Sleep deprivation caused by insufficient sleep or poor quality sleep impairs the body’s immune system, physical reflexes, emotional stability, and cognitive functions. It also can lead to increased muscle, joint, and nerve pain.
There are a wide variety of sleep disorders. Some are caused by physical problems, such as an airway obstruction that leads to sleep apnea, or when chronic pain or indigestion/reflux interrupts sleep. Sleep problems also can occur as a side effect of taking certain medications or supplements.
Often emotional difficulties, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety are associated with sleep issues. In many, if not most cases, patients will discover that several factors are contributing to their sleep disturbance — including anxiety about not getting enough sleep!
Some commonly diagnosed sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia – Inability to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes.
- Dyssomnia – Frequent awakenings throughout the night and/or early-morning awakenings.
- Restless Leg Syndrome – When lying in bed, unpleasant “crawling” sensations in the legs that create an irresistible and sleep-disruptive urge to move one’s legs.
- Sleepwalking – Walking or engaging in other activities while sleeping.
- Sleep Apnea – Obstruction of airway during sleep, causing breathing irregularities that interrupt and interfere with sleep. Sufferers are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Snoring may be a sign or symptom of sleep apnea, so it’s something you should mention to your doctor.
So, how do you improve the quality of your sleep? Identifying if you have a sleep disorder is the first step. Your initial medical evaluation at the Kaplan Center will include a comprehensive assessment of your sleep history, the specific nature of your symptoms and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you.
Our physicians understand the relationship between sleep disorders and pain, and they have experience prescribing the newer medications that can help restore delta-wave sleep. Finally, they also have expertise using a variety of alternative approaches to you help to improve your sleep, including:
- Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
- Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies
- Nutritional Counseling
- Medication Management
- Nutritional Counseling to help you make lifestyle changes, such as improving your nutrition and developing a regular exercise regime.
- Mind/Body Relaxation Techniques
- Hormonal Balancing
Your Kaplan physician will work with you to create a customized, multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses the root causes of your sleep disorder as well as any possible underlying or co-existing conditions.
We are here for you, and we want to help.
Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment please call: 703-532-4892
Epworth Sleepiness Scale – Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Take this short quiz to find out.
Article: Downshift Your Day and Get Set for Restful Sleep
Website: Sleep Apnea Information Page, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)