Being unable to sleep throughout the night can have the immediate effect of tiredness, exhaustion, irritability, and distractedness the next day. Sleeping poorly from time to time is part of life. Chronic sleeplessness, however, can have long-term consequences. The effects of sleep deprivation are well-known — from memory and concentration problems to mood changes, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It can even be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. You don’t need to wait for these issues to develop before seeking help.
For specialized treatment for chronic sleep problems, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep specialist. Sleep specialists are physicians who have specialized training in sleep medicine and can diagnose and treat your sleep disorder.
Sleep Medicine Experts
Sleep doctors are board-certified physicians. Their specialization may be in internal medicine, pediatrics, or neurology, but they have received additional training in sleep medicine. Sleep medicine is the study and understanding of sleep and how it affects overall health. Sleep specialists focus on sleep problems and disorders, such as:
- Insomnia – characterized by difficulty falling asleep or sleeping continuously throughout the night
- Sleep Apnea – characterized by pauses in breathing and loud snoring
- Parasomnias – sleep disorders characterized by unusual behavior during sleep, such as talking and sleepwalking
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorders – characterized by cramping or movement of legs during sleep
- Excessive Sleepiness – characterized by difficulty staying awake and alert during the day even after having a full night’s sleep
Possible causes of sleep disorders include stress and anxiety, chronic pain, a blockage in the airways, and shift work. Diagnosis of a sleep problem or disorder is comprehensive, involving a sleep study or polysomnography (PSG), where the patient is observed during sleep. The study also involves monitoring the patient’s different sleep stages and cycles.
When To See a Sleep Specialist?
Sleep disorders can have long-term physical and mental health consequences. A sleep expert can design a treatment plan tailored to your needs, ultimately helping you sleep better, and improving your quality of life. If trouble sleeping and other unusual behaviors persist even after making changes to your sleep environment and reducing your intake of stimulants, it may be time to see a sleep expert. There is no disadvantage to seeking help. By addressing the sleep issue early, you could reduce your risk for serious chronic health conditions.
Sleep Experts in Weatherford, Texas
If you’re looking for a sleep expert that provides personalized, compassionate care, look no further than the sleep experts of Weatherford, Texas — the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and integrative sleep medicine services with a holistic approach to treatment. Instead of prescribing medication, we use alternative treatments such as functional medicine, nutraceuticals, and weight management programs.
We will explain to you what is preventing you from achieving a good night’s sleep and let you know what treatment options are available to you. Our physicians believe in patient education and will teach you about your condition, treatment, and lifestyle habits that can help.