Do you have trouble sleeping?
It’s true that humans are advised to sleep for seven to eight hours at night, but let’s face it, most of us aren’t able to. Whether it is the hectic lifestyle or long working hours – the struggle to fall asleep early is real. However, there’s a significant percentage of Americans that experience trouble either sleeping or staying asleep at night.
Following are some common issues that people with various sleep disorders, experience frequently and should be seen by a sleep specialist in Riverview Michigan.
1. Chronic Insomnia
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder in which you struggle to sleep or remain asleep throughout the night. It can be acute that lasts for a night to a few weeks. However, chronic insomnia persists for at least three nights for up to 3 months or more. It is associated with underlying conditions such as stress, mood disorders, asthma, and other sleep issues. If you occasionally wake up at night – you might be suffering from chronic insomnia.
2. Excessive daytime sleepiness
As the name suggests, EDS is characterized by falling asleep frequently throughout the day. It is associated with insomnia, as a person tends to fall asleep repeatedly during the day. EDS renders people incapable of performing routine chores and significantly affects their quality of life.
3. Falling asleep at unusual times
Narcolepsy is a condition that causes a person to sleep at any time during the day. This can be at work or even while driving, which leads to fatal results. If you suffer narcolepsy, you’d be drowsy at certain times during the day, with few intervals of alertness. Similar to EDS, narcolepsy is also associated with insomnia as nocturnal sleep deprivation makes you drowsy the next morning.
4. Snoring regularly
If you snore loudly and regularly at night, you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is a sleep disorder characterized by a short intermittent pause in the breathing pattern. OSA not only influences your sleep as you might gasp or snort for breath but also the other person.
5. Suffering from restless legs
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs, most often, due to a strange sensation. It can either be a pain, ache, or a numbing feeling that coerces you to move your leg to get rid of it. RLS may render it difficult for you to sleep at night and negatively impact your sleep health.
6. Experiencing a loss of muscle control
Cataplexy is another sleep disorder that causes an involuntary loss of muscle tone and control. If you have cataplexy, you might even experience sleep paralysis, i.e., inability to move or speak for a few seconds during sleep.
7. Sleeping excessively
While some sleep disorders make it impossible to sleep consistently at night, there’re some that do the opposite. If you’re suffering from secondary narcolepsy, you’d find yourself sleeping for more than 10 hours each night.
What is a sleep specialist and when should you see one?
Whether you face trouble falling asleep at night or remaining awake during the day, it’s time to see a sleep specialist. Also, known as a somnologist, they are physicians that diagnose and treat sleep disorders. They prescribe various tests and sleep studies to determine the type and severity of disorders.
It is important to schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor at the right time. Following are some instances that require immediate and consistent medical assistance as they classify under sleep disorders:
Requiring 30 minutes or more each night to fall asleep
Waking up at night frequently and struggling to go back to sleep
Waking up too early
Not feeling rested despite a deep slumber
Experience regular nightmares
How can a sleep specialist help you?
A sleep specialist will run diagnostic tests such as a polysomnogram if your symptoms deem it necessary. He may then prescribe a sleep test, sleep study, or certain medications. A somnologist may also refer you to other specialists as well.
What are some types of sleep specialists and where can you find them?
Other specialists that you might be referred to include a sleep psychologist, pulmonologist, neurologist, otorhinolaryngologists, and even a dentist.
A pulmonologist helps with respiratory conditions that contribute to various sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. They look after airway lockage and other breathing irregularities that hinder the sleep at night. A neurologist looks after sleep problems that are associated with underlying neurological conditions, such as central sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and insomnia.
An otorhinolaryngologist or ENT provide care for sleep apnea and snoring as they’re manifested by nose and throat-related issues. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and bruxism (grinding teeth during sleeping) are often treated by dentists. They also play a significant role in CPAP, a tricky but gold-standard therapy for OSA. A psychiatrist also contributes greatly to treating insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. Other specialists such as pediatricians look after sleep disorders in infants.
If you want to sleep peacefully at night, you can visit a sleep specialist at a lung and sleep center in Michigan. The trained sleep physicians will not diagnose the sleep disorder but also provide adequate treatment strategies. Together, you and your specialist can work for better sleep, and consequently, towards a better life.