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Profiles of Excellence: CanSleep Services Burnaby

Many people ignore important signs telling them that their sleep is disrupted and they need to take action to protect their health
Lara Rintoul, clinical operations manager. Photo via CanSleep Burnaby.

Everyone knows how important it is to get a good night's sleep. But too often, people ignore very important signs telling them that their sleep is disrupted and they need to take action to protect their health.

Fatigue, inability to concentrate, moodiness, even weight gain and high blood pressure are some of the signs that sleep has been disrupted. At CanSleep Services in Burnaby, a sleep disorder solutions company with 20 years serving patients, trained respiratory therapists will help you identify your sleep problems and come up with the right solution you need to improve your quality of life.

“If you’re not getting good quality sleep, you’ll notice it in how you feel and how you go about your day,” says Marina Aravena, a respiratory therapist who has worked at CanSleep for 10 years. A condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the source of most sleeping problems. When there’s a blockage in the breath passageway, oxygen is choked off, prompting the brain to initiate a stress response, including a rise in heart rate, to make the sleeper wake up and breathe again.

It’s a condition that reduces total oxygen levels and causes a number of side effects, including chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety and weight gain, particularly when patients respond to the anxiety or tiredness they feel by eating more.

More women are seeking solutions for sleep problems, according to Aravena. But typically, it’s men who are referred because of health issues and because their bed partner is raising concerns about their own lack of sleep and their partner’s sleep disruptions.

“You don’t need a referral to do a sleep test, so we send them information virtually on how to complete the test, we can ship them the testing device, now during COVID-19, or they can pick it up.”

The gold standard for unblocking the breathing pathway is continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), which uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in the patients’ throat so that their airway doesn’t collapse when they breathe in.

After the initial test, follow up consultation and monitoring can be done virtually—giving patients peace of mind—while installation is as simple as plugging in the machine, turning it on and placing the mask over the mouth and nose.

The newest CPAP machines are comfortable to wear, and some versions are small enough to slip into travel bags. They are quiet to use, come with a warranty and are an effective treatment without any side effects. Aravena has been amazed and gratified to see her patients respond well to CPAP therapy.

“If you are sleeping better, you’ll feel better,” says Aravena. “You will notice your quality of overall health and you’ll immediately feel an improvement.”

Patients can call or book online to obtain a quick and convenient sleep apnea in-home screening.

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