Sleep Disorderzzz…We all know that eating right and drinking enough water are important steps when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Did you know that getting enough sleep can play just as important of a role? Sleep helps keep your hormone levels, mood, weight and work or school performance in check. It also prevents physical, mental, social and emotional problems from developing.
Not Getting a Full Night’s Sleep?While some things like eating a healthy meal and drinking the recommended amount of water are more battles of willpower than overcoming any obstacles, sleep is a different story. It is not as easy as you may think to get eight full hours of sleep a night. This is complicated even more by the high prevalence of sleep disorders.
Almost 75 percent of Americans in Houston, Texas and throughout the country report suffering from a sleep disorder on a regular basis. While there are more than 100 types of disorders, the most common ones are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Central sleep apnea (CSA)
- Parasomnia (abnormal movements and behavior during sleep)
- Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
- Restless leg syndrome
- Circadian rhythm disorders
Sleep ApneaThe most common type of sleep disorder is sleep apnea, which affects one in every 15 Americans. Sleep apnea occurs when an individual experiences one or more pauses in their breathing or shallow breathing while asleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Breathing typically begins again and is sometimes accompanied by snorting or choking.
The only way to confirm that you are suffering from sleep apnea and not another sleep disorder is to visit the best ENT in Houston. Your doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical exam and order a sleep study. Also known as a polysomnography, a sleep study can be conducted in a sleep lab or in the comfort of your own home (fortunately for those suffering from sleep disorders, this option is becoming more and more common). During this study, your brain waves, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, sleep stages, movement and breathing rate are measured.
If the sleep study determines you are suffering from sleep apnea, your Houston doctor will create an individualized sleep apnea treatment plan. Common treatments include taking a combination of medications and making some lifestyle changes.