POMPTON PLAINS-"If you doze off while reading, watching television, sitting in meetings, or while in traffic, chances are you didn't get a good night's sleep the night before," explains Arshad Javed, MD, medical director of the sleep center at Chilton Memorial Hospital. "Everyone encounters an occasional restless night. But when people wake up tired with a dry throat, or are awakened by their own snoring, or if they keep a roommate awake because of their loud snoring or their gasps for breath, they may be suffering from one of 80 different sleep disorders that can be life threatening." Chilton Memorial Hospital will host a free public seminar about ways to get a better night's sleep and how to recognize and treat sleep disorders. The seminar will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 8, in the hospital's boardroom on the first floor. According to the National Institute of Health, 22 million Americans suffer from a sleeping disorder. Javed says that although the vast majority of sleeping disorders can be easily diagnosed and treated, they usually go undiagnosed unless a roommate complains about another person's snoring, restless leg movements, or gasps for breath. "By far, the most common sleep disorder we see, and one of the most dangerous, is sleep apnea," Javed said. Nearly 12 million people who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing hundreds of times a night -- often for a minute or longer - then gasp for air almost as if they are choking. They usually have no idea they do this, but they typically experience fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches. Being sleep deprived can also lead to drowsy driving, the second most common cause of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. Although sleep apnea usually occurs in males, older than 40, and those overweight, it can strike anyone at any age, including children." "This seminar isn't just for those who believe they may be suffering from a sleeping disorder," Javed explained. "It's also for those who care about others who may be suffering from a sleep disorder but don't recognize it, so they can learn more about the signs, symptoms, and consequences of sleep disorders to share information with those loved ones." Chilton Memorial Hospital is located at 97 West Parkway in Pompton Plains. Javed and David Gourley, RRT, director of cardiopulmonary services, will explain: * How to distinguish between occasional insomnia and a sleep disorder * Signs and symptoms of the most common sleep disorders * Consequences of not treating sleep disorders * Testing and treatment options for sleep disorders * Tips everyone can exercise to get a better night's sleep For additional information or to register for the free seminar, contact the Sleep Center at (973) 831-5351.