After an active, tiring day, you collapse into bed, sleep through the night and wake up refreshed in the morning. Sleeping problems, however, affect millions of Americans. Sleep disorders can be acute, which means that they only last for a short period of time, or chronic, which means they last for at least three weeks.
The Need for Sleep
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute states that infants need 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day. Preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours, children up to age 18 need 8.5 to 11 hours and adults need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep on average. Sleep specialists realize that each individual has different sleep needs.
Role of Sleep Problems
If you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel tired and sleepy during the day. You may have difficulty concentrating and not be able to understand what you read or hear. Your muscles may feel week. Sleep deprivation can make you depressed. Your reflexes slow down and make driving more dangerous.
Common Sleep Disorders
Hundreds of sleep problems are known, but these are some common troubles that may require a sleep disorder doctor:
o Sleep apnea: you snore, wake up because you have trouble breathing and have a higher risk of heart attacks.
o Insomnia: you take a long time to fall asleep or you wake up during the night.
o Restless legs syndrome: Your legs tingle while you lie in bed.
Sleep disorder doctors are trained to diagnose sleep disorders and provide sleep help. At a sleep center, a sleep disorder specialist can monitor your breathing and brain activity while you sleep to figure out what your trouble is. The doctor can then make recommendations for sleep disorder treatment.
Sleep problems can interfere with your daily life and make you less productive. Sleep disorder doctors can help if you have trouble sleeping or you don’t feel refreshed when you wake up.
Southwestern Sleep Center 1620 Hospital Drive Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 629-0559