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September 19, 2018

Sleep Disorder: Emergency Room Tips

Sleep Disorder: Emergency Room Tips

After a long and stressful day at work, the best gift you can give your self is a good nights sleep. However, this may not be the case as you might end up tossing and turning without knowing what the problem could be.  If this happened to you in the past, you are most likely suffering from a sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders are circumstances that affect the ability to sleep well. Statistics indicate that more than 75 per cent of American citizens aged between 20 and 59 have reported having sleeping difficulties.

What Causes Sleep Disorders?

The conditions can be due to a health problem or extreme stress. When you experience stress on a regular basis, it interferes with your sleep pattern causing you to become exhausted throughout the day. On the other hand, sleep disorders can also be an indication of a medical condition such as:

  • Colds, allergies and upper respiratory problems can make it challenging to breathe at night thus causing sleeping difficulties.
  • Frequent urination or Nocturia disrupts your sleep by keeping you awake during the night. Urinary tract diseases and hormonal imbalances and diseases of the may contribute to the development of this condition.
  • Constant pain from arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, persistent headaches, and continuous lower back pain.

The good news is that, once you receive treatment at FrontLine ER for the underlying causes, these sleeping problems will eventually go away. 

Different Types of Sleep Disorders

  1. Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall and remain asleep at night due to stress and anxiety, jet lag, hormonal changes, or digestive problems. Chronic insomnia occurs regularly; intermittent insomnia occurs occasionally, while transient insomnia lasts for just a few nights at a time.

  1. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a severe medical condition that is characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. Sleep apnea causes the body to take in less oxygen and prompt you to wake up during the night.

  1. Parasomnias

This sleep condition causes abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep. Some of which include sleepwalking, sleep talking, groaning, experiencing nightmares, bedwetting, and bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw clenching).

  1. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

RLS is an overpowering urge to move the legs that sometimes comes along with a tingling sensation. These symptoms are most prevalent at night and linked with health conditions like ADHD and Parkinson’s disease.

  1. Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is more like the opposite of insomnia because it is characterized by “sleep attacks” that occur during the day.  Meaning that you suddenly feel exhausted, and can fall asleep without warning.  This condition can also cause sleep paralysis that may make you physically powerless to move immediately after waking up.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

Symptoms can differ depending on the severity and type of your sleeping disorder. Patients visiting FrontLine ER for treatment related to sleep disorders are those who experience difficulty in falling or staying asleep, daytime fatigue and a strong urge to take naps during the day and irritability or anxiety.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Intense continuous pain or increased difficulty breathing at night may symbolize a need to seek emergency medical care at FrontLine ER.

  • When the symptoms do not subside after four weeks, or you have started taking a new medication that could be interrupting your sleep.
  • You experience excessive heartburn that keeps you awake or has significant changes in your mood, energy, and appetite.
  • You wake up during the night due to physical pain in your legs when you try to move them.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders

Your doctor at FrontLine ER will first complete a physical exam and gather information about your signs and medical history. He/she will then order the tests below to determine the right course of treatment.

  • Polysomnography: This test evaluates body movements, brain waves, and oxygen levels, to assess their contribution to lack of sleep.
  • Electroencephalogram: The test helps in the assessment of electrical activity in the brain and identifies any likely problems associated with this activity.
  • Genetic blood testing is commonly used to identify narcolepsy and other primary health conditions that might be causing insomnia.

From the results of the diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe sleeping pills, melatonin supplements, and cold or allergy medications. Moreover, doctors can recommend a breathing device for patients who have sleep apnea and may also receive a dental guard to prevent bruxism.

Medical treatments together with lifestyle alterations can significantly improve your quality of sleep. You may want to consider:

  • Having a fixed sleeping and waking up time and wake up every day
  • Reduce sugar, alcohol and coffee intake especially in the late afternoon or evening
  • Consume more fish and vegetables
  • Exercise daily to reduce reducing stress and anxiety

Lack of sleep at night can cause relationships to become strained, and may also impair your ability to perform daily activities. Receiving diagnosis and treatment at FrontLine ER right away can help avoid lead to further destructive health consequences.

Emergency Care, Emergency Room