If you are experiencing poor sleep quality or have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as feeling excessively tired during the day, snoring, or difficulty getting to sleep at night, a sleep expert could be the solution to restoring your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Sleep disorders affect sleep quality, duration, and/or timing. Getting good quality sleep is as important to your overall health as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Without proper sleep, it can leave you feeling physically and mentally exhausted and can have a significant impact on your ability to function properly when awake. Sleep disorders can affect your quality of life and may also lead to serious, long-term health problems if left untreated.
In some cases, a sleep disorder can be the primary problem, but in others, it may be associated with an underlying medical condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Other factors, such as family history, lifestyle choices, certain medications, and being overweight, can also contribute to a sleep disorder.
How Can a Sleep Expert Help?
Sleep experts are doctors with specialist training and education in the field of sleep and the role it plays in general health. They are highly trained at diagnosing, treating, and managing a wide range of sleep disorders and can provide medical care to individuals of all ages.
The field of sleep medicine is complex and encompasses many areas, including the endocrine system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory health, allergies, and psychiatry. Sleep medicine specialists have a comprehensive understanding of how sleep influences the body and mind. They utilize a holistic approach that focuses on the whole person to identify the cause of a sleep problem and the impact that poor sleep has on a patient’s overall life.
Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Disorders
The purpose of treatment is to improve sleep and restore overall health. To diagnose a sleep condition, a sleep expert may recommend a variety of methods, including:
- An evaluation of health history, medications, symptoms, sleep habits and routines, lifestyle, personal circumstances, and other factors.
- Keeping a sleep diary.
- Lab tests, such as blood work.
- A sleep study, which can be carried out in a sleep clinic or at home, to monitor the activity of different body systems while you sleep, such as brain waves, breathing and the respiratory system, heart rate, and body and eye movement.
- Multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT), are used to diagnose conditions such as narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. It assesses the extent of daytime tiredness by calculating how quickly you fall asleep over 5 naps in 1 day.
- Actigraphy tests, which are used to diagnose circadian rhythm sleep disorders and involve wearing a device that tracks movements and sleep patterns.
Upon diagnosing a sleep disorder, a sleep expert can work with you to develop a treatment plan to improve your sleep quality and help you manage your condition successfully. Depending on your diagnosis, this may require a range of treatments, such as:
- Lifestyle changes
- Medical devices, such as CPAP therapy machine
- Learning strategies to retrain the mind and body to sleep better
Signs You Need To See A Sleep Expert
You should visit a sleep expert if you are continuing to find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, or are experiencing other signs of a sleep disorder, such as:
- Feeling tired during the day, even following a full night’s sleep.
- Needing to take naps during the day or are falling asleep at work, school, or during other activities.
- Snoring, choking, or waking during sleep gasping for air.
- Experiencing unwanted sleep behaviors, movements, or phenomena during sleep, such as sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, or restless legs.
- Waking with a sore throat, headache, jaw ache, or other pains.
What Are The Most Common Sleep Disorders?
There are many different types of sleep disorders, which are characterized by one or more of the following markers:
- Difficulty falling or remaining asleep.
- Trouble staying awake during the day.
- Unusual behaviors disrupt sleep.
- Imbalances in circadian rhythm (physical, mental, and behavioral changes in a 24hr cycle) that interfere with a healthy sleep schedule.
The most common sleep disorders include:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movement disorder
- Parasomnias, such as sleepwalking
- Sleep disorders associated with conditions such as depression, menopause, and chronic pain
- Shift work disorder
Sleep Experts in Weatherford, Texas
If you are having trouble sleeping, don’t delay, contact the sleep experts at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. Our sleep medicine specialists diagnose and manage a variety of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, and more to help improve the sleep quality and overall health of patients.
We provide at-home and in-office sleep studies, ongoing treatment, patient education, and follow-up care and are dedicated to helping you learn everything you need to know about your sleep health, so you can return to a peaceful, restorative sleep every night.