Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders Specialist
If you’re a sufferer of sleep disorders, you know all too well that you’re not the only one at home impacted by this condition – your family members can struggle alongside of you. As a board-certified specialist in sleep medicine, Meena Mehta, MD in Concord, Massachusetts can help you find a way to manage whatever is leading to your chronic sleep deprivation, in order to improve the lives of everyone involved. Lack of sleep is a safety issue that needs a resolution, because it puts you at risk of both injury and illness.

Sleep Disorders Q & A

Meena Mehta, MD

What is sleep medicine?

Dr. Mehta specializes in sleep medicine, but what does that mean? Sleep medicine is the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of sleep disturbances or disorders. It is a medical specialty that is rapidly evolving in the medical community as sleep issues become more prevalent in today's society.

What is the definition of a sleep disorder?

The term "sleep disorder" is a very broad category. Put simply, it means, “Conditions that change the way a person sleeps.” They are often grouped into more distinct categories, such as:

  • Behaviors
  • Interruptions of the natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Breathing problems

Some common forms of sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Narcolepsy

The key to properly treating the disorder is a correct diagnosis. Work with a specialist like Dr. Mehta or nurse practitioner Li Chin Sun to get started.

How are sleep disorders diagnosed?

The first step is to pinpoint the specific symptoms. Dr. Mehta and nurse practitioner Li Chin Sun will talk about what is happening as you try to go to sleep, as well as look for habits that might be the source of the problem, like eating a heavy meal before bed. They may suggest you keep a sleep log to learn about your sleep patterns. This is like a journal that defines:

  • The number of hours you slept
  • The number of times you woke up
  • Why you work up, such as to go to the bathroom
  • How rested you feel the next day

This is all information that helps tie down the potential cause of the disorder.

For some patients, it might be necessary to schedule a polysomnogram- or sleep recording. This is taken in a sleep lab. This records things like eye movement during sleep, brain activity, and heart rate. This type of sleep study helps Dr. Mehta and nurse practitioner Li Chin Sun identify medical issues, like sleep apnea.

What are the complications of a sleep disorder?

Not getting enough sleep has an adverse effect on your human body. It can lead to mood problems, such as depression or anxiety. Poor sleep can also increase your risk of chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and can be a contributing factor to obesity. It also interferes with your ability to focus, can cause daytime sleepiness, and makes things like a driving a car dangerous.

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