There is nothing better than waking up from a solid night of rest. You feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day. You are in high spirits and have a positive attitude.
On the other hand, a night of restlessness and poor sleep can have the exact opposite effect. You feel lousy and can’t think straight.
How do sleep disorders impact overall health?
Sleep disorders can start to impact your health. Sleep deficiency can lead to various health issues, including a higher risk of heart disease, mental health problems, and even higher mortality rates.
If sleep disorders cause you to regularly miss out on a solid night’s rest, do something about it. In these situations, you may need to see a sleep doctor.
What Does a Sleep Doctor Do?
A sleep doctor is a professional sleep specialist trained and authorized by the American Medical Board in the science of sleep medicine. This physician may work in a special medical sleep center or clinic, consulting with various patients, providing primary care and training in relation to the treatment of sleep disorders.
Sleep doctors address sleep disorders and issues presented by patients who attend sleep centers or their clinic. These doctors can deal with insomnia, as well as diagnose other sleep disorders that may contribute to restlessness.
These specialists understand the natural cycles of the human body. They know that sleep disorders can result from various factors, including habits before bedtime, diet, exercise, brain chemistry, and other illnesses. Their role is to figure out the specific cause of a sleep disorder or restlessness.
When should I consult a sleep doctor?
You should see a sleep specialist if you have an ongoing sleep disorder or other medical condition related that affects how you sleep. The doctor will get you back on track with a regular sleeping schedule without resorting to sleep medicine. They may conduct a sleep study to identify any sleep disorders.
What Happens During a Sleep Assessment?
During a sleep assessment, the sleep specialist will ask about your sleeping habits and health history. The doctor will go through a list of questions to see if there are any patterns or common symptoms that they could attribute to a sleep disorder or other sleep issues.
Then, the sleep specialist may ask you to undergo a sleep study/test.
Sleep studies allow sleep specialists to observe your sleep patterns and how they affect your brain and body functioning. The sleep specialist can conduct the sleep study on-site for clinical observation or they may do a sleep study at your home.
During the test, the specialist will monitor your brain waves, heartbeat, and other bodily functions and record any sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea. With this information, the sleep specialist can provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment based on the data featured in the sleep study.
Seeing a Sleep Doctor
It can be normal to have a bad night of sleep now and again. Many factors can play into it, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a professional’s help with all sleep problems.
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Sometimes, it just takes a couple of days to fall back into your routine and falling asleep normally. A couple of nights of restlessness are fine and shouldn’t impact your long-term health.
The real issues begin when you start to notice a pattern of poor sleep. If you experience the following symptoms, you would likely benefit from a trip to a sleep specialist:
- Difficulty going to sleep
- Struggles with staying asleep
- Waking up intermittently throughout the night
- Waking up after only a couple of hours
- Extreme fatigue, irritability, and inability to concentrate
- Daytime sleepiness
- Decreased concentration or memory
Again, lousy sleep is normal now and again – a pattern of lousy nights is not and might need treatment.
Before seeing the specialist
You should take about a week or two to keep a log of the amount of time you spend sleeping each night.
This record is usually a reliable indicator of whether you should talk to a professional or not. With a log or a record of the symptoms, you will significantly help the doctor and give them direction on how to move forward with helping you.
Additionally, keep track of the things you notice during the daytime. For example, if you suffer from daytime sleepiness, are mentally groggy or find yourself getting injured or falling because of fatigue, note these down. These symptoms can help a professional to diagnose sleeping disorders. Sleep specialists can create a plan to overcome these challenges.
The first step
Acknowledging that there is a problem with your sleeping schedule is the first crucial step. By recognizing the issue and talking to your primary care physician, or an American Board consultant trained in internal medicine or training in sleep medicine, you are one step closer to getting a full, healthy night’s rest!
What To Do If You Have a Sleep Disorder
Having trouble with your sleeping schedule can sometimes mean that you have an undiagnosed sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders can vary and include:
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
The good news is that most sleep disorders are treatable and you don’t need to rely on using sleep medicine long-term. They may never completely go away, but there are many ways to fall asleep easily, get a solid night’s rest and cope with a specific sleep disorder.
In many cases, physicians will recommend various behavioral therapies to treat sleep disorders. These featured therapies help you break bad habits and learn new ways to get a solid night’s sleep. Depending on the sleep disorder, some physicians may recommend specific devices to treat conditions such as sleep apnea.
For severe cases, the physician may prescribe short-term sleep medicine along with the behavioral plan.
Talking to a doctor is in your best interest if you struggle to get a good night’s sleep. The doctor can talk you through your options and help to find a treatment plan that is best suited for you. They will help to walk you through every step of the sleep medicine treatment process and explain what you can expect moving forward.
Find a Sleep Doctor Today!
Getting a full night’s rest is essential and something every person should take seriously. Without proper rest, you are more likely to get sick or injured, and it can lead to adverse complications for your overall health.
Sleep is vital and genuinely affects every part of your health, so you want to make sure you are getting the right amount of rest to keep your body and mind strong!
If you suffer from sleeplessness, it may be time to consult sleep specialists. Sleep doctors are highly specialized professionals, accredited by the American Medical Board, who can help you to get your nightly routine back on track. They will have you sleeping happily and healthily in no time at all!