What is Sleep Medicine?

Feb 2, 2022 | Sleep Apnea

Getting a good night’s sleep can make or break your day when you wake up. If you’ve had a good night’s sleep then you’re feeling fresh to start your day. But the effects of sleep deprivation can cause you to wake up cranky, groggy, and feeling like you’re dragging all day long with excessive daytime sleepiness.

Just as there are many reasons why you may be sleep deprived, there are just as many ways to improve healthy sleep habits. Understanding what’s causing your poor sleep quality is just as important as improving it. Fixing your sleep issues isn’t always as easy as taking a sleeping pill or other sleep aids. Poor sleep quality could be a sign of a much more serious health problem.

That’s where sleep medicine comes in. It can determine if you have a sleep disorder or medical problem that is keeping you up all night. It’s estimated that 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. If you think you’re part of this group, you’re probably looking for help. That’s where seeking the help of a sleep medicine professional can change the way you sleep.

What is Sleep Medicine?

Sleep medicine takes a look at sleep disorders. When you see a doctor who is a sleep medicine specialist, they are trained to look for sleep disorders. An accredited sleep physician is familiar with a variety of sleep problems including:

  • Pediatric sleep problems
  • Circadian rhythm disorders
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • And a variety of other types of sleeping disorders and issues

Sleep medicine can help to treat several different types of issues. Let’s take a look at what a sleep medicine specialist can help treat.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea can be a serious condition. When someone has OSA, they may stop breathing frequently during the night. This can be due to a blocked airway, or the brain not sending the right signals to breathe. Throughout the night, people can stop breathing for as long as 40 seconds. During this time, your brain wakes up, causing you to move and resume breathing.

A common sign of OSA is snoring or a sound like someone is choking or gasping for air. Sleep apnea can cause the level of oxygen in the blood to drop. This leads to restlessness, waking up abruptly, and poor sleep.  Since OSA interrupts your sleep, you are left feeling groggy which can lead to poor productivity at work and can put you at a greater risk of getting into a car accident because you’re not as alert as you should be.

Many people don’t know they have this condition until someone observes them sleeping. They may feel fatigued, but not realize that they are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.

Besides getting a poor night’s sleep, obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.  Several treatments can help improve poor sleep quality associated with OSA. This includes a customized mouth guard that’s worn at night or the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

Many people with sleep apnea don’t like using continuous positive airway pressure machines and prefer an oral appliance to help them with their obstructive sleep apnea. At Sleep Better Columbus, we can help you find the one that is most comfortable and suits your needs. These oral appliances work to move the lower jaw forward to open the airway and unblock your windpipe. This can improve breathing at night and help people sleep better.

FDA-registered oral appliances can be used to treat sleep apnea when they are given by a qualified dentist trained in dental sleep medicine.

For some people, losing weight can also help to treat sleep apnea. Some people who are obese and suffer from OSA are advised to lose weight to also help with their apnea issues. But losing weight isn’t always enough. This is why it’s a good idea to request an appointment with someone experienced with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as well as special training for diagnosing and treating OSA.

If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s best to get the treatment you need to get a better night’s sleep and improve your overall health.

Primary Insomnia

Besides sleep apnea, sleep medicine also addresses the issue of primary insomnia. You may be suffering from primary insomnia if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking up frequently during the night. If this happens for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from primary chronic insomnia.

Primary insomnia may be caused by anxiety, depression, too much caffeine, or certain medications. When you don’t sleep properly, your body is not getting the time it needs to repair and restore it. This leads to many problems including tiredness during the day and poor decision-making.

When your insomnia lasts for three months or more, it is considered chronic and can lead to even more problems. Seeking the help of a sleep medicine specialist can help to alleviate the problems that are leading to your insomnia.


When you’re asking what is sleep medicine, narcolepsy also needs to be addressed. Narcolepsy not only disrupts people’s sleep during the night but also makes them sleepy during the day. They feel overwhelmingly tired and have trouble fighting off the urge to sleep. Sometimes people even fall asleep while they’re trying to have a conversation.

This is especially dangerous because it can happen when people are driving and even eating. The dangers of this are obvious because people can get into an accident and even choke when they’re eating.

A sleep specialist can help people with narcolepsy so that they can feel more awake and not be at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.

Call us for Sleep Medicine Help

At Sleep Better Columbus, we want to help you sleep better. We can answer your questions when it comes to what is sleep medicine and provides you with the help you need to get a better night’s sleep. We are dedicated to staying on top of sleep research to be able to provide our patients with a diagnosis based on their unique symptoms. We’ll then provide a treatment program to help you improve your sleep hygiene to help put an end to your sleep disturbances and sleep problems. Dr. Mark Levy, a sleep specialist, and his team are trained in providing help to those suffering from sleep apnea.

They can help people with sleep apnea, snoring, and many of the conditions that can go along with them, like teeth grinding and fatigue. When you have your sleep issues addressed, you’ll regain your health, vitality, energy, and improve your overall quality of life. Dr. Levy and his team also help patients with sleep education and to understand the effects of sleep disorders. Healthy sleep behaviors and habits are vital to living a healthy, happy life.

The team at Sleep Better Columbus can help with diagnosis and testing. Request an appointment today at 614-362-7292 to find out more about sleep research and sleep hygiene and how sleep specialists can help you.

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