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Alaska Sleep Education Center

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 7

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com on Oct 18, 2018 7:00:00 PM

Chapter 7

Precautions Regarding Treatment of Sleep Deprivation

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Yoo Health

If you are using sleep aids, as prescribed by your doctor, it is important that you know how to use them safely so that you can take any necessary precautions when treating your sleep deprivation.

You must first consult with your doctor about which sleep deprivation medications to use, the correct dosage, and the best treatment plan for you. At this point, a number of factors will be taken into account, including:

  • Your age
  • Other health factors
  • The underlying cause of your insomnia (if applicable)

This information is an essential part of learning how to use your sleep medication properly and responsibly.

You should also make sure that you do not grow to rely on sleep aids forever, and the majority of doctors will agree that they are not supposed to be used permanently.

Instead, it is up to you and your doctor to figure out long you should take the sleep aid for, and other potential treatments (like CBT) that might be able to help you get back into a good sleeping routine.

While there are some over the counter sleep aids that might help you in the short-term, it is important to remember that they are not supposed to be used for prolonged periods of time, or to fix insomnia.

You should also make sure you follow the safety guidelines on all medication you receive, and that you read the packaging carefully so that you understand potential risks and side-effects. You can also talk to your doctor about any precautions you need to take, especially if they are related to your personal health.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 8: Diagnosis of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, treatment, remedies

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 8

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com on Oct 18, 2018 11:20:00 AM

Chapter 8

Diagnosis of Sleep Deprivation

As we have already discussed, sleep specialists state that the most tell-tale sign of sleep deprivation is feeling drowsy during the day. Even if a task is very uninteresting, you should be able to stay alert if you are not sleep deprived. If you fall asleep within five minutes of lying down, you are likely to have very severe sleep deprivation.

Those who have sleep deprivation also tend to suffer from micro-sleep,  a brief period of sleep experienced during waking time. A person is rarely aware that they have experienced micro-sleep and will simply view it as a few lost seconds. If you are driving while fatigued, you may not remember how you got to your destination.  This is an example of micro-sleep.

There are occasions it is a more serious, even life-threatening, sleep disorder like sleep apnea. If this is even a possibility, a sleep specialist may decide to conduct a sleep study to monitor your breathing, heart rate, and other vital signs over the course of the night. It also provides an excellent amount of information to help diagnose and treat your underlying conditions.

For the diagnosis process to begin, your doctor will perform a physical exam, including asking you for symptoms so that they can match them up with the ones we have already discussed. We’ve already mentioned much of the diagnosis process, and here are some of the tests your doctor might order:

Polysomnogram: a sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep.

Electroencephalogram: a test that assesses electrical activity in the brain and detects any potential problems associated with this activity.

Genetic blood testing: a blood test commonly used to diagnose narcolepsy and other underlying health conditions that might be causing sleep apnea. 

If you believe you or a loved one is suffering through sleep apnea, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists for your free sleep evaluation.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 9: Complications of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, treatment, remedies, home sleep test, cpap mas

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 6

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com on Oct 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Chapter 6

Treatment of Sleep Deprivation

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Yoo Health

If a person cannot physically get to sleep, as a result of physical or psychological difficulties, treatment is required. Often, a therapist or sleep specialist will be the one to offer guidance and advice, as well as coping techniques for reaching a restful state of sleep. Generally speaking, there are two main treatment paths that can be taken – behavioral and cognitive measures, and medications.

#1 Behavioral and cognitive treatments

There are a number of excellent and effective methods for enhancing sleep that does not require any medication, and these can be found below:

Relaxation techniques: This is a progressive form of muscle relaxing that involves the tensing and untensing of different muscles in the body to help maintain calm. Additionally, medication, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and guided imagery can provide masses of help in this area. There is also the option to use audio recordings to help people fall asleep at night.

Stimulation control: This involves taking control of your activities before you go to bed, as well as your surroundings, so that you can moderate your sleeping patterns effectively. This means doing things like only spending time in bed when you are sleepy, controlling the association between being in bed and being ready to go to sleep.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is an incredibly helpful type of therapy that has been designed to help people understand and change the thought patterns behind specific behaviors. It works to challenge irrational and unhealthy beliefs, while also promoting calm and positive thoughts. In this way, it can be used to help develop a better and healthier sleeping pattern.

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Yoo Health

#2 Medications

If a non-medicinal treatment has been ineffective, there are medications available that can induce sleep. There are some that can be purchased over the counter from your pharmacist, and others that can only be picked up with a valid prescription from your doctor. There is a whole load available, and your doctor will help you pick the one that should work best for you.

It should be noted that some people form a dependency on sleeping pills, and so it is important to try and limit the amount that you take and use non-medicinal remedies when and if you can.

#3 Home management

On the plus side, most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation are revered once you get the sufficient amount of sleep. The best treatment is often satisfying your biological need to sleep, preventing deprivation, and paying back the sleep debt that you have accumulated. You can also follow the sleep hygiene rules, which is something we look at in detail a little later on.

#4 Paying off the sleep debt

When you do not get the amount of sleep that you require, you will begin to accumulate sleep debt. So, if you need to sleep for eight hours and you only sleep for five, you have accumulated three hours of sleep debt. Every night that you continue to follow the pattern adds more sleep debt.

The only way you can erase your debt is to get more sleep, and it can take some time to fully recover depending on the amount you have accumulated. However, you will be able to feel the positive effects of paying the debt off very quickly.

In order to pay back your sleep debt, you need to start getting the sleep you need with the addition of an extra hour or so each night until the debt is paid. Once it is done, you can subtract the extra hour from your sleep schedule. As long as you are making a conscious effort to recover, it does not matter how many hours you have lost to sleep deprivation, and you will begin to feel better quickly.

However, if your sleep deprivation is ongoing and the negative symptoms persist even though you are practicing good sleep hygiene, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible to check for underlying health conditions.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 7: Precautions of Treatment of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, losing sleep, circadian rhythm, treatment, medication, remedies

7 Natural Sleep Supplements to Battle Insomnia

Posted by Will Hartfield from Hair Loss Revolution on Oct 5, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Sleep – it’s something that all humans need but one thing that many people don’t seem to get enough of. This can be for a variety of reasons – including poor sleep hygiene, party-hard lifestyles, or even mental and physical conditions – but the bottom line is the same: a lack of sleep is no good and should be remedied as soon as possible.

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Topics: insomnia, sleep hygiene, remedies

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