BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Depending on who you ask, sometimes a good night’s sleep is hard to come by. When you lead a busy lifestyle that doesn’t permit you to get the hours you need to function during the day, it wears on your psyche both physically and emotionally and can be very detrimental to your health. Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Nicholas Najhram was born to Guyanese parents and raised in England, before immigrating to Canada in 1988. In high school, he had an interest in both the medical field as well as electrical engineering. He liked taking things apart, seeing how they functioned, but he also had a strong desire to go into a field where he would be able to help people.
He graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours degree in Biology, Psychology and Life Sciences, before enrolling at The Michener Institute Applied Health Sciences for respiratory therapy. While in the process of finishing his certifications in respiratory therapy, he began working at Mount Sinai Hospital until transitioning into the private industry taking care of patients through oxygen therapy and palliative care.
Nicholas developed his interest in the respiratory field while in University, volunteering with respiratory therapists, he enjoyed the role that incorporated a mix of mechanics and clinical work. Dealing with the mechanics of the machines that help people breathe was fascinating work and something that was in line with the electrical engineering he had hoped to pursue. In addition to the machinery involved, the clinical aspect of treating patients was also a very important part of his role and he appreciated the knowledge and insight he was able to gain by doing evaluations and monitoring patient progress with the ability to guide them through solutions.
Delving further into the private sector, Nicholas found himself in a transitioning phase that led him into sleep medicine. Working with oxygen and respiratory therapy he gained a lot more insight and knowledge on the subject, and it piqued his interest so much so that he opened up his own clinic helping to treat patients suffering from debilitating sleep disorders.
Before opening his own clinic, Nicholas spent much of his time studying to increase his knowledge of sleeping disorders. He built up his own catalog of symptoms and diagnoses that he would be able to reference when dealing with his patients.
“Volunteering at the hospital and working alongside respiratory therapist I really appreciated the versatility of that career path,” Nicholas says. “Therapists are able to take on a multitude of responsibilities that can go between teaching and treat patients working in short-term or even long-term care.”
Patients who attend Cloud 9 Sleep Solutions are people of all different walks of life. Each patient comes to the clinic on a referral basis after having completed a sleep study and receiving a diagnosis from their doctor.
There is a range of different sleeping disorders a person could suffer from, and at Cloud 9 Sleep Solutions they specialize in dealing with and treating sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen.
“Most people don’t realize that sleep apnea this is something that you could have had all your life, but as you get older it gets worse,” Nicholas explains.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Their patients range from students in school to elderly people of all body types various weights and heights.
“As a child I had asthma, and so I understand what it’s like to be dealing with respiratory problems, Nicholas shares. “I like to help people, I care about the treatment that I can provide, and I wanted to do more which is why I decided to get into this field.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including complications with high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression, worsening of ADHD, migraines, and headaches. In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.
When treating his patients, Nicholas puts the utmost importance on sitting down one on one and educating his patients on the disorder they have, while walking them through the ways they can go about treating it. Most people don’t know why they have the sleeping problems they have, and being knowledgeable is the first step to finding a solution.
“There are so many people who are suffering from the effects of sleep apnea, without really knowing what the main cause is, and through Cloud 9 Sleep Solutions I am hoping we can offer solutions,” Nicholas says.
During each consultation, Nicholas walks his patient through the treatment process, showing them how to use the machinery when they are going to sleep, the different steps and settings they can use working with them to find out what works and what doesn’t.
“At the end of the day, the ultimate test comes when they take the machine home and use it overnight to gauge how their breathing and sleep cycle was affected,” Nicholas says.
Because their clinic operates on a referral basis, people who are interested in discovering more about sleeping disorders are welcome to stop by for a consultation. While they will not be able to provide you with a diagnosis, they are definitely willing and able to educate people who are looking for more information and can help guide them through the process of following up with a doctor who can conduct a sleep study, and provide them the answers they need.
“Some people come with a diagnosis of sleep apnea, and discover that they are dealing with a mixture of sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, snoring, or sleep deprivation,” Nicholas explains. “Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight.”
Are you suffering from sleepless nights? Do you think there is a chance there might be an underlying issue that hasn’t yet been addressed? Get the rest your body deserves! If you are interested in visiting Cloud 9 Sleep Solutions ask your doctor for a referral today their team is waiting to send you dreaming on Cloud 9!