SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care
Usha Sivakumar, MD
Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Frederick, MD
Sleep disorders affect the way you sleep or how much good quality sleep you get and can cause havoc with your body’s natural rhythms, leading to a variety of complications. Usha Sivakumar, MD, MBBS, is a highly experienced physician at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care in Frederick, Maryland, who specializes in helping patients who have sleep disorders. To find out why you’re not sleeping properly and get the best treatment for your condition, call the clinic now to arrange a consultation or book an appointment online.
Sleep Disorder Q & A
What is a sleep disorder?
A sleep disorder is a condition that interferes in some way with your normal, healthy sleeping patterns. Sleep is vital for good health, both physical and mental, and having problems with sleep can have significant effects on your well-being.
The most common types of sleep disorder are:
- Insomnia - an inability to get to sleep or stay asleep
- Sleep apnea - breathing repeatedly stops in the night for a few seconds at a time
- Narcolepsy - extreme daytime sleepiness
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS) - tingly, fidgety legs
- Circadian rhythm disorders - an inability to sleep and wake at the right time
- Parasomnia - sleepwalking and other activities carried out when asleep
If you feel tired during the day, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a sleep disorder. It could simply be that you’re not getting enough sleep, or that you’re not creating the right conditions for restorative sleep. The amount of sleep adults need varies according to age and lifestyle, but the average is around seven to eight hours per night.
What are the symptoms of a sleep disorder?
Many symptoms you’ll be aware of, for example, if you’re having problems falling asleep and regularly lay awake for more than 30 minutes trying to get to sleep, or you wake often and then struggle to get back to sleep. Other symptoms you can experience include:
- Waking too early in the morning
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Often having to take naps
- Falling asleep when you don’t want to
- Snoring, gasping, snorting, and making choking noises when asleep
- Not breathing for short intervals during sleep
- Feeling a compulsion to move your legs to relieve unpleasant sensations
- Having vivid dreams when dozing or going to sleep
- Sudden muscle weakness when laughing or angry
- Feeling as though you can’t move when you wake up
- Jerking your arms and legs during sleep
Some of these symptoms you won’t be aware of yourself so it may be your partner who notices.
What treatments are available for sleep disorders?
Treatment for your sleep disorder from SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care varies depending on why you’re having problems. Dr. Sivakumar first needs to establish what’s causing your sleep disorder, which typically means conducting a sleep study (polysomnogram). During your sleep study, sensors record data such as:
- Changes in brain waves
- Eye movements
- Blood pressure
- Breathing rates
- Heart rate
- Electrical activity in the muscles
Once Dr. Sivakumar knows the cause of your sleep disorder, she can prescribe the appropriate treatment. In many cases, sleep can be improved by adopting better sleeping habits and making lifestyle changes that promote good sleep patterns.
You may need to learn relaxation techniques or undergo CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to help you manage anxiety. Sleep apnea can be relieved using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, and you may benefit from bright light therapies or short courses of natural products like melatonin. SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care wants you to get the rest you need and works to find the best solution for your sleep disorder.
Find out what’s causing your sleep disorder and get some relief by calling SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care today, or book an appointment online.