Sleep is more important than we sometimes like to give credit. Sleep is essential to your health, safety and quality of life. When you deprive yourself of proper and adequate sleep or when you are having difficulty sleeping, talk with your doctor and get help! Most sleep problems and sleep disorders can be diagnosed and are treatable in safe and effective ways.
Consider doing the following: Observe your sleep schedule and sleep habits. You need to know what conditions make it difficult to sleep. You need to know how often you have problems sleeping. And you also need to be aware of any sleepiness you feel in the daytime or when you expect to be awake. As you observe you condition take note as to whether your sleeplessness affects your ability to function and enjoy life. Consider the answering the following questions:
- Are you having difficulty concentrating or making decisions?
- Are you experiencing drowsiness when you drive or are engaged in other activities?
- Are you feeling moody or irritable with others?
In addition to the above questions, you may want to complete a quick questionnaire called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. By completing this scale, you will have an objective way to rate your level of daytime sleepiness. Rating your daytime sleepiness will the process of diagnosing and treating your sleep disorder.
Sleep Centers are the next step to diagnosing and treating your sleep disorder. After observing your own condition as has been suggested above, then next step is to find and schedule an appointment with a Sleep Center near you. Sleep Centers can be found almost anywhere. Sleep Centers can treat the following:
- Sleep Deprivation
- Sleep Study Scoring
A sleep center can help detect and treat any sleep disorder that may trouble you. A sleep center may be organized in the following three ways:
- hospital based
- university based
- privately owned or “freestanding”
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) sets strict rules for centers to follow. The mission of the AASM is to assure the highest quality of care for patients. The AASM accredits two types of sleep disorders medical facilities. Both types of operations must meet the same high standards. The two types are as follows:
- Sleep Disorders Centers
- Laboratories for Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders
Important Sleep Information and Experiences to Share with Your Doctor follows:
- You snore most nights — and how loudly
- You experience or have been told that you gasp for breath or stop breathing during sleep
- You feel sleepy during the day or fall asleep when reading, watching TV or are engaged in daily activities
- You fell asleep or dozed off when driving or while at work or school
- You have difficulty falling or staying asleep — and how often
- You wake up often feeling tired and not rested
- The number of hours you usually sleep each night
- Whether you keep a regular bed and wake time
- You often have disruptions to your sleep — due to any cause
- You are taking any sleeping pills or other treatments to help you sleep better
- List of medications or supplements you are taking
- You use alcohol or smoke regularly
- The time of day you use caffeine products, exercise and eat your last meal
- You experience nighttime heartburn, pain or the need to urinate
- Your level of stress and whether you have experienced lifestyle changes recently
- You are a night or rotating shiftworker