Reclaim YOUR Sleep

Feb 28, 2024 at 02:03 pm by RMGadmin

How Williamson Health Helps Patients Reclaim Quality Sleep

With Williamson Health

Spring can be the perfect time to eat, drink and be merry, but don’t overlook the importance of a good night’s sleep.


“Thirty percent of adults in America don’t get enough sleep,” said Karl Kuhn, M.D. “Sleep is essential for optimal health, and sleep deprivation can affect your immune system, mental health, cognition and more.”


A pulmonologist, Dr. Kuhn is one of a team of physicians and providers that make up Williamson Health Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, home to both a pulmonary rehabilitation program and an accredited sleep center. The pulmonologists at the clinic treat a variety of conditions, including asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), lung cancer, and emphysema.
“Almost 30% of people over thirty have sleep apnea,” Dr. Kuhn said. “The bulk of what we do is try to determine if a patient has sleep apnea, and, if so, what we can do to treat it.”
Signs of sleep apnea includes: 
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Snoring
  • Daytime drowsiness
  •  Waking up a lot at night, and choking or gasping for air in your sleep.


To be diagnosed with sleep apnea, patients must stop breathing for at least ten seconds more than five times per hour, Dr. Kuhn explained. A sleep study often helps doctors determine if a patient meets these criteria.


“We have a great sleep lab here, running six nights a week,” Dr. Kuhn said. “We can do home sleep studies if insurance allows or in-lab sleep studies to rule out sleep apnea and other issues affecting your sleep quality.”


If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Kuhn says there are plenty of options to help improve your sleep quality such as a CPAP machine or the Inspire implant.


“In sleep apnea, the diaphragm muscle moves when you breathe, but your airway is blocked,” Dr. Kuhn explained. “Inspire is an implant that sits under the skin right under the collarbone and it uses an electrical current to open your throat when it feels the diaphragm moving.”


Inspire is now covered by most insurance providers, but candidates must meet specific criteria to qualify:
Diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea; Intolerant of CPAP; and Have a BMI under forty.


For patients who are intolerant of CPAP but don’t meet the criteria to qualify for Inspire, a dental device that helps to open airways is another option. No matter what’s keeping you from catching quality Z’s, Dr. Kuhn recommends talking with your doctor so you can find the right solution and deal with the problem.


“Sleep really does affect every part of your life, from your relationships with friends and loved ones to your overall health,” he said. “Untreated sleep apnea also makes you more tired and three times more likely to have a car wreck, but it also leads to heart attack, heart failure, stroke and more. That’s why it’s so important to get checked out.”


To learn more about Williamson Health Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine and its services, visit