Sleep specialist - neurologist
Sleep specialist - neurologist
A sleep specialist-neurologist diagnoses and treats various sleep-related disorders and diseases in adults, as well as educates and provides advice on healthy sleep habits and their importance.
Sleep disorders not only affect the quality of sleep, but also largely determine what the next day will be like. Especially in the long run, the disorders have a negative effect on concentration, memory, mood, and can lead to the development of serious chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
Cases in which you should contact a sleep specialist:
- severe drowsiness during the day, difficulty staying awake, regular falling asleep during lectures or behind the wheel of the car;
- snoring at night, shortness of breath during sleep, especially if the person is overweight and/or has high blood pressure;
- difficulty falling asleep in the evening and waking up in the morning or, on the contrary, going to bed too early and waking up early;
- walking, sleeping or other strange, unusual activities, events that take place during sleep;
- excessive moving, turning in bed, even kicking and fighting, while asleep;
- feeling of restlessness, discomfort in the legs, which intensifies before falling asleep and this unpleasant feeling can be reduced by moving the legs;
- insomnia that manifests in the form of sleep and/or sleep disturbances. Except for in situations when a person has already been diagnosed with diseases such as depression, chronic anxiety and the person has been taking sleeping pills for a prolonged period of time. In such situations, a psychiatrist should be consulted.
Some tips on how to prepare for a consultation with a sleep specialist
- Unless the complaints are acute, keep a sleep diary. This will make it easier for your doctor to understand your sleeping habits and sleep duration, and to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment during repeated visits.
- Make a list of medications used, and think over your medical history.
- Take the results of previous examinations and the conclusions of other doctors along with you, even if they are not directly related to sleep.
Consultation process at the sleep specialist
During the first consultation, the patient’s complaints are investigated, and sometimes the specialist may ask you to fill in various self-assessment questionnaires. The purpose of the visit is to understand the patient’s problem and to determine the possible diagnosis, as well as, if necessary, perform specific sleep examinations, such as polygraphy or polysomnography.
By summarising the list of patient’s complaints, the completed diary, self-assessment questionnaire data and sleep examinations, it is possible to conclude what sleep disorders the person suffers from and how severe they are, thus applying the optimal treatment strategy.
In sleep medicine, a very important role is played not only by the medications, but also by patient encouragement, education, and various psychotherapy methods.