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At least 40 million Americans suffer from a kind of sleep disorder, which is roughly 13% of the population. Many people who suffer from a sleep disorder are unaware that they have an actual issue. They may just think they’re not getting enough sleep and that feeling is normal. That, however, is not the case. Do you know the effects of not getting enough sleep? Besides weight gain, depression, and lack of energy, operating on little sleep is much like being drunk. Your senses are dulled and your reaction time is slower. If you’re not sleeping properly, it’s important to understand what is causing your sleep problems and how to fix them. Here are 3 ways to determine what your sleep disorder is.

The easiest way to get a decent reading on what your problem may be is to take the Epworth Sleep Test. This is a common screening tool in the form of a questionnaire that evaluates how likely you are to have a sleep disorder. This isn’t a sure fire way to tell you if you have a sleep disorder and it doesn’t tell you what sleep disorder you may have. It simply tells you how likely you are to have one and when it’s a good idea to seek professional help.

A clear way to determine your sleep disorder is to have a sleep study, performed by a certified sleep specialist. A specialist will want to perform a sleep study if you’re experiencing snoring, pauses in breathing while sleeping, daytime tiredness, weight gain, mouth breathing, or have a history of high blood pressure. A sleep study can be performed at home or in a sleep center and will measure the number of apneas, oxygen levels, snoring, and other disturbances while you sleep. This data will be reviewed by your sleep specialist and will be used to determine your treatment plan.

The last way to determine your sleep disorder is to perform a sedated sleep endoscopy. This will help identify the cause of your problem by putting you in a drug-induced sleep and allowing your sleep specialist to observe and scope your upper airways. An endoscopic camera will be inserted through the nose to view the inside of your upper airway. What is found here could tell your doctor if you have any blockage in your airway preventing you from breathing properly. Though this sounds invasive, the procedure is painless and there is no recovery period.

If you think you may have a sleep disorder, you should seek the medical advice of a certified sleep specialist to determine the proper course of treatment. Dr. Pasha is a certified sleep specialist on the cutting edge of sleep apnea and other sleep disorder treatments. If you’re ready to treat your sleep issues, make an appointment today!