Sleep Medicine

“I’m not an early bird or a night owl, I’m a permanently exhausted pigeon.”

How is Sleep connected to Pain?

People who suffer from chronic pain know firsthand how difficult it can be to get a good night’s sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 Sleep in America poll, one in five Americans suffer from chronic pain. A majority of these individuals report substandard sleep quality, and one in four people with chronic pain also have a sleep disorder.

Sleep and pain have a bidirectional relationship. For instance, many people report their painful symptoms are somewhat alleviated after a better night’s sleep. For those living with chronic pain, prioritizing sleep may be a key component in the path to recovery.

Sleep medicine pain chart

People with chronic pain may suffer from a self-perpetuating cycle of pain, insomnia, and depression or anxiety. For example, someone who is in pain may become anxious when they cannot sleep. They may sleep poorly and wake up feeling depressed, which increases their sensitivity to pain. The next night, they are in pain again, so they cannot sleep well, and the cycle continues. Over time, this negative cocktail may worsen existing conditions and even have an influence on a person’s level of disability.

In Summary, Pain and Sleep disorders go “hand in hand” and should be treated together.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
2013 Research: 49% of men suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is also very common in women.

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Are you a snorer? Are you constantly tired? Do you wake up every morning feeling “wrecked” and never feel refreshed after a night’s sleep? Snoring isn’t a laughing matter. It is now recognised as a sign of a serious medical issue. If you snore you most likely suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This means your body is starved of air (oxygen) during the night. As a result the quality of your sleep is very poor. The snoring also impacts on the sleep quality of your partner or even the entire household.

If you suffer from untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea you are 23 times more likely to have a heart attack than someone without sleep apnea. The risk is almost the same as someone who is obese, has high blood pressure and who smokes all the time! Lancet Medical Journal 1990

Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Bruxism(grinding teeth while you sleep)
  • Tired during the day
  • Have to take a nap during the day / dozing and day dreaming
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Mood Changes, Depression, Irritability
  • Have to get up to use the toilet during the night
  • Suffer from Headaches in the morning
Signs of Sleep Apnea

Dr. Patrick O’Beirne has trained in the subject of “Sleep Dentistry” and is now a provider of SomnoMed Continuous Open Airway Therapy. See for more details.

Dr. O’Beirne liases with Dr. Michael Mc Weeney (Consultant Respiratory Physician) Galway, in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Can’t tolerate CPAP? A SomnoMed Appliance may be the answer.

Click here to download the Epworth Sleepiness Scale leaflet.

Click here to download the STOP-BANG Sleep Apnea Questionnaire.

Tips to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

Direct Medical

Dr. O’Beirne recommends Direct Medical Ireland, based in Athlone, for the supply, fit, support and remote monitoring of all CPAP devices and accessories.