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A Good Night's Rest Is Within Reach

In today’s world, especially during the pandemic, there are plenty of distractions and behaviors that may interfere with a good night’s rest. The quality of your sleep directly affects how you function during the day. Most adults need seven to nine hours of shut-eye for optimum health, but the average American is not getting what they need.

Even one night of poor sleep can leave you feeling cranky, tired and unfocused. However, prolonged sleep concerns can have more serious consequences for your overall health. Sleep deprivation can affect the ability for our body to function properly and feel our best—from memory and mental health to hormone imbalances and diabetes.

If you’re experiencing issues with your sleep, having a dialogue with your primary care provider is a good place to start. They may refer you to Overlake Clinics – Sleep Medicine, which is dedicated to patients who are experiencing changes in their sleep patterns. This group of specialists evaluates and treats patients with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.

Since sleep problems can occur for a variety of reasons, the Sleep Medicine clinic also works in conjunction with other specialties across Overlake’s network of care. This comprehensive suite of sleep services includes Overlake Clinics Primary Care, Outpatient Psychiatry, Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), the Overlake Neuroscience Institute and Weight Loss Services.

Getting Help for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

One of the most common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Because about 70% of people with OSA are obese, a potential treatment for OSA is weight loss.

“Weight loss in those who are obese significantly reduces the severity of OSA. In fact, about 30–40% of people who are able to achieve substantial weight loss may become cured of their OSA,” says Randip Singh, MD, Overlake Clinics – Sleep Medicine.

Overlake’s Weight Loss Services can help patients address OSA with either medical weight management or weight loss surgery, if appropriate.

Using a CPAP is the gold standard for treating obstructive sleep apnea, but 30–50% of people don’t tolerate it. This is when an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist may step in. Employing either medical or surgical interventions, ENTs can help a patient tolerate a CPAP or alleviate the obstruction of the airway that is causing the OSA.

The Link Between Sleep, Mental Health and Brain Conditions

Both sleep and mental health disorders can have an impact on the other. Having a mental health disorder can affect sleep, and conversely, having a sleep disorder can worsen mental health. Insomnia—having trouble falling or staying asleep—is one of the most common sleep disorders that can affect mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50% of insomnia cases are related to depression, anxiety or stress. It’s important to work with your healthcare practitioner to determine whether a sleep or mood disorder is the cause or effect in order to receive the most appropriate treatment.

Sleep can also be affected by neurological conditions. Migraine and tension headaches are more common in people who chronically have difficulty sleeping or inadequate sleep, explains Olav Jaren, MD, PhD, with the Overlake Neuroscience Institute. And, those who have had a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, stroke, or brain disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s commonly have sleep problems. Seeing a neurologist for ongoing care can help address sleep issues that may arise from these conditions.

Finding a Path to Better Sleep

From mental health to weight loss services, your primary care provider can coordinate with Overlake’s network of specialists, depending on your specific diagnosis and treatment path, to get you the care you need for better sleep.

“Every patient is different, which means the approach to diagnosis and treatment can be different, even for the same disorder,” says Scott Bonvallet, MD, Overlake Clinics – Sleep Medicine. “Involving our patients in this process from the beginning translates into better outcomes down the road.”

If poor sleep is a recurring issue for you, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider for an evaluation.

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