If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or if your family or roommates have told you that you snore very loudly, a sleep medicine doctor is the right kind of medical practitioner who can help you get back to sleeping soundly every night. After all, the missed or interrupted sleep is likely causing you to experience a lack of energy, trouble concentrating, and excessive sleepiness during the day.
People who have chronic sleep issues are also more likely to develop chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes – so having a sleep disorder is not just a case of mere annoyance. A sleep medicine doctor will ideally have a background in otolaryngology (i.e., as an ear, nose, and throat doctor), and after residency received extra training in sleep medicine.
Let’s talk about what you can expect from a sleep medicine doctor, and where you can go here in the Georgetown area for medical treatment to help you finally get a good night’s sleep.
What Can a Sleep Medicine Doctor Treat?
Some of the most common conditions that sleep medicine doctors treat include the following:
- Insomnia – This is when a patient has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Circadian rhythm disorders – This comprises a group of disorders including delayed sleep phase disorder (falling asleep late and waking up late), advanced sleep phase disorder (falling asleep early and waking up too soon), and shift-work disorder (due to a frequently changing sleep schedule).
- Bruxism – This is when you grind your teeth at night while sleeping. It can cause pain, soreness, or tiredness in the jaw after you awake. It can also cause your teeth to wear down.
- Sleep apnea – This sleep disorder is characterized by loud snoring and pauses in breathing. The patient is usually not aware of this unless others let them know about it.
- Narcolepsy – This chronic sleep disorder is marked by excessive daytime sleepiness and the tendency to suddenly fall asleep during the day without warning. This can be dangerous, particularly when driving or operating other machinery.
- Night terrors – These occur as episodes of sudden waking from sleep, screaming and flailing, as a result of an intense feeling of terror.
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS) – This causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, especially when at rest.
How Is a Sleep Disorder Diagnosed?
A sleep medicine doctor uses one or more tools to determine a diagnosis. Commonly used is a polysomnogram, which is also called a sleep test or sleep study, and this can take place in either a sleep lab or at the patient’s home.
For the test, straightforward and noninvasive devices are used to record your brain activity, muscle movements, breathing, and snoring patterns while you sleep. The data is then collected and interpreted by your sleep medicine doctor, and you can then receive precise treatment that will work for you.
Sleep Medicine Doctor in Georgetown, TX
Here at Georgetown ENT, our Sleep Center is a fully accredited sleep lab led by board-certified sleep medicine doctor, Dr. Scott Franklin. He can also provide an in-home sleep testing kit for you to use for one night while you sleep, and you will then bring back the kit to Dr. Franklin’s office so he can interpret your results for treatment.
Dr. Franklin’s background is in otolaryngology, which makes him uniquely qualified to treat patients who have sleep disorders related to airway blockages – such as sleep apnea.