Monthly Archives: March 2015

When Sleep Decreases, Your Overall Risk Increases

When sleep decreases, your overall risk increases.

“Coming up on the 6:00 news. A fatality on our roads today as the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel . . . “

Their annual summer vacation was all but over and the Brown’s were driving down the highway. They were on their way back home, the kids all safe and fast asleep in the back seat. Suddenly, a truck on the opposite side of the highway swerved into the ditch and continued to roll a dozen times before completely stopping just short of a telephone pole.

The Browns were shocked and the next morning made a point of scanning the paper to determine the fate of the occupants in the vehicle. The paper reported the lone inhabitant was pronounced dead at the scene and the crash was a result of the driver falling asleep at the wheel.

A major cause of accidents is impaired sleep. Plain and simple. Carelessness and fatigue resulting from sleep loss play a huge factor in far more disasters than ever get reported on. When polled, more than one-third of all people who said they have driven while drowsy, indicated they have fallen asleep at the wheel.

It comes as no surprise to learn that lack of sleep alters emotions and moods. What may be a surprise to learn is sleep deprived individuals compared to someone under the influence of alcohol – have similar reaction times. Recently a study showed more than half of all road accidents are committed by sleep deprived individuals.

Your reaction time and attentiveness are affected by inadequate amounts of sleep. An estimated twenty percent of all workplace related injuries transpire because of a person’s sleepiness. Accidents in the workplace result in financial burdens affecting corporations, society, the health care system and the individual.

You get behind the wheel when you are tired and you don’t think twice about it. Driving while sleepy sounds harmless enough. Going about your day when you are a little tired doesn’t appear to be hurting anyone. The truth is – it’s hazardous and risky. Sleepiness is a liability that doesn’t discriminate. It impairs your reaction time, your mental and physical ability and your capacity to make judgments and process information.

For more information and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website

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Dr. George Kirtley welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park

Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain

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A decrease in sleep, increases your appetite . . . .  and ultimately, your weight.

Ironically in dreamland, we are all our ideal size. Weight issues are non-existent. We don’t have to follow some low-carb diet. There is no working up a sweat running on a treadmill for hours. No need for herbal supplements or any magical pills. We just fall asleep and voila –  we are instantly thinner.

Ahhh, only in dreamland. Or is there some truth to the tale? Wait! Ensuring we get enough sleep and rest can be the key to successful weight loss.

Studies have shown that people who get frequent, good-quality sleep tend to weigh less than those who lack appropriate shut eye. There certainly is a correlation between good health and good sleep. People with sleep deficiencies have distorted quantities of a hormone that has been identified in controlling hunger. This creates an amplified appetite and increases your preference for high calorie foods.

There are an abundance of physical consequences evident when your body lacks sleep. Sleep loss affects your mood, your appetite and your hormones. You’re inclined to desire comfort food when you are tired and it’s more probable that you will indulge your craving for them. You’ll grab for the chips, chocolate and candy rather than choosing carrot sticks.

Even though it may feel like you have a boost in your energy level, you will find yourself hungry more frequently. Your hunger isn’t the real problem; your sleepiness is. That will result in you not just making bad food choices but making frequent bad choices.

For a lot of people, emotional eating is triggered when you are tired. This is because you’re less resistant to stress and stress leads to eating. Also, people will use food as a means to stay awake. Again, your body is craving sleep, not food, but in your sleepy state, you fail to recognize this.

So in the end, you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up lighter. Sleep deficiencies increase your appetite and promote weight gain. Anyone scavenging their fridge in the middle of the night can testify to that!

For more information and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website

Dr. George Kirtley welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park

Proven Fact: Sleep Loss Makes You Leave This Planet Sooner.

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Always Tired? You’d better find help. Sleep loss can kill you.

The upcoming fishing trip was just weeks away. Troy was already anxious; his apprehension growing. He was well aware that his snoring wasn’t typical. He knew it was abnormally disturbing and abnormally loud. The teasing was good natured but Troy was extremely embarrassed by it. He didn’t want to be that guy. He didn’t want to be the joke.

Not only is the snoring a nuisance for Troy, he finds he is extremely tired in the mornings. Not just after a restless sleep or a late night – but always. Daily, he wakes up unmotivated, sluggish and just mimicking the motions of the day. At 42 years of age, Troy looks, acts and feels way older than he actually is.

At some point, we have all laughed at or teased a person that snores. Everybody has a snoring story to share. What isn’t funny are the damaging affects snoring has on your health. Health concerns ranging from frustrating to life-threatening can result from inadequate or lack of sleep.

Sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea can increase the risk of hypertension, heart disease and strokes. It can also lead to serious illness and major accidents. Sleep apnea sufferers are over 300% more liable to be involved in a fatal car crash.

The label “sleep with sound” has been given to snoring but one thing is for sure. A snorer acquires no sound sleep. Those lacking regular, quality sleep increase their chance for heart attacks by more than 23 times! The compounded strain and stress on your body can activate depression, disease, illness, mental disorders and a myriad of physical obstacles.

We’ve all chuckled at someone’s snoring story. If you or someone you love snores and is habitually tired during the day, the possibility for health complications and even death, are increased. That is no laughing matter.

For more information and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website

Dr. George Kirtley welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park