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About "Sleep Medicine"

The medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis and management of disturbances and disorders of sleep is known as sleep medicine. A physician who is trained in sleep medicine and sleep disorders is called a sleep specialist. Sleep disorders lower the quality of life and cause many physical and mental problems. Good health is not only dependent upon getting adequate sleep, but it also depends on the quality of sleep.

There is a wide range of sleep disorders that can be treated by a sleep specialist, which includes sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, periodic limb movements, and restless leg syndrome. When you first visit a sleep specialist, he or she will ask you a lot of questions to determine if you need any diagnostic tests. If the specialist suspects any sleep disorder, you would have to undergo polysomnogram. In polysomnogram, many electrodes are placed in your body, which will help the doctor monitor your brainwaves, heart rate, eye movements, leg twitching, muscle tensing, chest wall movement, and breathing while you sleep.

If the doctor feels that you do not need a sleep test, he or she will prescribe you medications and suggest you perform sleep hygiene. Treatment for sleep apnea includes medical and dental appliances to help you breathe properly at night. Other sleep disorders that a sleep specialist can help you with are sleepwalking, sleep terror, nightmares, bedwetting, or talking in your sleep. If you find it hard to sleep at night or suffer from any of the other sleep disorders, consult a professionally trained sleep specialist online before it affects your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a sleep medicine specialist?

A physician who specializes in sleep medicine, which is the branch of medical science that deals with sleep disorders, sleep, and other conditions related to sleep, is called a sleep medicine specialist.

What is the role of a sleep medicine specialist?

A sleep medicine specialist is trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat sleep-related conditions, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, snoring, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and circadian rhythm disorders.

When should I consult a sleep medicine specialist?

If you feel that you are not getting enough sleep, if you keep getting up at night, or if you feel tired or lack energy even after sleeping all night, then it is time to consult a sleep medicine specialist.

What are the signs that indicate sleep deprivation?

Yawning, tiredness, irritability, depressed mood, forgetfulness, increased appetite, poor concentration, and clumsiness are some of the common signs of sleep deprivation.

What to expect during the first visit to a sleep specialist?

On your first visit, the doctor will ask you a list of questions to understand if you need a diagnostic test called a polysomnogram. In this test, the doctor monitors your brainwaves, heart rate, breathing, chest wall movement, eye and leg movements, by attaching 25 electrodes to your body while you sleep.

How do you know if you have a sleep-related disorder?

If you -
- have problems falling or staying asleep.
- are tired during the day.
- are irritated.
- are feeling moody.
- lack concentration.
- wake up with a headache.
Then you most probably have a sleep-related disorder.

Do all people who snore have sleep apnea?

No, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. But the majority of people who have sleep apnea snore. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person’s breathing to stop and start while you sleep.

Is it possible to have more than one sleep problem?

Yes, it is possible to have more than one sleep problem at a time. If you feel you have multiple sleep-related disorders, then consult a sleep medicine specialist now.

How important is it to get a sleep evaluation?

Many sleep disorders like sleep apnea go undiagnosed and are left untreated. These conditions can result in hypertension, obesity, heart problems, and stroke. So it is very important to get a sleep evaluation done.
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