Go for the Pro: When to Seek Out a Sleep Professional

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Transcript

So if you've made it this far, it's likely that you're really looking for the way to sleep better or perhaps you have come to an understanding that you have a significant problem. I really think the best person to answer that is probably going to be your bed partner. Whether you snore your thrashing around stopping breathing, anything like that certainly signifies sleep apnea potentially and deserves further explanation but just take a moment to ask yourself these questions. Do you have trouble concentrating? You fall asleep in awkward situations social functions at the dinner table deriving as your memory suck responses slower? Are you emotional?

Do you have outbursts? You have difficulty controlling yourself throughout the day. You feel like you need to nap or you want to nap every day. And ask others as your as your boss or coworker complaining about your performance is your bed partner say you're snoring? You know your kids complain when you're traveling in a hotel. You sound like a dying dinosaur.

Do you feel irritable? Or do you just find yourself looking sleepy and all the photos that you see on social media. Other warning signs can include weight gain blood sugar, problems, being chronically fatigued, being sick all the time and noticing the blood pressure creeping up along with the waist line, those are all potential signs that you are having a sniffing sleep problem and probably should talk to somebody about it. So where do you start? Obviously your family doctor knows you the best and they're gonna be able to give you some guidelines, be able to look at your past history and kind of have a clear idea what your blood pressure was 510 years ago and what your weight was then they may refer you to sleep specialists. This is really looking for whether or not you might have sleep apnea, sleep apnea, but also there are a variety of other sleep related problems that can impact your health and deserve special attention and treatment.

At times, an ear, nose and throat specialist can be involved. Some people have overly large tonsils, very crowded mouth very large uvula hanging down in the back. And sometimes an oral appliance or even a surgical procedure can really have a dramatic ability to improve and impact the quality of a person's sleep. Your dentist is also a valuable and helpful resource. There's a whole new specialty of dental sleep experts out there who are certified and can fashion and customize an oral appliance that helps reposition the lower jaw and can effectively help with snoring and improve sleep hygiene. I caution you about pills, pills and more pills, the benzodiazepines and the risk of dementia.

Certainly drug therapy can be helpful at times that should be I think, viewed as somewhat of a crutch as opposed to a long term strategy. for optimizing sleep, there are side effects. And again remember the 50% increased risk of dementia for benzodiazepines if they're used in the context of anxiety and sleep improvement. I walk you through some options with the plants and potions section to some natural remedies and some lifestyle choices that can help with sleep hygiene and improving things for you. Functional Medicine as you if you watch the intro video at the beginning talks about going upstream of a problem trying to find the critical core elements or precipitating an issue and treating it with a host of others. Natural lifestyle, diet modifications and things that don't always involve taking a prescription medication.

And then last but not least is the mental professionals there is a school of teaching cognitive behavioral therapy, there really has shown a great deal of promise in treating insomnia, as little as two sessions have been shown to be quite effective. In fact, as much so as six sessions so take that to heart. There are a couple ways to go about that. You can see from the links on the screen here, you may find some resources there that can help you figure this out and to get some online access to these professionals depending on where you live. So when in doubt, obviously, ask for help seek counsel and rely on the professionals to get the results that you're looking for.

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