Got a Sleep Problem?
Learn more about sleep problems and common disorders that millions of Americans face every year.
If you’re among the 45% of Americans whose lack of sleep gets in the way of daily activities, Meritas Health Pulmonary Medicine, with three board-certified sleep medicine physicians, can help. Sleep disorders are common culprits of poor sleep, but, with help and guidance from your doctor, you can get the restful slumber you deserve.
What Are Sleep Disorders?
Sleep disorders are sleep behaviors or patterns that can negatively impact your health. Common sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia – Inability to fall asleep
- Jet lag – Difficulty resuming regular sleep schedules during or after travel
- Narcolepsy – Inability to stay awake; persistent drowsiness
- Periodic Limb Movement (PLMD)
- Restless legs syndrome – Urge to move legs; difficulty laying still
- Night terrors – Feeling of intense fear or dread and/or flailing or screaming during sleep
- Sleep apnea – Interruptions in breathing while asleep
- Sleepwalking – Getting up from bed and walking around while asleep
- Snoring – Noisy vibration of airflow in tissues of your throat
Diagnosing Sleep Problems
To understand the cause of your sleep problems, your doctor may recommend a sleep study in a diagnostic sleep center. Sleep centers employ specialists and use advanced technologies to monitor you while you sleep in a bedroom-like lab. The results of your study help doctors treat your condition.
Meritas Health works closely with North Kansas City Hospital, which has two sleep centers. Ask your doctor about how a sleep study could help you.
Sleep Disorder Treatment
Based on the results of your sleep study, your doctor may recommend an appointment with a neurologist, ear, nose and throat specialist or a pulmonologist (lung doctor) if your sleep disorder involves difficulty breathing.
You’ll get a treatment plan tailored to your needs. In some cases, medication or breathing devices — such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines — are recommended.
Healthy Sleep Habits and Tips
Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by following healthy sleep habits, such as:
- Avoiding caffeine, sugar or high-energy foods before bedtime.
- Avoiding naps, which can disrupt your sleep schedule.
- Exercising regularly, but no earlier than four hours before bedtime.
- Going to bed as soon as you feel drowsy or tired.
- Going to bed at the same time every night.
- Keeping a regular wake-up time, even on weekends.
- Minimizing light sources, such as screens or televisions, from your bedroom.
- Using earplugs or a sleep mask to eliminate noise and light distractions.