The Tracy resident would toss and turn throughout the evening. She was often tired all day at work and during her commute to Castro Valley and Oakland, even though she was often going to bed as early as 8 p.m. And her constant snoring would disrupt her husband so badly they would often sleep in separate rooms.
Bostic suffers from sleep apnea — according to sleep disorders specialist Dr. Ronald Kass, a condition marked by heavy snoring and breath-holding episodes during sleep.
Bostic decided to visit the Pacific Sleep Disorders Center in Tracy. And after a visit to the clinic, she’s sleeping much easier.
“Getting up in the morning was very difficult. It felt like I never had enough rest,” said Bostic, who has diabetes and has had surgery for a deviated nasal septum. “It started affecting my daily life. I couldn’t get enough done — always exhausted.
“I’ve noticed a big difference within a few days. Now I go to sleep and don’t wake up until the alarm clock goes off. My husband is sleeping peacefully now. He doesn’t get woken up from my snoring.”
Pacific Sleep Disorders Center has been in operation since 1994, and has clinics in Stockton, Tracy and Lodi. The Tracy clinic has three sleep-room facilities and has been helping people sleep better for eight years.
“We get people back that feel like a different person, because they finally got the sleep they need and feel like a human,” said Karen Everitt, office manager. “We get patients that say they feel so much better, because it changed their life.”
At the clinic, patients are asked about their history and symptoms. Kass said it helps if a live-in partner visits with a patient, to better explain the patient’s problem.
If a patient needs an overnight stay — which costs $1,200, or $400 out of pocket with insurance — the patient sleeps from 8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Their movement is monitored and recorded, as well as their oxygen levels, brain activity and sleep patterns. Treatment is usually dispensed at a follow-up appointment.
The clinic specializes in many disorders, including night terrors, nightmares, restless leg syndrome, seizures, Rapid Eye Movement behavior disorder, narcolepsy and insomnia. But 80 percent of the patients who go to the clinic for treatment snore or have sleep apnea.
How many people suffer from sleep apnea?
“The best estimates anywhere from 9 to 12 percent of the population,” said Kass. “(It’s) twice more common in men than women.”
The two most common causes are excessive weight gain and anatomical factors in the back of the throat, said Kass.
“As a society, we’re becoming more obese,” he said. “The incidents are increasing.”
The common treatment for sleep apnea, like the kind Bostic faced, is a mask that is plugged in to a machine and placed over the nose. The machine clears a person’s air passageways, which improves breathing.
Wally Jallorina had surgery for sleep apnea 15 years ago. But five years ago, the 48-year-old avid runner had to take a break from the running path due to sore knees. The result — he put on 30 pounds, and his apnea returned.
Jallorina had an intense episode when he woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air, which sent him into panic mode.
“You feel like you’re going to die,” he said. “It takes another 15 to 20 minutes just to calm myself down.”
Jallorina said the episodes caused excessive daytime sleepiness.
“I start to doze off during the daytime. It’s affecting your daily activities,” he said. “Driving can be a potential problem.”
He realized he needed to go back for treatment and scheduled an appointment at Pacific Sleep Disorders Center. Rather than get surgery again, he opted for the mask. Just like Bostic.
“I’m definitely sleeping much better,” Bostic said. “The mask isn’t an annoyance. The benefit far outweighs wearing the mask.”
As far as snoring goes, about 50 percent of the population snores and 30 percent of the population snores all the time, Kass said.
Bostic says her husband also snores, and in the past had jaw surgery.
“I’m tempted to let him try the mask out,” she said.
So, is she suggesting he go to Pacific Sleep Disorders Center?
“We’re already talking about it,” she said.
For information: www.pacificsleepcenter.com or 835-1163.