Sleep well to live well
Sleep is not just a block of time when you are not awake. Thanks to sleep studies done over the past several decades, it is now known that sleep has distinctive stages that cycle throughout the night. Your brain stays active throughout sleep, but different things happen during each stage. For example, certain stages are needed to help you feel rested and energetic the next day, and other stages help you learn and make memories.
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can be dangerous for both your mental and physical health. Your doctor may refer you to the Sleep Lab. There, a sleep specialist will discuss your need for further evaluation. Such an evaluation often involves overnight monitoring of your breathing and other body functions during sleep.
Sleep disorders are treatable. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. You may also contact the Sleep Lab to obtain a sleep disorder questionnaire to complete and take to your doctor. If your doctor determines that you may benefit from a sleep study, his or her office staff will schedule an appointment for you.
For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend only lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If these measures don’t improve your signs and symptoms or if your apnea is moderate to severe, a number of other treatments are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.