There are different ways people deal with stress and exhaustion. Some eat for comfort, others get relaxation procedures like massage and other therapeutic alternative medicine, while most of us would just prefer to sleep. But, do you know that even sleeping can have some disorders? Who do you turn to when you want to know if you have one and you need to get treated? This is where sleep disorder doctors enter the scene. Let us discover who these sleep disorder doctors are, what they do, and how they approach sleep disorders. Let us also answer the question, can reflexology help with sleep disorders?
Sleep disorder doctors: What are sleep disorders?
Theoretically, an average healthy sleep should last for 6 to 8 hours. However, if you still feel tired and restless after those required hours of sleep, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. In the US about 70 million Americans are diagnosed to have suffered and are still suffering from these disorders. Here are some of the most popular types of sleeping problems that sleep disorder doctors can diagnose and treat.
Insomnia is the condition where a person fails to fall asleep and stays awake for long periods of time. They may succeed in falling asleep but will wake up in the middle of the night and will experience difficulty in falling back to sleep. This results in feeling tired and restless in the morning, lacking the energy and focus they need to perform their daily activities. They are also quite irritable and impatient because they are fatigued and sleepy.
If insomnia makes it difficult for you to fall asleep, narcolepsy makes it difficult to stay awake. This is a neurological disorder that makes a person involuntarily sleep any minute of the day, anywhere. Patients diagnosed with this disorder find it difficult to control their sleepiness anytime during the day. There are movies and TV shows that portray patients suffering from these disorders who suddenly fall asleep in the middle of a conversation, in a restaurant, train station, sometimes making them risk their safety. These sleep attacks often manifest between ages 15 and 25, but patients of all ages can experience it all the same.
This respiratory problem happens when your breathing stops abruptly multiple times during sleep. Breathing interruption becomes apparent when a patient snores and suddenly stops and sort of sounds like he is choking. This is a serious problem because the oxygen levels of your brain may be affected when your airway gets blocked by your relaxed throat (obstructive sleep apnea) or when your brain malfunctions and forgets to control your breathing (central sleep apnea).
Sleep disorder doctors: How do they treat these?
Before knowing the treatment, assessment and diagnosis should first be dealt with. If you think that you are or a family member is suffering from a sleep disorder, consult your family doctor. Your primary care physician may help you discover and identify signs of a disorder and he will refer you to a sleep specialist. This sleep specialist will perform diagnostic tests like a sleep study (polysomnogram) and other neurological tests to conclude if you are indeed having sleep disorders. Based on the results, he may either address them on his own or refer you to a neurologist for better assistance and treatment.