Sleep disorders can affect the quality of sleep, negatively impacting your overall health and quality of life. When you are sleep deprived, it can hinder your ability to operate machinery and to drive safely, and it increases your risk of other serious health problems.
What are the Signs of Sleep Disorders?
The most common sign of a sleep disorder is excessive daytime sleepiness. If you have a sleep disorder, sleeping partners may notice you frequently move during sleep or that your breathing is irregular. It can be difficult to fall asleep and to stay asleep. People with sleep disorders will sometimes lack concentration or will be irritable, anxious or depressed.
There are different types of sleep disorders, but some of the most common include:
- Insomnia, where you find it difficult to fall asleep and to stay asleep throughout the night.
- Sleep apnea is where breathing is frequently interrupted during sleep, partially awakening the sufferer, sometimes hundreds of times a night.
- Narcolepsy is a condition that creates extreme sleepiness during the day, and sufferers may fall asleep suddenly during the daytime.
- Restless leg syndrome is a sleep movement disorder and can create an uncomfortable sensation and an urge to move your legs when you try to fall asleep.
- Nocturia or frequent nighttime urination can disrupt sleep. It may be caused by hormonal imbalances or diseases of the urinary tract. It is important to seek immediate medical advice if this problem is accompanied by pain or bleeding.
- Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements and behaviors, and which include nightmares, sleepwalking and sleep talking, teeth grinding and clenching, and bedwetting.
Sometimes a sleep disorder may be a sign of another medical problem and which is resolved when the underlying cause is diagnosed and treated. If a sleep disorder isn’t caused by another condition, a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments can normally treat it.
It is important to see a physician or our midtown internal medicine doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment if you suspect you may have a sleep disorder.
Diagnosing Sleep Disorders in Midtown NYC and New York’s Upper East Side
Initially, primary care physicians will perform a physical exam, and we will need to know your symptoms and your medical history. Specific tests can help to diagnose sleep disorders, and which include:
A sleep study or polysomnography is used to evaluate your body movements, brainwaves, and oxygen levels while you sleep and to determine how badly sleep is disrupted. It can be very useful when diagnosing sleep apnea and the degree of its severity.
This is a test that assesses electrical activity in the brain, and which can detect any problems.
A blood test can diagnose any underlying health problems and is frequently used to diagnose narcolepsy.
Once NYC primary care physicians have a diagnosis, we can determine which sleep disorders treatment will best suit your needs.
Medical Sleep Disorders Treatment
Medical treatments for sleep disorders may include sleeping pills, medications for any underlying health issues, melatonin supplements, and allergy or cold medication.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with our award winning, best internist NYC and primary care physicians in Midtown or on Upper East Side, please call Manhattan Primary Care doctors.
Insomnia sleep disorders treatments are tailored to meet your specific needs, so for example, if the underlying causes are anxiety and depression, primary care physician in New York may prescribe anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications. Medications to help you sleep are prescribed as needed.
Sleep Apnea and Teeth Grinding and Clenching Treatment
Sleep apnea is frequently treated with a night guard, which is a device that helps you to breathe more easily during sleep.
More serious forms of sleep apnea can require a device called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine and which consists of a mask that you wear during sleep and which pumps pressurized air into your airway, helping to hold it open.
People who clench and grind their teeth may need to see their dentist for a custom night splint that will prevent the teeth from contacting during sleep.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Medications can be used to treat restless leg syndrome, but behavioral therapy may also be appropriate.
Often, simple lifestyle changes can greatly improve your quality of sleep and especially when used in conjunction with medical sleep disorders treatment. It is critical to ensure you have a healthy and nutritious diet that includes plenty of vitamins and minerals. Sleep disorders are sometimes linked to stress, so try to reduce your stress levels and any anxiety by exercising. Practice good sleep hygiene by ensuring your bedroom is a calm and welcoming environment and isn’t too hot.
Get into the habit of having a regular nighttime routine and limit your use of electronic devices before bedtime. If you must use a phone, laptop, or e-book reader, use a blue light filter to reduce the disruption to your sleep patterns. Limit your caffeine intake during late afternoon or evening and decrease tobacco and alcohol use. Before bedtime, eat a smaller, low carbohydrate meal. It is important to make sure you go to sleep and awaken at the same time each day as this can improve your sleep quality significantly, even though it may be tempting to sleep in at weekends.
Sleep disorders / Insomnia Symptoms
Symptoms can include:
- Sleepiness during the day
- Low energy
Insomnia is sometimes caused by mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety.
If you are having difficulty with sleep, you should always see a physician for a comprehensive evaluation for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.