Bill Keeler's wife calls them 'night terrors;' but, Dr. Steven Levine of the Mohawk Valley Health System Sleep Disorder Center in Utica says they might be something else. 

"They happen about 3-5 times a week where he's startled out of a sound sleep and sits up in bed," said Alison Keeler (wife of WIBX morning host Bill Keeler). "Sometimes he goes

he pulled me out of bed because he was dreaming we were in a burning car

back to sleep and other times he might actually get out of bed and race to the window. It seems like he's acting out his dreams," she said.  She added that once, "he pulled me out of bed because he was dreaming we were in a burning car; It's crazy and it's been going on for years."

Dr. Levine doesn't rule out night terrors; but says it sounds more like a form of REM Sleep Disorder.  "Or maybe it's triggered by the sleep apnea," said Levine. "Let's see what happens after we treat the apnea. It could resolve the problem."

Watch the video of Keeler's 'episode' during a recent stay at the sleep study center.

Keeler was diagnosed by Levine with severe sleep apnea after he stopped breathing 168 times during the 5-hour study. While his body still attempted to breath, his airway was shut off and thus he wasn't breathing in any air. During one stoppage, he didn't breath for more than 40 seconds. This starves the brain of oxygen and over time, researchers believe can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and even death.

According to MVHS, if you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, you may be at risk for sleep apnea:

  • Are you a loud habitual snorer, disturbing your bedroom companion?
  • Do you feel tired and groggy on awakening?
  • Do you experience sleepiness and fatigue during waking hours?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Have you been observed choking, or gasping or holding your breath during sleep?

Keeler will be fitted with a CPAP device, which is a mask that goes over the mouth and nose during sleep to force air in and out of the lungs.  CPAP is the most common device used to treat sleep apnea.  There are several versions available. Some doctors prefer to use a dental device, which is a mouthpiece used to keep the airways open. Surgery is also an option.
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