Archive for the ‘Center for Sleep Disorders’ Category

Back-to-School Sleep Routine by Jennifer Radel

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The lazy days of summer are coming to a close. School will be starting soon and it will be “early to bed, early to rise” once again. I think I can speak for most parents when I say that getting the kids back into the school year routine is challenging at best making mornings in particular, miserable. This year I vowed to make it easier for all of us. I’m fortunate enough that I work in healthcare and have access to the experts. I solicited some advice from sleep and behavioral medicine specialist, Thaddeus Shattuck, MD from St. Mary’s Center for Sleep Disorders.

First of all, how much sleep do children need? “While every child is different,” says Dr. Shattuck, “generally speaking, children between the ages of 5 and 12 should get somewhere around 10 to 11 hours of sleep, ages 12 to18, about 8.5 to 9.5 hours sleep.”

If your kids are used staying up until 9:00pm in the summer, don’t expect them to suddenly fall asleep at 8pm. A simple hour change can translate into sleepless nights. We all know a child who is not well rested will have difficulty learning and adjusting to a new teacher and classroom routine.

Dr. Shattuck suggests gradually setting back bed time. Put your kids to bed 15 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 15 minutes earlier each morning. Ideally you’d like them adjusted to their schedule a week before the start of school.

Practicing good sleep hygiene is also helpful. Start winding down after dinner. Taking a bath, reading a book, and listening to soothing music will help make the transition from busy day to restful night easier. Then, make sure your child’s room is cool, quiet and dark or dimly lit at bedtime.

“Turn off all your electronics an hour before bedtime,” says Dr. Shattuck. “Light from a tablet, laptop, or smart phone is at the blue end of the color spectrum. This color is common in daylight, but not at night. Using these devices before bed can disrupt your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock. Don’t leave these devices charging next to your bed either. Even small amounts of that light can trick your brain into thinking it’s morning and wake you from a peaceful sleep.”

In a nutshell, the key to a good night’s sleep is having a bedtime routine and keeping it year round. “Whether it is summer, Christmas vacation, or the weekend, maintaining the nighttime
ritual is best for your child,” says Dr. Shattuck. “You can still have the occasional late night to watch the fireworks or tell ghost stories by the campfire, but try to get back on track after that.”
Something to keep in mind for next summer!

Now, off to complete my back-to-school shopping list.


Dr. Thaddeus Shattuck is the Medical Director at the Center for Sleep Disorders at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He earned his master’s degree in Public Health from The Dartmouth Institute and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. He completed his fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Shattuck is the president of the Maine Sleep Society and a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is board certified in Sleep Medicine and Psychiatry.

Jennifer Radel has been the Community Relations Manager at St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, Maine for eight years.  On a daily basis she gets to work with some of the best health care providers in the State of Maine, and routinely picks their brains for the best ways to keep her family and friends healthy. Jennifer is a mom of two boys and wife who volunteers with several community groups. She is on the Board of Directors for Literacy Volunteers-Androscoggin. Prior to coming to St. Mary’s, Jennifer spent nearly 15 years working in television, mainly as a news producer in upstate New York and Portland, Maine. During that time she received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence among other awards for journalism.


Advice from Our Sleep Specialist

Friday, March 9th, 2012

 A simple hour change during Daylight Saving Time can translate into sleepless nights and tired, cranky days for kids.  Dr. Thaddeus Shattuck, a behavioral and sleep specialist at St. Mary’s Center for Sleep Disorders has some suggestions to ease the transition for children and their parents.

Getting ready for Daylight Saving

  • shift your child’s schedule gradually. Put them to bed 15 minutes earlier every night starting 4 days prior to March 11 (so starting now!)
  • Open the curtains and let the sunlight in soon after waking and avoid evening light 
  • avoid exercise after 5 PM
  • avoid napping
  • consider use of melatonin—but keep in mind you need to use it 4 hours before new target bedtime to be effective
  • shift will likely be harder for children and adults who are “night owls.”

Dr. Shattuck earned his Masters in Public Health from The Dartmouth Institute and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire.  He completed his Fellowship in Sleep Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  He did his residency in psychiatry at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was a chief resident in his final year of training.

Dr. Shattuck is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  He is board certified in Psychiatry and board-eligible in Sleep Medicine.

St. Mary’s Health System Online Wellness Center

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Blood Pressure Awareness
You might not know that you have high blood pressure. It doesn’t show, and it doesn’t hurt. But blood pressure can creep up slowly and silently and cause serious damage to your heart. Have your blood pressure checked. If it’s higher than what’s healthy, do everything you can to lower it.

For a limited time, Take Charge! at St. Mary’s is offering FREE health screenings. Take Charge!  is a comprehensive screening program that helps you learn about your health and how you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular heart disease (CVD), stroke, and diabetes and improve your overall well-being.  These screening usually cost $25 and take approximately 15 minutes per person.  The screening includes:   

  • A lipid profile, measuring your total cholesterol and good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Height & weight measurements
  • Blood pressure
  • Physical activity level
  • Body mass index

A health professional will review your results and will discuss your results with you, offering health education accordingly.  All results are strictly confidential and with your permission, a copy of your report can be provided to your primary care physician.  

If you schedule an appointment in the months of April, May, or June, your screening will be free!!!!

Please call 777-8898 for an appointment.

Do You Salt Before You Taste Your Food?
The average American consumes twice the amount of recommended sodium per day – which adds up to over 7 pounds of salt a year per person. There are many other healthy ways to season your food. Learn more.

Can You Prevent High Blood Pressure?
Regardless of your age, gender, race, or heredity, there are things you   can do to cut your risk for high blood pressure. Here’s how to get started.

Moderate Rise in Blood Pressure Linked to Drop in Thinking Skills 
Researchers report that mild to moderate high blood pressure can slow thinking skills in seniors.

When Do You Need High Blood Pressure Medications?
If your doctor prescribes medicine to lower your blood pressure, be sure to take it as directed. And be sure to continue living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Check Out a Sudden Rise in Blood Pressure 
Usually, high blood pressure — called essential hypertension – develops over many years, with no known cause. But a sudden jump in blood pressure – called secondary hypertension – is something to discuss with your doctor. Often there is a cause – and it might be something you can fix.

Ear, Nose, and Throat Month
In case you’re wondering why the “ear, nose, and throat” are often mentioned together, it’s because they are all connected. Your ears are connected to your throat, which is connected to your nose and its nasal passages. So what infects one can infect the others. And what helps one can help the others.

Dr. Gregory L. Penner, Otolaryngologist (ENT) located at St. Mary’s Surgical Associates is accepting patients.  Dr. Penner’s office is located at 99 Campus Avenue in Suite 303, Lewiston, Maine.  Please call 207-782-5424 to schedule an appointment or consultation.

Childhood Hearing Loss — Be Alert
Childhood hearing loss is on the rise. Parents: Have your children’s hearing checked! Parents and kids alike: Learn the signs and causes of hearing loss. 

Keep Your Nose Moist! Overcoming Nasal Congestion
Having a stuffy, congested, even a runny nose doesn’t always mean that you have a cold or allergy. It can actually be a sign of nasal dryness or irritation. 

What to Do When You Wake Up With a Sore Throat
There are many potential causes for a sore throat that you have most mornings. First of all, see your doctor to identify the cause.

How to Protect Your Voice
Learn what you can do to keep your voice healthy and strong, as well as what to do when your voice changes for the worse.

Snoring — Minor Annoyance or Major Problem?
Snoring can be just a minor annoyance, or it can be a major health problem requiring medical treatment or surgery. See your doctor to find out if your snoring needs treatment.

Mental Health
If you’re feeling “blue,” depressed, or simply sad, know that it’s often normal. Life isn’t always smooth going. But if these feelings have lingered and are now interfering with your work or sleep or enjoyment of life, something could be wrong. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Seek help.

St. Mary’s offers the most advanced behavioral healthcare diagnostic and treatment services for children, adolescents and adults in both inpatient and outpatient programs. The treatment approach is multidisciplinary and individualized. Call Community Clinical Services Psychiatry Department at 207-777-8974 if you have any questions, or Call your primary care physician to scheduling an appointment with a Community Clinical Services Psychiatry provider.

Exercise, Endorphins, and Feeling Happy
Exercise helps keep your body healthy. That’s probably not a newsflash. But did you know that exercise can also make you happy? Learn how.

Anxiety Attacks — They’re for Real
Anxiety disorders are common and serious, and can be debilitating. But there’s good news: Treatment improves the condition most of the time.

Depression Self-Test
If you’ve been feeling “blue” for an extended period of time, take the Depression Self-Test. Then learn about treatments and coping tips to help you get back on track.

Rejection Hurts — Literally
The survival of the human race has relied largely on the ability of diverse personalities to get along, work together, and develop social groups. So, when you are rejected or excluded from the group, the results can sometimes be traumatic.

Don’t Let Depression Drag You Down
For 19 million Americans, depression is real, serious, and mostly manageable. Find out how to help yourself and those you care about

St. Mary’s Sleep Specialist to Give Presentation

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


If you’re feeling tired all day, lack energy, suffer mood swings and have trouble concentrating or remembering things, you may have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a very common condition that can lead to major health problems including an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, if left untreated. While common, sleep apnea is still frequently misdiagnosed.

On Thursday, April 14 at 6:00 pm, sleep specialist Dr. Thaddeus Shattuck from St. Mary’s Center for Sleep Disorders will talk about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). He’ll explain why OSA is a major health problem, discuss other conditions that can “masquerade” as OSA, and what treatment options are available.

The presentation will be held in the Resident Dining Room at St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion, 102 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. Light refreshments will be served. To register for this event, please call 777-8759.