Sleep Disorders Part I: Health Risks

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Sleep deprivation is more than just a nuisance that makes you groggy throughout the day. It's a health hazard. One sleeping disorder, sleep apnea, can sometimes be fatal.

Ken McKenney is a Registered Polysomnographic Technician. He says: "It's where you stop breathing a lot at night. It can be anywhere from 10 seconds up to about 90 seconds."

New findings show that not getting enough sleep can cause weight gain. Ken McKenney with the Medical Center agrees.

"A lot of times when we do have a lack of sleep our bodies want to get more energy. So the next best thing is to eat, to consume calories. So that helps us throughout the day. The only problem is, is that starts a vicious cycle."

Sleep loss is also being attributed to lessened libido and studies show it can cause marital problems. And driving while sleep deprived is actually illegal in some states.

"That would be Maggie's Law. That is really beginning to be a big issue, I think. Because people already know that it's bad to drive drunk, but if you drive while you're asleep it can be just as dangerous."

According to the "Sleep in America" survey, 75 percent of Americans say they experience some type of sleep problem a few night's a week or more.

For the full results of the "Sleep in America" survey, go to