Treating sleep disorders can be tricky, because so often the symptoms — fatigue, difficulty concentrating, struggling to fall asleep and so many more – are also symptoms of other disorders. It takes highly trained sleep specialists to pinpoint your specific problem and get you back to feeling your energetic best.
When you notice sleep-related symptoms, reach out to the experts at Central Maine Healthcare. Our board-certified pulmonologists use the latest tests and techniques to determine how to help you sleep well and improve your overall health and wellness. That includes access to our fully accredited sleep center in Lewiston, one of the most elegant sleep study sites in the country.
Comprehensive Care for Sleep Apnea
The treatment of choice for sleep apnea is using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or BiPAP Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which deliver pressurized air through a mask to keep your airways open. Central Maine offers the latest state-of-the-art options to maximize effectiveness and your comfort.
If that doesn’t resolve the problem after a 3-month trial period, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the tissue that’s restricting your airway when you sleep. Central Maine Healthcare surgeons specialize in newer, minimally invasive procedures that use radiofrequency energy to shrink the tissue — especially effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Lifestyle Support for a Better Night’s Sleep
Every day, you make choices that affect the way you’ll sleep that night. For most sleep disorders, those choices can make all the difference between feeling rested the next day, and feeling sluggish.
Your sleep medicine specialist at Central Maine can provide the education, support and resources you need for healthier living and better sleep. For most sleep conditions, habits like smoking — or drinking coffee or alcohol shortly before you go to bed — is likely to keep you up at night. Heavy meals can also interrupt your sleep; a big bowl of pasta might make you sleepy, but so many dense carbs make your body work harder to digest the food—and when your body is working hard, it may not want to relax into a deep sleep.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation can help relax your body and mind, and better prepare it for a night of rest. Other lifestyle strategies, such as a keeping to a regular sleep schedule, moderate exercise, hot showers at night and massage can support good sleep, too.
Medicine Can Help You Sleep
As part of your treatment plan, your doctor may recommend drug therapy to help you sleep.
Often, over-the-counter remedies will do the job. In other instances, prescription meds are the best treatment, including medications for narcolepsy that stimulate your central nervous system and prevent you from suddenly falling asleep during the day. If your narcolepsy is more serious, you could be prescribed an amphetamine-like medication; such drugs bring more side effects, but they also are more powerful weapons against your disorder.
If you’re diagnosed with restless leg syndrome, your first medication line of defense many be an anti-seizure drug to curb your involuntary leg movements. Less favorable—but prescribed if necessary—are drugs that can boost the effects of dopamine in your brain; these medications can trigger help the brain send messages to your legs to lie still.
As with all of Central Maine’s programs, individual counseling is a vital part of your treatment. We’ll make sure you understand why you haven’t been sleeping, and how we can work together to change that.