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Meir Kryger, MD, FRCP(C), author and professor of medicine (pulmonary) and clinical professor of nursing, Yale School of Medicine, delivers a thorough analysis of the current state of sleep medicine and sleep disorders.

Kryger’s book, Principles, and Practice of Sleep Medicine, now on its 6th edition, is considered a must-have guide on sleep medicine, and is basic reading for everyone in the field. The essential read provides an overview of every aspect of sleep disorders, which gives physicians important information to use for their patients who are suffering from sleep-related issues.

Dr. Kryger discusses his entry into the interesting world of sleep medicine. He recounts the treatment of one of the first patients he diagnosed with a sleep disorder and his shocking revelation that, at the time, hardly anyone knew anything at all about sleep. Over the years his intensive research on sleep has evolved, from his early study of what later became known as ‘sleep apnea,’ which affects approximately five to ten percent of men and up to two to five percent of women, to other sleep-related issues.

Dr. Kryger discusses sleep apnea in detail and emphasizes the impact that being overweight has on sleep. But he stresses that tonsil size, jaw structure, and many other issues can cause sleep apnea in normal weight people quite often as well. He details the breathing process during sleep and outlines the breath stoppages that occur for those who suffer from this common disorder.

The sleep doctor details the various treatment devices on the market today, for treating sleep disorders. He discusses CPAP in detail. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy and it is a common treatment for a type of sleep apnea known as obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP machine contains a hose and mask, or a nosepiece, and delivers a constant and steady air pressure, which regulates proper breathing. The doctor talks about other medical issues such as hypoventilation, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), and narcolepsy—a chronic sleep disorder that is characterized by intense daytime drowsiness and sometimes even sudden attacks of sleep.

Dr. Kryger’s research has literally covered every area of sleep. He has published over 200 research articles and book chapters. Notably, Dr. Kryger was the first to establish a functional laboratory to study patients suffering from sleep breathing problems in Canada, and first to diagnose and fully report on obstructive sleep apnea in all of North America. Dr. Kryger’s laboratory created awareness for the interaction between heart failure and sleep respiration and the lab published the first systematic study of oxygen in this particular condition. His important and extensive research has received generous funding from various government and industry sources from Canada, France, and the United States.

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