When To Seek Help From A Sleep Disorder Specialist
If you are exhausted and do not get sound sleep or if getting more sleep is always on your mind, it is time to seek help from a sleep specialist. Lack of restorative sleep may not just be a hassle, but may actually have adverse implications on your health.
CNSM offers a complete approach to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. With over 20 years experience and specialty training in sleep medicine, our providers are dedicated to helping patients overcome sleep problems. With the appropriate treatments, most patients are able to regain restorative sleep and report an improved quality of life.
Understanding Sleep Disorders
You are not alone; sleep disorders affect some 40 million Americans a year. While some sleep problems are fleeting, chronic sleep deficiency may affect your health and warrants medical attention.
Common sleep disorders include insomnia, hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. Other disorders that interrupt sleep include snoring, repetitive dreams, sleepwalking, and sleep eating disorders. While these problems may seem benign, if they continue for long periods of time, they can begin to take a significant toll on your health.
Sleep, an essential time of rest and rejuvenation, benefits our minds and bodies in many, often unseen, ways. When you continuously do not get the amount of sleep needed, you may begin to experience the results of the deficiency as daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating, irritability increased risk of accidents, lower productivity, depression, and anxiety.
Over the last decade, groundbreaking research has been published detailing the detrimental effects of sleeplessness on the body. Not only does a lack of sleep make you tired and less energetic, but sleep deprivation, or non-restorative sleep, can be dangerous to your health. New studies show that chronic sleep deprivation has an effect on the hormone, endocrine, and nervous systems, and may cause long-term changes in the body which increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
How do you know if you are sleep deprived or just tired? If you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, regularly need an alarm clock to wake up, or feel the need for frequent naps during the day, it is very likely you are experiencing a sleep disorder.
If your sleep partner complains of your nightly snoring and you continually feel you are not getting a good night’s rest, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, the most commonly diagnosed sleep disorder. If untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia and may also cause weight gain.
Other signs that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder include:
- Difficulty waking in the morning
- Poor performance in school, on the job, or in sports
- Increased clumsiness
- Difficulty making decisions
- Falling asleep during work or class
- Feeling especially moody or irritable
It is important to seek treatment for a sleeping problem because it not only poses a personal health risk but risks to others as well. A sleep deprived person, lacking concentration and experiencing diminished motor skills, can become a danger to others, such as when driving a car or operating machinery. Famous examples of serious large scale accidents which have been linked to sleep deprivation are the Challenger disaster, Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.