New Jersey workers know how hard it can be to put in a full day of work on little sleep. The grogginess may temporarily abate after several coffee drinks, but in a few hours such fatigued workers may experience a crash, or a point at which their bodies simply won't function at optimum levels.
Imagine, then, that lack of sleep was a never-ending problem caused by a medical condition called sleep apnea. Individuals with this condition typically experienced repeated gaps in their breathing while they sleep. The breathing interruptions can last from 10 to 20 seconds, and may occur as frequently as 30 times per hour.
Unfortunately, the breathing interruptions present in individuals with sleep apnea may consequently prevent them from progressing through the full five phases of the human sleep cycle. When individuals are deprived of REM sleep or other sleep stages, their health will likely begin to suffer. If treatment proves unsuccessful, sleep apnea patients may develop additional problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke or even heart failure.
The good news is that specialist sleep centers are becoming increasingly successful at helping those with sleep apnea develop more effective sleep patterns. However, the treatment may require time, and may not always be successful on the first attempt.
In severe cases, where treatment-resistant sleep apnea patients are not expected to recover within 12 months or more, Social Security disability insurance benefits may be a source of financial assistance. Since the application process often requires a long wait, even those workers currently seeking treatment might benefit from a consultation with a Social Security disability benefits attorney. Submitting an SSDI application today might be a good fallback if sleep apnea treatments don't produce quick results, taking longer than expected.
Source: health.usnews.com, "Sleep Apnea Treated Successfully in Non-Specialty Centers," March 12, 2013