A: The age-old wisdom that we each need eight hours of sleep each night is largely true and routinely confirmed by research. Yet, what matters most is how many hours of quality sleep you get each night. Sleep is intended to be restful and restorative, “resetting” your body’s systems for the day ahead. Some people are able to achieve this with fewer than eight hours of slumber each night, but it’s fewer than you might think. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep, and many, many Americans need longer sleep periods than they allow themselves.
Q: What are the most common symptoms of sleep problems?
A: The primary symptoms of disordered sleeping are excessive sleepiness during the day, difficulty concentrating, falling asleep at inappropriate times, difficulty falling or staying asleep, excessive sleeping and abnormal behaviors during sleep (such as twitching legs).
Q: Why is it important for a sleep problem to be evaluated?
A: If left untreated, sleep problems can lead to serious and even life-threatening problems, including high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, congestive heart failure and heart arrhythmias. Sleep apnea contributes to obesity, depression and injurious and potentially deadly accidents. The type of disorder, severity of symptoms and the presence of other sleep disorders or complicating factors are all important and need to be correctly identified in order to be appropriately treated. Once identified, specific treatment options can be recommended.
Q: How can I sleep better?
A: Many people could improve their sleep with better “sleep hygiene” habits. Establishing a consistent bedtime and rising time as well as moving the television and computer out of your bedroom are good starts. Refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening and finish your last meal of the day at least three hours prior to bedtime. Of course, none of these changes in habit will cure or resolve sleep apnea, but they can help with a number of other common sleep disorders. Because of the subtleties involved, a sleep study may be necessary to determine of you have a sleep disorder or not. The very best way to start sleeping better is to find out why you are not sleeping well in the first place! You can get the treatment and information you need from a sleep specialist.
Q: Does insurance cover the sleep study?
A: While it depends on your insurance company and the specific plan you have, most sleep studies are covered by insurance. As a courtesy to our patients and as part of our comprehensive services, Alaska Sleep Clinic will contact your insurance company to help you determine your plan’s coverage and your eligibility for services.
At Alaska Sleep Clinic we never want the cost of health care to prevent you from seeking the diagnosis and treatment you need. If you have financial questions or concerns, please contact us. We’ll be happy to address your concerns on an individual basis.