Health Care

What Is Sleep Medicine?

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The power of sleep is extraordinary. It refreshes and heals the body, mind and spirit and enables us to function at our best. Depending on the quality of our sleep, it can also make or break our overall health.

At AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute, we recognize the need for quality sleep to achieve whole health so you can live life to the fullest. We’re here to explain sleep medicine and its benefits, along with the value of quality sleep vs. the risks of poor sleep on your health. You’ll also learn about our sleep facilities and how we can help you with your sleep disorder.

What Is Sleep Medicine?

Sleep medicine is a medical subspecialty that focuses on improving sleep health, as well as diagnosing and treating sleep disorders and other sleep-related issues.

Sleep medicine considers the whole person — from your breathing and blood flow to your hormones and nervous system. There’s also a connection between sleep health and your mental and cognitive health.

Sleep for Whole Health

The quality of your sleep and rest is a major component that impacts your whole health, for better or worse. While quality sleep leads to increased energy, better focus and a healthier body, mind and spirit, poor sleep has the opposite effect.

Here are some of the effects that poor sleep has on your body, mind and spirit:

Lack of Sleep and Cognitive Deficits

  • Emotional impairment
  • Impaired ability to think quickly and avoid mistakes
  • Impaired memory
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Reduced ability to pay attention
  • Reduced ability to react to stimuli, such as while driving
  • Reduced ability to perform multiple tasks

Physiological Effects of Sleep Deprivation

  • Changes to vital signs (blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and breathing rate)
  • Compromised immune system
  • Hastened onset and severity of diabetes, high blood pressure and weight gain
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Impaired reflexes (such as sluggish visual reflexes; oversensitive gag reflex)
  • Increased pain and sensitivity to pain
  • Linked to significantly increased risk of heart disease

The Long-Term Impact of Sleep Deprivation

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation include a higher risk for developing chronic diseases like diabetes, dementia and even cancer. It can also make your immune system weaker and cause an imbalance in your metabolism, which can directly lead to other health problems.

That’s why it helps to take a closer look at what is causing your sleeping difficulties. An overnight study at one of our sleep facilities can help you get a diagnosis. Equipped with all the latest diagnostic technologies to record and monitor your sleep patterns, heart activity, body movements and breathing, you can rest assured we’ve got you covered during your stay.

Getting a Diagnosis

Common sleep disorder diagnoses include:

  • Idiopathic hypersomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • REM behavior disorder
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Sleepwalking

Treatment Options

Depending on your sleep disorder diagnosis, treatment options may include:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device
  • Medication
  • Minimally invasive surgeries
  • Oral appliances
  • Transoral robotic surgery (TORS)
  • Weight loss support

Get Personalized Care to Sleep Better for the Rest of Your Life

We recognize sleep and rest as sacred, and your whole health and quality of life depends on them. Whether you’re tossing and turning all night or struggling to stay awake during the day, your sleep specialists at AdventHealth will work with you to develop a personalized sleep disorder treatment plan with expert care, useful tool and step-by-step guidance.

We won’t rest until you can. Learn more about how we can help you sleep well every night for the rest of your life. You deserve to feel whole.

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