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Sleep Disorders Specialist

Heart Rhythm Associates, LLC

Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS

General Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology located in Little Rock, AR

Ignoring sleep disorders can negatively affect your heart health. At Heart Rhythm Associates LLC in Central Arkansas, Van H. De Bruyn, MD, understands the significant role quality sleep plays in your overall health, especially as it relates to your heart and its rhythm. To find comprehensive cardiac care and sleep-disorder management in Little Rock and the surrounding area, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Sleep Disorders Q & A

What are sleep disorders?

A sleep disorder describes changes that affect the quality of your sleep. Types of sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia: difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS): urges to move your legs that disrupt your sleep
  • Narcolepsy: causes extreme sleepiness and spontaneous sleep throughout the day
  • Sleep apnea: breathing stops and starts during sleep

Sleep disorders that interrupt your breathing, like sleep apnea, can seriously affect your heart and its rhythm as well as your overall health.

What are the symptoms of sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Mood issues like irritability or feeling out of sorts
  • Problems concentrating and focusing
  • Difficulty staying awake

Having a sleep disorder can also affect other aspects of your health, like weakening your immune system, increasing your chances of diabetes, and decreasing your sex drive. They can also put you at risk for weight gain and a variety of heart-related complications.

How can sleep disorders affect your heart?

Your heart health is directly associated with the quality of your sleep. While it’s not entirely understood, too much or too little sleep affects your biological processes, including glucose metabolization, blood pressure, and inflammation.

When you have a sleep disorder that interferes with your body’s ability to have long periods of quality rest, your body isn’t able to activate the chemicals that lower your blood pressure and heart rate. When left untreated, this increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, can also dramatically increase your risk of heart rhythm problems.

How are sleep disorders diagnosed and treated?

Dr. De Bruyn understands the role quality sleep plays in maintaining a healthy heart. At Heart Rhythm Associates, he works closely with you to identify potential sleep disorders, so he can help optimize your heart rhythm and overall quality of life.

To identify a potential sleep disorder, Dr. De Bruyn performs a comprehensive physical exam and reviews your overall symptoms. Based on this evaluation, he might also recommend a sleep study to confirm a diagnosis.

Numerous treatments for sleep disorders are available based on your specific condition. Therapies for sleep disorders like sleep apnea often include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or oral appliances to help keep your airways open while you sleep.

If you have sleep apnea and are overweight or obese, you could benefit from a weight-management program.

Call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.