Everyone struggles with the occasional sleepless night. Unfortunately, far too many people allow their sleep disorders to go untreated because they assume that these regular sleep disturbances are normal. Our guide looks at when to see a sleep disorder specialist.
When To See A Sleep Disorder Specialist
An untreated sleep disorder does a lot more than leave you tired. It can hamper your everyday functions and even put your safety at risk. To prevent this situation, it’s important to know the key signs that it’s time to see a sleep disorder specialist.
Recognizing the Signs of Sleep Disturbance
Some sleep disorder symptoms are more noticeable than others. For example, if you struggle with chronic insomnia, then you’re well aware of the hours you spend staring at your own ceiling waiting for sleep to finally come.
On the other hand, you may be displaying any number of sleep disorder symptoms without even realizing it. In many cases it is actually a family member or romantic partner who first notices ongoing signs of a sleep disorder.
These are some of the most common sleep disorder signs that people display while sleeping.
- Loud, regular snoring
- Waking up without apparent cause
- Gaps in breathing or gasping for air
- Sleep paralysis
- Frequent nightmares
- Sleep walking
- Twitching feeling, especially in the legs
Recognizing the Effects of a Sleep Disorder
If you regularly sleep alone or your partner could easily snooze through the apocalypse, then you may not notice the signs of a potential sleep disorder during the night. Many people are blissfully unaware of their own sleep disorder signs, but that doesn’t keep those sleep disturbances from affecting you during the day.
These are some daytime indications that you may need to talk to your New York sleep doctor.
- Waking up feeling tired despite getting a full night’s rest
- Struggling with concentration as a result of fatigue
- Falling asleep unexpectedly during the day
- Difficulty retaining information or learning new tasks
- Sudden, unexplained muscle weakness
While there are other conditions that may result in these symptoms, an ongoing sleep disorder is one of the most common explanations. At the very least, regularly experiencing any of these symptoms is a good indicator that it’s time to discuss your symptoms with a qualified physician.
Common Sleep Disorders
There are a number of health conditions that could contribute to sleep disturbances, but some are more likely than others. These are some of the most common sleep disorders.
- Insomnia: You struggle to fall asleep within a reasonable time frame or wake up too early for adequate rest.
- Obstructive sleep apnea: An interruption in normal breathing due to the partial obstruction of the upper airway.
- Restless leg syndrome: A twitching sensation or urge to move your legs when your body begins to prepare for sleep.
In addition to these more common sleep disorders, there are less common sleep disorders like sleep paralysis and narcolepsy.
Your sleep disorder specialist will help you to identify the condition responsible for your symptoms using your own assessment of your experience as well as a physical and a sleep study if necessary.
Treating Sleep Disorders
The good news is that many sleep disorders are fairly easy to treat. While you may need a machine, medication, or an oral device to help with some conditions others may respond to basic lifestyle changes.
In particular, improvements in your sleep hygiene may be all that is needed to treat sleep disorders without a specific physiological cause. Improvements in sleep hygiene may include a more predictable sleep schedule, avoiding screen time the hour before bed, and avoiding caffeine after noon.
Of course, each treatment plan will be built around your specific disorder and symptoms, so some or none of the aforementioned approaches may apply. To learn more about what you can do to improve your sleep, talk to your sleep doctor in NYC.