRHC Wound Care Clinic at (712) 655-8100 to request a wound care consultation or treatment. Physician referrals are not required.