Not getting enough sleep affects not only your mood but your overall physical and psychological health, safety and ultimate quality of life. A lack of restful, restorative sleep can impact hormones and immune system function, as well as increase the risk of serious, life-threatening diseases.
Sleep disorders deserve to be taken seriously with the help of a healthcare provider like Lynne Ahn, MD. With her experience in functional and integrative medicine, Dr. Ahn can evaluate your symptoms as well as your general health and lifestyle to identify the source(s) of the problem and recommend customized solutions.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Falling asleep while driving or at other inappropriate times
- Unusual pattern of breathing during sleep
- Unusual movements during sleep
Common Sleep Disorders
The most common sleep complaint, insomnia, is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. It can cause excessive fatigue during the day, cognitive impairment (e.g., problems with memory or concentration), moodiness, irritability and other symptoms. It is often caused or worsened by other factors, such as stress, physical or mental illness or the use of certain medications.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops repeatedly throughout the night. In the most common type of sleep apnea, the airway becomes physically blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches the lungs and causing temporary pauses in breathing. As the brain senses the pause in breathing, it signals the body to wake up. This pattern can happen up to several hundred times in a night.
Sleep apnea has many serious long-term consequences, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome causes the irresistible urge to move the legs while trying to fall asleep. As a result, it can be difficult to get comfortable enough to get a good night’s rest.
Narcolepsy causes uncontrollable sleepiness and sleep attacks, in which one suddenly falls asleep in the middle of the day. Sometimes these sleep attacks can occur during activities such as eating, walking or driving.
Treatments for Sleep Disorders
Dr. Ahn will take the time to listen to you describe your symptoms and their effects on your life. Once she has an understanding of what you are going through, as well as your medical history, genetics and lifestyle, she can tailor a health care plan to your needs.
Dr. Ahn can help you pay better attention to your diet, exercise routine, sources of stress and other factors in your life that can affect your sleep. She can explain “sleep hygiene” or things you can do to naturally increase the quality and quantity of sleep you get every night. Depending on your specific diagnosis, treatment modalities could include the use of certain sleep appliances, medication, supplements, meditation or other types of therapy.
You do not have to settle for sleepless nights and sleepy days. For more information about sleep disorders and treatments, please request a consultation with Dr. Ahn today.