Insomnia is a common disorder, with about one in every three people reporting at least mild insomnia. Any habitual loss of sleep can lead to consequences. These range from poor performance at work or school to increased risks of heart disease, obesity, and anxiety disorders. Don’t wait too long to talk to a doctor about your problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Treatment can help, but you have to take the first step.
Before you see your doctor, it’s helpful to keep track of how much sleep you’re getting. A sleep log can allow your doctor to recommend suggestions. For example, many people make the mistake of sleeping in on weekends to catch up on lost sleep. But actually, this only disrupts your established sleep/wake cycle. Keep track of the times you go to bed and wake up each day. Make any other relevant notes, such as “Drank two alcoholic beverages,” “Laid awake for hours,” or “Felt exhausted all day.”
It’s easy to tell if insomnia is affecting your health. You’ll be very sleepy during the day, have problems concentrating, and might experience unusual irritability. But sometimes, a person’s sleep deprivation isn’t due to insomnia, but to sleep apnea. This is another sleep disorder that requires treatment to prevent severe health complications. Let your doctor know if your sleep partner has complained that you snore regularly and loudly. Sleep apnea can also be indicated by audible gasping or choking sounds during the night, dry mouth and throat upon waking, and headache.
It’s quite possible that your insomnia and other medical diagnoses are related. Sleep apnea, for example, can increase the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Discuss your full medical history to help your doctor pinpoint a pattern of health issues.
Chronic insomnia can lead to serious consequences for your health. Visit Sleep Dynamics to talk to our sleep medicine specialists serving central New Jersey. Get in touch at (848) 217-0240 or browse our website to learn more about sleep disorders.
There is plenty of scientific evidence to demonstrate the risks of sleep apnea to patients who have it. However, sleep apnea also affects the patient’s sleep partner. One of the hallmark characteristics of sleep apnea is loud, persistent snoring. It can be challenging for a partner to fall asleep and stay asleep. This means that partners are susceptible to developing health complications from chronic sleep deprivation.
On a short-term basis, insomnia sleep deprivation can cause sleep partners to suffer from poor productivity, performance, and alertness, which may increase the risk of accidents. It also affects cognitive ability and memory, and can lead to poor quality of life. On a long-term basis, sleep deprivation caused by persistent snoring may increase a partner’s risk of cardiovascular ailments like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. It may also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and certain psychiatric disorders like depression. Sleep is crucial for health and quality of life. It’s important to get sleep apnea under control so that everyone in the family can rest well at night.
To confirm the diagnosis and get started on a treatment plan for sleep apnea, call Sleep Dynamics at (848) 217-0240. Our sleep medicine specialists provide effective, personalized CPAP treatment throughout central New Jersey.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder in which the brain has problems regulating the sleep/wake cycles. People with narcolepsy have trouble staying awake during the day. They experience “attacks” of sleep, which means they can fall asleep without warning, even while performing a task. Although narcolepsy is incurable, the sleep attacks and other serious symptoms of this sleep disorder are treatable. With the right treatment, people with narcolepsy can continue to lead productive lives.
There are a number of medications that can manage the symptoms of narcolepsy. It may take some trial and error to find the right medication and dosage for any given patient. Generally, sleep medicine specialists start by prescribing a central nervous system stimulant, which can help patients stay awake during the day. Other possibilities include:
Sleep medicine doctors take a holistic approach toward managing narcolepsy. Patients often need to make adjustments to their schedules, routines, and daily habits in order to get the symptoms under control. Behavioral sleep medicine includes establishing a regular sleep schedule. It’s important for patients to get to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on the weekends. It’s also helpful to schedule frequent naps during the day. Often, a 20-minute nap is all that’s needed to restore wakefulness for the next few hours. Narcolepsy patients can also try avoiding alcohol and nicotine, avoiding caffeine in the evening, exercising every day, and following good sleep hygiene practices.
One of the major concerns with narcolepsy is the increased potential for auto accidents. The risk of a car crash due to a sleep attack is greatly lowered when the patient is taking medications as prescribed. However, it’s still important for patients to exercise caution. Public transportation may be a safer option than driving. Patients should speak with their sleep medicine doctors before planning a long road trip.
Sleep Dynamics provides comprehensive treatment for patients with narcolepsy in central New Jersey. Call our office today at (848) 217-0240 to request an appointment. Our sleep medicine physicians can help you improve your quality of life and get your symptoms under control.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sleep disorder that causes discomfort in the legs while sitting or lying down. While the symptoms can occur during the day, most people experience them at night, which is why RLS interrupts sleep. Find out more about RLS by watching this featured video.
The science expert in this video explains the potential causes of RLS. It’s thought that it may be connected to a problem with dopamine imbalances in the brain. It may also be linked to iron deficiency. This video also discusses some treatment options for RLS sufferers.
The sleep medicine specialists at Sleep Dynamics can help you get a good night’s rest. Call our sleep disorder clinic in New Jersey at (848) 217-0240 to request an appointment.
Sleep disorder specialists categorize insomnia into different subtypes. But no matter which subtype of insomnia you have, it’s important to receive an individualized treatment plan. Every patient’s experience with insomnia is unique, and there are many different causes and contributing factors to consider. If you’ve been having problems falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to a sleep medicine physician soon.
An acute condition is one that occurs on a short-term basis. If you have acute insomnia, it means that you’ve experienced problems getting enough sleep for a matter of days or weeks. Acute insomnia is often the result of a stressful life event, such as a death in the family, job loss, or divorce. Since acute insomnia occurs on a short-term basis, it can be easy to underestimate its serious health effects. But even short-term insomnia can lead to major problems, like an increased risk of motor vehicle and occupational accidents. Plus, acute insomnia can turn into chronic insomnia, so consider talking to a doctor about your symptoms.
Chronic insomnia lasts for a long time. In addition to the short-term problems associated with sleep deprivation—like an increased risk of accidents and poor concentration—chronic insomnia may lead to long-term health consequences. These may include an increased risk of the following:
A comorbid condition is one that occurs along with another condition. For example, nerve damage can be a comorbidity of diabetes. It’s common to have another condition related to insomnia that triggers or aggravates this sleep disorder. Anxiety and depression may be comorbidities of insomnia, since it’s difficult to fall asleep in the midst of negative thought patterns. Any condition that causes chronic pain, such as arthritis or spinal stenosis, may also be a comorbidity of insomnia.
At Sleep Dynamics, our sleep medicine physicians understand the importance of providing a personalized treatment plan for insomnia that addresses the individual’s unique situation and lifestyle. Whichever type of insomnia you have, you can turn to our office to find the right treatment plan for you. Call (848) 217-0240 to schedule an overnight sleep study in New Jersey.