Job insecurity, unpaid bills, health worries. Sometimes life's stress can start to get to you. "When that happens, sleep is often the first thing out the window and the last thing on the priority list," says Jacques Conaway, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.
It's easy to get stuck in a vicious cycle. "When you're feeling stressed, you may have trouble falling asleep at night or wake up too early in the morning. Or you may wake up in the middle of the night and lie there worrying," Dr. Conaway says. The next day, lack of sleep can wreck your concentration and hurt your work performance. It also can leave you feeling cranky, anxious, or depressed, making the stress even worse.
Fortunately, you can break free of this cycle with healthy lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes may be all it takes to manage an occasional sleepless night. But for more disruptive or long-lasting sleep problems, medical assessment and treatment are necessary. Ask yourself:
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, talk with your primary care physician or a sleep specialist. If they suspect a sleep disorder, you may be referred for overnight testing at our Sleep Center, where the testing is done in a comfortable, hotel-like setting.
Sleep Center specialists can assess the reasons for insomnia and diagnose any sleep disorders, such as circadian rhythm sleep disorder (a mismatch between your body's internal clock and the actual time of day) and obstructive sleep apnea (repeated pauses in your breathing during sleep). Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, medications, or a machine that uses air pressure to keep your upper airway open during sleep.
"You don't have to suffer through sleepless nights," Dr. Conaway says. "With treatment, you can sleep better at night-and feel better the next day, too."
To schedule an appointment, please call 443-777-8382.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237