Sleep is vital for maintaining both physical and mental health. How much sleep you need depends on age and a variety of lifestyle factors, as well as individual differences.
There are many identifiable signs that you may not be getting an adequate amount of sleep, such as not feeling rested in the morning, repeatedly waking during the night, and experiencing one or many signs of various sleep disorders, including snoring and disrupted breathing.
Sleep disorders are much more prevalent that one might think. Insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea are the most disorders.
Luckily, there are treatment options that can greatly improve your quality of sleep.
Lifestyle and behavioral changes, along with certain medications and herbal remedies, have been shown to be effective. However, sleep therapy is another treatment option that is becoming more and more utilized among patients suffering from sleep disorders.
What is Sleep Therapy?
Sleep therapy is a category of therapeutic treatments designed to improve a person’s sleep cycle and contribute to a more healthy, rested individual.
The interventions can be conducted at a sleep clinic or taught to a person to utilize on their own in the home.
At a sleep clinic, a sleep doctor will have you spend the night and conduct a study, monitoring your brain activity, blood pressure, heart rate, and movement throughout the night.
This will allow the sleep doctor to more accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your issues during the night and identify which type of sleep disorder that you have.
In clinic sleep tests include polysomnograms, multiple sleep latency tests, and maintenance of wakefulness tests. A sleep doctor may also conduct an in-home sleep test, though these are typically reserved for patients with sleep apnea and breathing issues.
In-home Therapeutic Measures
In addition to being observed by a sleep doctor at a sleep clinic, patients may also undergo cognitive behavior therapy or, in severe cases, surgery.
However, these more extreme measures will not be necessary for all patients. After being diagnosed by a sleep doctor, patients may be prescribed one of several in-home therapeutic measures, which can be undertaken on one’s own after receiving instructions and basic training.
For example, melatonin supplements can be taken to calm the mind and increase relaxation before bedtime.
For those whose sleep troubles stem from breathing difficulties such as snoring and sleep apnea, CPAP machines will typically be recommended for those who can tolerate wearing a mask while sleeping.
CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure keeps the airway open and prevents it from becoming obstructed by administering a continuous flow of air through a facial mask.
A sleep doctor will always conduct a CPAP study, whether in-home or at a sleep clinic, before recommending the use of one of these devices.
For those who are uncomfortable with the CPAP method or can not tolerate it, oral appliance therapy may also be a suitable treatment method.
After visiting a sleep clinic, you will be referred to a dentist or orthodontist who specializes in sleep disorder treatment. He/she will then take a mould of your mouth before creating a custom-made oral device to treat your breathing issues.
Benefits of Undergoing Sleep Therapy
Having a good night’s sleep and being well-rested and energized in the morning is, of course, the main benefit of seeing a doctor and having your sleep problems addressed.
However, sleeping properly will have positive repercussions on both your life and the life of your partner.
Mood swings, grogginess, and being short-tempered can be eliminated, which will allow you to feel happier and more positive in your interactions with others.
Your mental aptitude will sharpen, allowing you to be more engaged and proactive in both your personal and professional life.
Additionally, having a solid night of sleep will improve your physical health, allowing you to eat better and motivating you to stay hydrated.
Suffering from sleep disruptions? Start to improve your life by contacting a sleep doctor for more information today.
This article is courtesy of Valley Sleep Center, a sleep study and sleep therapy clinic that diagnoses and treats sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring, narcolepsy, insomnia, and other sleep disturbances for patients in the Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Chandler, Arizona areas.