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When to See a Sleep Doctor

woman having trouble sleepingEveryone has trouble sleeping on occasion. Whether you’re worried about something or have a temporary illness, many factors can cause sleep to be elusive. In some cases, however, the issue continues and may be caused by a sleep disorder. If this is the case, you may need to see a sleep doctor in order to be correctly diagnosed and receive the treatment you need.

In this blog, the doctors at eos sleep explain more about when you may need to see a sleep doctor.

What are some indications that you may have a sleep disorder?

The following are some symptoms that can point to the presence of a sleep disorder:

  • You regularly have difficulty falling asleep
  • You frequently wake up at night or too early in the morning
  • You often feel tired during the day
  • You need to take naps almost every day
  • You have trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • You’ve fallen asleep or felt drowsy while driving
  • You feel unusually anxious or have trouble controlling your emotions

How can a doctor determine if you have a sleep disorder?

A sleep doctor will talk to you about your sleep habits and lifestyle habits such as your use of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sleeping medication. You’ll be asked about any daytime symptoms you have that could indicate a possible sleep disorder.

You may also be asked to keep a sleep diary in which you detail when you go to bed each night, when you wake up, and how you feel during the day.

A sleep study can also be scheduled in order to give your doctor specific data about your breathing, movements, heart rate, the oxygen level in your blood, and more. This non-invasive test is conducted overnight and can be taken at home or in a sleep lab.

What are some common sleep disorders?

  • Insomnia – having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Sleep apnea – snoring and repeated stoppages in breathing during the night
  • Restless legs syndrome –an intense urge to move your legs, especially at night
  • Narcolepsy – excessive sleepiness, hallucinations, sleep paralysis and falling asleep during normal activities

What treatments are available for sleep disorders?

Treatments depend on the severity of your condition as well as the type of sleep disorder you have. For some, such as restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy, medication may help.

For any sleep issues, improving your sleep habits can be a good first step. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Naps should be avoided, and it may also help to follow a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid the use of alcohol, caffeine, and sleep medications, and if you smoke, try to stop.

If you have sleep apnea, your doctor may ask you to use a CPAP machine to raise the air pressure inside your throat and keep your airway from becoming blocked. Depending on the cause of your sleep apnea, custom oral appliances can be used to keep your tongue and soft tissues from collapsing in the back of your throat. In some cases, surgery such as the pillar procedure can help. This minimally invasive procedure utilizes small implants to stiffen the soft palate and help relieve snoring and sleep apnea.

If you have trouble getting or staying asleep, feel excessively tired during the day, or have another symptom of a sleep disorder, make an appointment today with eos sleep. A correct diagnosis is the first step to getting the treatment you need to help you sleep better and feel your best.

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