Introduction to A Better Night’s Sleep Podcast

Introduction to A Better Night’s Sleep Podcast


[Dr. Kinn] [music] This is A Better Night’s
Sleep with our military sleep expert Dr. Jon Olin from the Sleep Lab at Fort Carson. And I’m Dr. Julie Kinn with the Defense Health
Agency. Before we get started on this first introductory
episode, let me tell you a little bit more about Dr. Olin. He is a Harvard trained physician who completed
his residency in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He’s been working with the military population
at Fort Carson since 2003 and he’s been board certified in sleep medicine since 2007. He’s now the medical director of the Sleep
Lab at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson. [Dr. Kinn] In this first episode, we’ll be
talking with Dr. Olin about why sleep is important and what our service members, veterans, their
families, and their providers can expect from this series. Although we’re making this for the military
community, everyone can use a better night’s sleep. Well, let’s get started. Jon, why is it so important to talk about
sleep? [Dr. Olin] So, you’ll never meet anyone that
says, “I sleep really poorly but I feel great.” [Dr. Kinn] Yes. That’s a really good point. [Dr. Olin] You do meet people that say sleep’s
a waste of time. There are overall some people that are considered
short sleepers but they’re very, very, very, very few and far in between. And for example, I know Dr. Kinn you’re up
in the northwest. Bill Gates, I’ve heard him talk about sleep
and he says that, yeah, he’d like to sleep less but he doesn’t like the loss of IQ points
[laughter]. So, he fits it into his day and makes sure
that he has more brain power. So, he’s tried to sleep less but has negative
consequences with it. [Dr. Kinn] There’s a cost-benefit ratio there. [Dr. Olin] Correct. So in the plus is more time to do other things,
and the negative is very inefficient brain or less efficient brain power. So, adequate sleep is generally considered
necessary for overall health and happiness. It may not be solely sufficient but it’s part
of a three-legged stool, including exercise and diet. [Dr. Kinn] Could you tell us a little bit
more about your work with sleep? [Dr. Olin] I see, or I review sleep studies. Those are sleep studies done overnight in
a sleep lab. People kind of hooked up like an astronaut. Wires from head to toe. Most of the wires around their head and each
wire gives information. So they’ll have a wire around their scalp,
or multiple wires on their scalp and that’s brain waves of sleep, and then they’ll have
wires around their nose and mouth looking at airflow. Are they moving air? And then they’ll have for example, bands around
their chest and abdomen. Are they making an effort to breathe? And in the sleep lab, we’re generally looking
for something called obstructive sleep apnea, and that’s brain wave’s asleep, not moving
air, and then we see in chest and abdomen effort to breathe but not moving air, generally
because they are blocked or they’re obstructed. If that happens once an hour, we’ll call that
normal. If that happens 30 or more times an hour,
we’ll call that severe. And there are different ways to look at severity. So that’s something that I’ll do where I’ll
look at the sleep studies, and then I’ll see patients during the day, generally active
duty, patients during the day and assessing and treating them for various sleep disorders. And the big one there is not– although many
of my patients have apnea, but the big one there for active duty population is going
to be insomnia, trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep. [Dr. Kinn] So how long have you been specializing
in sleep medicine and also how long have you been at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort
Carson? JON OLIN 03:46 I’ve been in the field for
over 10 years. So I’ve been board certified sleep for over
10 years. I was working at the US Air Force Academy
lab in 2008. And then in 2013, here at Fort Carson we opened
our own lab. [Dr. Kinn] So are there unique issues in our
military population that are different from civilian sleep issues? [Dr. Olin] Many of the issues are the same. And obviously, there are some that are going
to be unique. So in general, our active duty population
are younger and healthier than the general civilian population where you’re going to
see someone in a sleep lab or see them in a clinic. So in general, they’re going to be frankly
more fit. They’re going to be used to running, doing
push-ups, pull-ups. And they’re not going to be someone who’s
of advanced age and has serious medical problems, or at least less likely. Obviously, we’ve had many active duty service
members who’ve deployed, in often cases multiple times, and can be, depending on the individual
and unit, higher incidence of anxiety or PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder with associated
sleep disturbances, including nightmares. So, probably more of my population has problems
with nightmares than, say, the general population in an average American city or town. [Dr. Kinn] Well, I know at some point in this
series we’re going to do an episode all about nightmares. What other kinds of things can our listeners
expect? What else are we going to talk about in A
Better Night’s Sleep? [Dr. Olin] Oh, yeah. So we’ll talk about nightmares. And I’m flexible about what we talk about,
so I’m open to input from our listeners, and from staff, and from clinicians. Very sensible for us to talk about insomnia,
so trouble getting asleep, staying asleep. We should definitely, in my opinion, emphasize
non-medication treatments for insomnia as those are the most evidence-based and frankly
the safest with generally the best results. In my view, that’s kind of like physical therapy,
where if I have a bad shoulder and you’re my shoulder doc, you could give me Motrin
or you could give me Percocet, but better chance that I may benefit from strengthening
and stretching than only a med or only a pain med. I think we’ll talk about obstructive sleep
apnea. Maybe we’ll briefly talk about another type
of apnea called central sleep apnea. We can talk about restless leg syndrome. And we can talk about the importance of adequate
sleep. Maybe people don’t have a form of sleep disorder,
but they haven’t really fully prioritized sleep. [Dr. Kinn] Those all sound like fantastic
topics. I know I’m going to learn a lot from this
and I hope our listeners do too. I’m hoping we can talk about some of the things
on the normal range too, like having pets on the bed and eating before sleep and some
of those little things that everyone can do to get a better night’s sleep. [Dr. Olin] Sure. Just general concepts of sleep hygiene, kind
of like, I don’t know, dental hygiene. So where you may not, again, have a formal
disorder but can do something to improve quality, quantity of sleep. Temperate of the bedroom, caffeine, alcohol. Yep, all these things. [Dr. Kinn] Well, again, this is fantastic. It sounds like we’ve got the meat here for
lots of good discussions. But like you said, we’re hoping to hear from
listeners about your questions and suggestions for topics [music]. [Dr. Olin] Sure. [Dr. Kinn] Thank you for joining us today
on our first episode of A Better Night’s Sleep. This show is produced by the Defense Health
Agency, part of the United States Department of Defense. You can learn more about our other podcasts,
free mobile apps, websites, and other resources for military health on Facebook and Twitter
at @MilitaryHealth. Let us know what questions you have for Dr.
Olin. Let’s really try to stump him.

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