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.
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.
If you have a sleep disorder, then you know how much the fatigue can interfere with your everyday life. One area you might be overlooking, however, is just how dangerous it can be to get behind the wheel when you’re tired.
This video examines the impact of lack of sleep on driving. Missing even two hours of sleep can significantly slow your reaction times and make you a risk behind the wheel. In some cases, drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Don’t let a sleep disorder put your health and safety on the line. At Sleep Dynamics, our sleep medicine specialists can pinpoint the cause of your sleep disorder and help you get the rest you need. For more information about sleep medicine in New Jersey, please call us at (848) 217-0240.
If you snore, you might think that it is only disrupting your partner’s sleep. However, in addition to being an annoyance to your partner, snoring could also be indicative of serious health issues for you. Not every case of snoring is tied to a health problem, but it is important to know why you’re snoring if you do so on a regular basis, so you can seek treatment if sleep apnea or another health issue is to blame. Here is a look at some of the most common issues behind sleep apnea.
There is a strong link between drinking and smoking. When you drink, your throat muscles are more likely to relax when you sleep, which can cause your airway to become constricted. As a result, the tissue will vibrate in response to your efforts to breathe. The more restricted the airway becomes, the stronger the vibration will be—and as such, the louder your snoring will become. If your partner complains about your snoring, try to avoid consuming alcohol close to bedtime, or reduce your consumption. This could help to resolve your issue.
Mouth and Nasal Anatomy
Sometimes, the construction of your mouth or nose could be the cause of snoring. A low soft palate or elongated uvula can both increase the vibration in your throat when you’re breathing, which causes you to snore. A deviated nasal septum can also lead to snoring. These issues can sometimes be corrected surgically, if your snoring is severe.
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but this serious sleep disorder can lead to everything from heart disease to type 2 diabetes, so it’s important to get evaluated if snore. Sleep apnea treatment usually involves CPAP therapy or oral sleep appliances.
Sleep Dynamics can help you determine if your snoring is the sign of a serious condition, such as sleep apnea, so you can get the treatment you need for a better night’s rest. Schedule sleep testing or an appointment with a sleep medicine specialist in Central New Jersey by calling (848) 217-0240.
If a sleep disorder is affecting your health, the good news is that there are multiple things you can do to improve your ability to get the rest you need. In addition to treatments such as CPAP therapy and dental sleep medicine, behavioral sleep medicine can help you get more rest without medications or treatment devices. Behavioral sleep medicine is particularly helpful to people who are experiencing insomnia. If your sleep medicine specialist has recommended behavioral therapy, here is a look at some questions you may have.
Behavioral sleep medicine is the use of various behavioral modification therapies to improve sleep quality and duration. It is used instead of hypnotic sleep medications, or in conjunction with low-dose medications. For people who cannot tolerate hypnotic medications or prefer not to take them, behavioral sleep therapy can be an effective, safe treatment for many different types of sleep disturbances, including insomnia.
A wide variety of therapies can be used alone or in conjunction with each other, including:
Cognitive restructuring techniques, including imagery and assertions, may also be recommended. For some people, bright light therapy and psychotherapy are also helpful. For people whose weight and eating habits may be affecting their sleep, counseling for weight management is also helpful.
People with insomnia can benefit greatly from behavioral sleep medicine, but they are not the only ones who can use it to improve their symptoms. People who are struggling to adjust to CPAP therapy for sleep apnea can benefit from behavioral sleep medicine, as can people with narcolepsy who are trying to gain more control over their sleep/wake cycles.
See a sleep medicine specialist in New Jersey to see if behavioral sleep medicine is right for you. For more information about all of our treatments for sleep disorders, call (848) 217-0240.
Maintenance of wakefulness tests are performed to see how well you can stay awake while being inactive. These tests are often performed when someone is diagnosed with a sleep disorder, to see if they are able to stay awake during daytime hours to ensure that they can safely perform activities such as driving.
To prepare for your test, your sleep medicine specialist may recommend that you avoid substances that could impact your wakefulness, such as caffeine, tobacco, and certain medications. Some health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can also impact the results, so be sure to discuss your health history with your sleep medicine provider. Maintenance of wakefulness tests are usually performed the day after an overnight sleep study, so your doctor knows exactly how well you slept the night before the test.
Sleep Dynamics offers a variety of tests for sleep disorders, so that you can get the diagnosis you need. For more information about sleep testing in Central New Jersey, call (848) 217-0240.
Sleepless nights happen now and then for most people. In many instances, a person who struggles to sleep one night feels tired the next day and goes to bed early, dropping off as soon as his or her head hits the pillow. For other people, sleepless nights persist for many nights a row, leaving them feeling fatigued, run-down, depressed, and anxious. This kind of insomnia can be extremely dangerous to both your physical and emotional health, but how do you know it’s time to get a doctor involved? If you’re suffering from insomnia, here are some of the signs that you should call a sleep medicine specialist.
Your insomnia is persistent.
If you experience a night or two of sleep difficulties, but you normally sleep well, then generally, you don’t need to give your doctor a call. However, when your insomnia symptoms last for more than four weeks, it’s time to consult with your physician or a sleep medicine specialist. If you are noticing signs that your lack of sleep is interfering with your everyday tasks, call your provider even if it hasn’t yet been four weeks.
You feel short of breath.
Insomnia sometimes occurs alongside sleep apnea. During sleep apnea, the muscles in your throat relax when you sleep, closing your airway and making it difficult to breathe. People with sleep apnea wake possibly hundreds of times during the night to gasp for air. If you notice you feel short of breath when you’re trying to sleep, ask your provider if you need a sleep apnea test.
You have other symptoms.
If your inability to sleep is accompanied by physical pain or mood changes, it is a good idea to consult with your physician. These symptoms could indicate that an underlying health problem is to blame for insomnia. Treating the underlying issue may allow you to finally get the rest you need.
At Sleep Dynamics, our sleep medicine specialists in New Jersey use a variety of sleep tests and treatments for sleep disorders to help patients get the rest that they need. If you’re concerned about your insomnia symptoms, call us at (848) 217-0240 to make an appointment.
Understanding Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Everyone feels fatigued from time to time during the day, but excessive daytime sleepiness is different. Excessive daytime sleepiness—or EDS—is a recognized symptom of narcolepsy and can have a significant impact on sufferers’ abilities to work, attend school, and take part in their usual day-to-day activities. If you suffer from EDS, you may need a sleep test to discover the cause.
EDS is overwhelming sleepiness that comes on suddenly, regardless of how much sleep the sufferer has gotten. Typically, the symptom, which sometimes is called a sleep attack, occurs without warning and without any clear cause. When EDS occurs, sufferers may fall asleep without being able to control it. When the sleep attack is over, the sufferer then feels a typical level of wakefulness. EDS is one of the most common symptoms of narcolepsy and one of the most disruptive.
If you are experiencing the EDS or other symptoms of a sleep disorder, make an appointment with Sleep Dynamics to pinpoint the cause. To schedule a sleep test in New Jersey, please call (848) 217-0240.