It’s not uncommon to have problems related to sleep every now and then. But when sleep problems impact your quality of life, it could mean you’re struggling with a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders involve a wide range of issues that affect your sleep quality, duration, and overall health. They are complex, as they can be triggered by different underlying issues and come with a range of symptoms that can overlap or share characteristics with other conditions.
At Modern Migraine MD, with offices in Manhattan, NYC, Toms River, New Jersey, Aventura, Florida, and seeing patients virtually across 13 states, board-certified neurologist Risa Ravitz, MD, and physician’s assistant Aviva Engel, PA-C, specialize in expertly diagnosing and treating different types of sleep issues, including serious sleep disorders.
Keep reading to learn more about sleep disorders and why you should always seek expert medical support if you suspect you’re struggling with one.
Sleep disorders are conditions that hinder your ability to get enough quality sleep.
Serious sleep disorders not only impact the duration of your sleep but also affect its quality and, consequently, your ability to function during the day. Serious sleep disorders are complex and can lead to significant health complications.
To help you better understand the seriousness of sleep disorders, here’s a closer look at how several can lead to additional issues and problems:
Insomnia isn’t only about struggling to fall asleep. In its chronic form, it consistently deprives you of the rest you need, leaving you fatigued and impacting your concentration and mood.
With sleep apnea, breathing temporarily stops during sleep, causing you to wake up frequently throughout the night. This can lead to disrupted sleep and, in severe cases, result in serious cardiovascular problems.
Parasomnias are sleep disorders that involve unusual and unwanted physical movements or experiences that disrupt your sleep. There are many types, including:
Parasomnias can be dangerous to your health and to the health and safety of those around you, depending on what type of parasomnia you experience.
Narcolepsy is another debilitating disorder causing extreme daytime fatigue and sudden attacks of sleep, making it dangerous for individuals to drive or operate machinery. This condition can also bring about sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy), hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.
These complications can also make it challenging to perform daily activities and maintain social and professional relationships. As a result, additional complications, like isolation and depression, can develop.
Sleep is a complex physiological process, and serious sleep disorders often involve multiple systems in your body. Self-medication or reliance on over-the-counter sleep aids may offer temporary relief but usually fail to address the underlying issues and sometimes may make the problem worse.
What’s more? Not all sleep aids are appropriate or safe for everyone. In other words, trying to fix a sleep disorder yourself is like trying to fix a sophisticated piece of technology with limited knowledge—the results can be unpredictable and risky.
If you suspect you’re dealing with a serious sleep disorder, turning to a neurology team, like Dr. Ravitz and the providers at Modern Migraine MD, is crucial. Neurologists possess specialized knowledge of the nervous system, which plays an integral role in regulating sleep patterns.
When you consult a neurologist for help to manage your sleep disorder, you can expect:
Dr. Ravitz uses a holistic approach to diagnose your sleep disorder accurately. This involves understanding your medical history, conducting physical and neurological exams, and specific diagnostic tests, like a sleep study.
Each person’s sleep pattern is unique, much like a fingerprint. Dr. Ravitz develops treatment plans personalized to your specific needs and circumstances, which may involve medication, lifestyle changes, or counseling.
Managing sleep disorders isn’t a one-time fix but a continuous process. Dr. Ravitz monitors your progress each step of the way. This allows her to make adjustments to your treatment plan as necessary to make sure you enjoy optimal results.
Our practice can put you in touch with a wide range of resources and support services for sleep disorders, including sleep centers, therapists, and support groups. Dr. Ravitz can also coordinate with your other care providers so you get the comprehensive care you need to address your sleep disorder effectively.