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Help With Sleep Disorders

Curated and updated for the community by APA

Sleep disorders involve problems with the quality, timing and amount of sleep, which cause problems with functioning and distress during the daytime. There are a number of different types of sleep disorders, of which insomnia is the most common. Other sleep disorders are narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

See definition, symptoms, & treatment

  • Mar 23, 2017
Peer Support: Making a Difference for People with Mental Illness

Peer support refers to people with the same types of problems helping each other. The concept of peer support has been used for many years among people with addictions, for example in Alcoholic Anonymous where people with “lived experience” help others to recover. The use of peer support with people with mental illness is more recent, particularly peer support in a professional capacity as part of the mental health care team.

  • Mar 17, 2017
World Sleep Day: Tips for Helping Kids Get Better Sleep

March 17 is World Sleep Day, promoted by the World Sleep Society to call attention to the importance of sleep to health and mental health, and the many burdens of sleep problems. The 2017 theme is “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life.”

  • Feb 22, 2017
Self-Care in Stressful Times

Since rapid changes and uncertainty can be stressful for anyone regardless of political persuasion, it’s important to remain aware of our stress levels and proactively manage them.

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National Sleep Awareness Week
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I’m considering talking with my doctor about medication to help me sleep, but I’m concerned about becoming dependent on medication. Is it safe to take over-the-counter sleep medications?

Learn more about lifestyle choices that will promote and not harm sleep, (See Treatment and Self Help) rather than taking medication for sleep. Over-the-counter medications for sleep generally contain antihistamines. These may leave you feeling drowsy and may interfere with memory and attention. More

Is there a specialist that I should see about sleep problems?

Sleep disorder specialists should be consulted in cases of significant daytime sleepiness, persistent insomnia and disturbed behavior during sleep. Referral to a sleep disorder specialist is also appropriate for evaluation of breathing-related sleep disorders. More

I generally sleep eight to eight-and-a-half hours each night, but I’m still very sleepy during the day. How can I figure out what is going on?

Persistent daytime sleepiness can be debilitating or even dangerous. Daytime sleepiness can be caused by a number of issues, including self-medication with either stimulants or depressants; inadequate sleep at night; breathing-related sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy or cataplexy; or psychiatric illnesses like depression. Excessive daytime sleepiness should be evaluated by a sleep disorders specialist. More

A friend often has a glass or two of wine to help her get to sleep, is there any concern with doing that?

Wine and other alcoholic beverages may enable someone to fall asleep more quickly, but as the alcohol is metabolized, the sleeper may experience rebound insomnia during the middle of the night. Also, if the sleeper has sleep apnea or a tendency to sleep apnea, the use of alcohol and other depressants may worsen this condition. More

I have an infant and a toddler and my sleep is often interrupted. Is there anything I can do to get the best sleep possible, given the circumstances?

Pediatric sleep specialists have developed techniques that parents of infants and toddlers can use to promote better sleep and sleep habits in their children, thereby enabling tired parents themselves to have a better chance at restorative sleep. See infant sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. More

Charles Reynolds

About the Expert:

Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D.
UPMC Endowed Professor in Geriatric Psychiatry
Director of the Aging Institute of UPMC and University of Pittsburgh

Warren’s Story

35-yo-Male.jpg

Warren, a 30-year-old graduate student, saw a doctor to discuss his problems staying asleep. The trouble began four months prior when he started to wake up at 3 a.m. every morning, no matter when he went to bed, and he was unable to fall back to sleep. As a result he felt “out of it” during the day. This led him to feel more worried about how he was going to finish his thesis when he was unable to focus due to extreme fatigue. more

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Editor's Choice

FEB 18, 2017

Sleep disorders take serious toll on health

DailyNews

A sleep disorder is a condition that frequently impact your ability to get enough sleep. While it’s normal to occasionally experience difficulties in sleeping, it’s not normal to regularly have problems getting to sleep at night, to wake up feeling exhausted, or to feel sleepy during the day. Frequently having trouble sleeping can be a frustrating and debilitating experience.

FEB 3, 2017

More US labs research sleeping disorders

Washington Times

Over the past 15 years, sleep has become widely recognized as a critical aspect of good health, and new research has shed more light on its importance in cardiovascular, metabolic and immune health. The Tristate area now boasts at least eight sleep labs that monitor, diagnose and help treat a range of disorders, from apnea to restless leg syndrome to insomnia and narcolepsy.

JAN 27, 2017

Do You Have A Sleep Disorder? Answer These 5 Questions To Find Out

Women's Health

When the desperate need to catch some Z’s starts getting in the way of your daily life, a real problem may be lurking beneath the surface. According to Robert Oxman, director of the Sleep t Live Institute, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders and women are more susceptible.