ADHD: A Parenting Guide

A Sleep Medicine Doctor Might Help Improve Your Poor Quality Of Sleep

If you're having trouble with the amount or quality of sleep you get each night, it may be time to talk to a sleep medicine doctor for testing and treatment. Many things affect sleep patterns and quality. Finding the cause of your sleep disorder and then finding a treatment that's effective can take trial and error, so seeing a sleep medicine doctor is a good way to get started. Here's why quality sleep is so important, what type of sleep disorders you may have, and how a doctor might help.

Why Quality Sleep Is Important

There are times in life, such as when you have a new baby, that you have to tough it out and put up with sleep disruptions. However, for the most part, you should have enough hours of uninterrupted sleep each night that your body can restore itself.

If you don't get enough sleep, or if your sleep is poor quality, you may have constant fatigue and fall asleep during the day. This increases your risk of accidents and causes poor performance at work. Plus, poor sleep can affect your health and cause other medical issues.

What Types Of Sleep Disorders Can Affect You

A common sleep disorder is sleep apnea. However, a number of things can cause poor sleep, such as insomnia, sleepwalking, inability to stay asleep, restless leg syndrome, limb movement disorder, and REM disorders. Since these may have different treatments, your doctor may want to do a sleep study to find out what happens when you sleep at night.

How A Sleep Study Is Done

A sleep study is usually done in a sleep medicine clinic or hospital so you can be hooked up to monitoring equipment all night. The equipment monitors various body movements and behaviors to create a graph your sleep medicine doctor can view the next day to look for abnormalities. You might be hooked up to electrodes on your head that measure brain activity, a heart monitor, an oxygen saturation monitor, a breath monitor, and electrodes that detect eye and body movements.

All of this information helps your doctor know if you have difficulty entering REM sleep, if your breathing is obstructed in your airway, if you have difficulty staying in deep sleep, if your limbs move excessively, and if your brain fails to trigger breathing periodically during the night. Each of these can be symptoms of a medical condition your doctor can diagnose. However, it can often be difficult to find the cause of insomnia.

How Sleep Disorders Are Treated

Once your doctor understands the medical condition you have, they may work on treatments for that disorder so your sleeping problem resolves. Other times, you may need medications to help you sleep, or you might need to wear a CPAP device. Once you've been treated for your sleep disorder, the doctor might recommend another sleep study to see if the treatment is working as well as it should.

Contact a sleep medicine doctor today to improve your quality of sleep.