Sleep isn’t just to make you feel better. Indeed, sleep is essential to your overall health and well-being, because it is while you sleep that the body – especially the brain – rests and gets ready for the next day.
As many as one-third of Americans say they are not getting quality sleep. If you frequently have trouble sleeping, or if others tell you that you snore loudly, then you may be wondering who to see in order to fix the problem.
Here’s the answer: In order to truly get specialized treatment from an expert on all things sleep-related, have a professional medical evaluation done by a sleep medicine doctor. Let’s talk about how sleep medicine works, what a sleep doctor can do for you, and where you can go here in the Midlands for treatment so you can get a good night’s sleep every night.
What Can Happen if I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Chronic sleep problems include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, breathing problems during sleep (usually causing snoring), and abnormal movements during sleep – which can all awake you throughout the night every night. A lack of quality sleep can eventually contribute to:
- Heart disease
Sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing and loud snoring. It can be a life-threatening condition if it stifles oxygen to your brain.
A lack of sleep can also lead to daytime sluggishness and fatigue, which can be life-threatening if you fall asleep while driving.
The treatments that a sleep medicine doctor provides are preventive, as these treatments can reduce your risk of developing the abovementioned conditions.
What Does a Sleep Medicine Doctor Do?
Sleep medicine doctors come from many different medical backgrounds, such as internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and pulmonology. They are in the unique position of being able to diagnose and treat all manner of sleep issues and disorders, such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless legs syndrome
Most patients undergo a sleep evaluation, also called a sleep study, in a sleep lab or in the comfort of the patient’s own bedroom at home. During the sleep test, the patient will be monitored throughout the night to aid the doctor in making a diagnosis.
If you undergo a sleep study at home, you will be given specific instructions about how and where to place the electrodes around your body (on your skin). These electrodes will record your breathing, movements, heart rhythm, and other factors. You will simply remove them when you awake in the morning.
When Should I See a Sleep Medicine Doctor?
See a medical sleep specialist if you have one or more of the following signs and symptoms of sleep issues:
- Poor concentration
- Frequent tardiness or absenteeism
- Feeling excessively sleepy during the day
- Constant fatigue
What Treatments Can I Get from a Sleep Medicine Specialist?
Treatment may include prescription medication, oral appliances (such as a mouth guard), physical therapy, and lifestyle changes to help you improve your sleep quality. Your treatment will be based on your sleep evaluation by the doctor.
Sleep Medicine Doctor in the Midlands, South Carolina
Aren’t you tired of feeling tired all the time? Our sleep medicine specialists here at SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation can help you sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the day.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our sleep physicians, call us today at (803) 749-1111 or fill out our online request form. We look forward to helping you on your journey to better sleep.