The Centers for Disease Control declared in January that insufficient sleep has become an epidemic linked to car accidents, medical missteps, industrial disasters and plenty of other occupational issues.
Dr. Michael Howell of the University of Minnesota specializes in sleep problems.
From the Star Tribune:
Howell works in the world of parasomnia -- a bizarre and potentially dangerous category of sleep behaviors that range from sleepwalking to sleep fighting to sleep smoking and sleep driving. These are the hard-to-crack sleep disorder cases that Howell, a sleep doctor and neuroscientist, specializes in.
"I've met Batman, Spider-Man -- lots of people who have superhero powers in their sleep," he said.
With millions of Americans suffering from sleeping woes, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, the field of sleep medicine is exploding. In just five years, the number of sleep centers accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has doubled to 2,500. Thirty percent of American adults say they have trouble sleeping, Howell said.
With the rise of energy drinks and a coffeehouse on every corner, it's clear that we're trying to remedy some problem--tiredness--but what's the best way to get at our sleep deprivation? Of the types of unusual afflictions (sleepwalking, night terrors, etc.), which sleep disorders are most prevalent among adults and children?
Howell and Dr. Gerald Rosen of Children's Hospital in St. Paul join The Daily Circuit to talk about America's sleep problem.