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    The Causes and Symptoms of Narcolepsy

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Narcolepsy is a condition that causes sufferers to lose control of sleeping and waking functions. If you believe that you or someone you love suffers from this sleep disorder, it is important to seek medical care at a sleep center, as the condition can be dangerous. Take a look at the information below to learn about the causes and symptoms of narcolepsy.

    Causes of Narcolepsy
    Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder, meaning that it involves the nervous system. The precise cause of narcolepsy is unknown, but researchers have identified genes that are associated with the condition. While a small percentage of narcolepsy cases appear to run in families, the condition generally appears sporadically. The genes that seem to be connected to narcolepsy control the production of chemicals that regulate sleep and wakefulness. A deficiency of a certain chemical called hypocretin may contribute to narcolepsy. Disturbances in the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle of sleep may also cause the symptoms of narcolepsy.

    Symptoms of Narcolepsy
    The symptoms of narcolepsy may manifest at any age. One of the most common symptoms of narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness, or EDS. EDS may contribute to concentration difficulties, mental cloudiness, exhaustion, and memory problems. It is also possible for individuals with narcolepsy to experience vivid hallucinations. Cataplexy, or a sudden decrease in muscle tone that causes weakness and loss of control, is another symptom of narcolepsy. Some individuals with narcolepsy also experience sleep paralysis. With this symptom, a person is temporarily unable to move when falling asleep or waking up.

    Narcolepsy can make it difficult to safely complete everyday tasks, including driving, operating machinery, and cooking. If you believe that you are suffering from narcolepsy, schedule an appointment with Sleep Services of Maryland. Our physicians can evaluate the problem, provide a diagnosis, and offer effective treatment options. Visit our website or call our Rockville office at (240) 912-4683 to find out more.

    Understanding Sleep Apnea

    Last updated 3 years ago

    There are many aspects of your daily life that can affect your slumber, including the way you set up your bedroom. One of the most obvious decorative choices that can affect your ability to fall asleep is your wall color. Bright colors like red and yellow can make you feel energized rather than relaxed and ready to fall asleep. Cooler paint colors with a matte finish can provide a tranquil and soothing environment in your bedroom. It is also important to make sure you keep your room at a comfortable temperature, block any unnecessary light, and ensure that you have a supportive pillow and mattress. In addition, it can also be helpful to purchase high-quality bed linens, avoid keeping electronics with bright screens in the room, and lock your door so that you feel secure each night.

    If you need additional assistance with sleep disorders, Sleep Services of Maryland can help. We offer diagnostic testing, effective treatments like neurofeedback, and comprehensive support to help you have restful sleep each night. Contact us online or at (240) 912-4683 to schedule a consultation.

    How Exercise Affects Your Sleep

    Last updated 3 years ago

    According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea is typically associated with people who are overweight, as excess weight can stress the neck area and make it more difficult to breathe. Not only can regular exercise help lower someone’s risk of developing sleep apnea, but it can also help calm the body and enhance overall sleep quality.  

    Prevent Sleep Apnea
    In addition to affecting a person’s ability to sleep at night, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications including stroke, heart attack, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Unfortuantley, many people who suffer from sleep apnea have lower energy levels, which make it more difficult for them to commit to an effective exercise program. As a result, physicians often begin treating sleep apnea through continuous positive airway pressure therapy and then gradually recommend exercise as sleep quality improves.

    Regulate Body Temperature
    Even though exercise can help speed up metabolism and boost energy levels, it can cause a poor night’s sleep if someone exercises right before bed. During exercise, body temperature rises, and it can take up to six hours to begin to drop. Having a cooler body temperature is associated with an easier time falling asleep, so people need to give their bodies time to cool off. It’s best to exercise at least three hours before bed, usually in the late afternoon.

    Achieve Sound Sleep
    Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, alleviate stress and muscle tension, and regulate mood. For these reasons, exercise helps people feel better when they finally lie in bed at the end of the day. In fact, exercising can help people sleep sounder by preventing interrupted sleep, which allows people to feel more energized and awake during the day.

    Call (240) 912-4683 to schedule a consultation with Sleep Services of Maryland. Our physicians are certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and are dedicated to helping our patients restore energy and vitality to their lives. We treat a range of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.

    Tips for Preventing Jet Lag

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Circadian rhythm is the 24-hour biological clock that triggers your body to feel alert or drowsy at certain times of the day. Usually, your circadian rhythm aligns with the sun’s natural light and dark cycles, with peak drowsiness occurring around five o’clock in the morning. If your circadian rhythm no longer aligns with the sun’s natural light cycle, you may experience jet lag or excessive sleepiness at unusual times of the day.

    Jet lag is most commonly associated with traveling across different time zones, as this kind of travel interrupts your natural circadian rhythm. One way to reduce jet lag is by avoiding light and exposing yourself to light at certain times of day. For example, you can train your circadian rhythm to align to a different time zone by exposing yourself to a commercially available light box or closing the curtains and keeping the room dark. In order for this to be effective, you need to research the time zone of the region where you are flying and slowly shift your rhythm to align with that time zone.

    Sleep Services of Maryland is dedicated to helping patients achieve quality sleep each night. Call (240) 912-4683 to learn more about our services.

     

    Exercise Techniques for Better Sleep

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Yoga is considered a mind-body exercise because it incorporates physical and mental disciplines to help your body relax. There are different types of yoga styles you can practice, but Hatha yoga is particularly good for stress management. Hatha incorporates different yoga postures with controlled breathing techniques, which can help you control your body and relax your mind.

    In this video, an experienced yoga instructor shares some Hatha breathing techniques for relaxation. As she explains, you can bring calm energy into your body and relieve stress by breathing through one nostril at a time. Once you lie down in bed, you can also position your hands and breathe in a certain routine that encourages your body to fall asleep.

    If you’re still having difficulty falling sleep at night, Sleep Services of Maryland can help. Call (240) 912-4683 to learn about our sleep disorder treatment.




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