No one will argue that sleep is a necessity. The question for most people is how much sleep is essential to not only function during the day, but to achieve optimum performance levels.
With so many individuals juggling jobs, family responsibilities and much more, something has to give—often that something is sleep. Research shows, however, that sacrificing sleep may not be the way to go, as most people need about eight hours of good quality sleep each night to rest the body and refresh the mind.
According to Lawrence W. Kneisly, M.D., ABSM, medical director of the
Torrance Memorial Sleep Disorders Center, there are individuals who have real problems with sleep, including the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, snoring and other breathing disorders while sleeping that can cause daytime drowsiness.
“Untreated, these problems can have a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life,” Kneisley says. “This makes it difficult—physically and mentally—to deal with normal everyday challenges. In fact, some illnesses, such as high blood pressure and even heart attacks, can be linked to certain sleep disorders.”
Primary care physicians usually refer patients to a sleep disorders center after performing appropriate routine tests. Often, a polysomnogram (PSG) is indicates. The PSG takes place overnight, closely monitoring breathing, oxygen, heart rate, brain waves, eye and body movements, and body position.
Ask your doctor if you might benefit from a sleep study if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Frequent difficulty falling asleep in bed at night
- Frequent awakening during sleep
- Heavy snoring
- Partner say you stop breathing during sleep
- Dozing off while driving
- Often waking with a headache
- Sleepiness during the day
- Difficulty concentrating at work/school
- Produce sweating at night
- Leg cramps or drawing feeling legs
- Restless legs that interfere with falling asleep
For more information about sleep disorders or studies call Torrance Memorial Sleep Disorders Center at