Getting To Bed + To Sleep
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may have a sleep disorder, and you’re not alone. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, at least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders and another 20 to 30 million experience occasional sleep problems.
Sleep disorders include problems like snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation and restless leg syndrome. “Good sleep is necessary for optimal health,” says Sandra Arango-Fahmy, D.O., a board certified family physician. “Even minimal sleep loss takes a toll on your mood, energy, efficiency, and ability to handle stress. Ignoring these problems can lead to poor overall health, accidents, impaired job performance, and relationship stress. If you want to feel your best, look your best and perform up to your potential, good sleep is a necessity.”
It’s not normal to always feel sleepy during the day, have problems falling asleep, or wake up feeling un-refreshed. “If someone has struggled with sleep problems for so long that this state begins to feel ‘normal,’ there are still steps that can help,” says Dr. Arango-Fahmy. “Start by keeping a sleep diary tracking your symptoms and sleep patterns. Then, make an appointment with your physician, who will examine you to make sure there are no underlying health issues, and who can help you make healthy changes to your daytime routines and sleep habits.” Together, Dr. Arango-Fahmy says, you can identify the causes of your sleep problems and find ways to improve both your sleep and your quality of life. Dr. Arango- Fahmy also cautions, “Always check with your doctor before taking any sleeping medications.”
What to Expect at The Center for Sleep Medicine
Your physician may refer you for a sleep study, especially if your main problem is daytime sleepiness, if you experience gasping, choking or have problems breathing during the night, or if you sometimes fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while walking, talking or eating.
Your sleep study can be conducted at The Center for Sleep Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center. This state of the art facility provides diagnosis and treatment for a variety of sleep disorders and ailments in children and adults ages 4 and up. A sleep study is a non-invasive test which records sixteen different channels of information including sleep pattern, heart rate, brain waves, oxygen level and muscle tone while you sleep overnight or during the day in a private, hotel-like room. A sleep specialist will analyze the results from your sleep study and work with your physician to design a treatment program, if necessary.
Nearly everyone has occasional sleepless nights. But if you have trouble sleeping on a regular or frequent basis, see your doctor. Identifying and treating the cause of your sleep disturbance can help get you back on the road to a good night’s sleep. The Center for Sleep Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center is one of only a few sleep centers in New Jersey accredited by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. For more information about The Center for Sleep Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center, call 732.360.4255 or visit www.rbmcsleepcenter.org.