Birmingham Maple Clinic Reveals that What You Don’t Know About Sleep May Surprise You

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Birmingham Maple Clinic recently reported that those who suffer from sleep disorders often don't fully understand the implications that missing out on sleep can have on one's health and overall well-being.

Most of my patients understand that not getting enough sleep makes them feel groggy or cranky, but they don’t understand the impact that a long term lack of sleep has on their health, safety, and personal relationships.

Sleep disorders are on the rise, according to the American Psychological Association , who recently reported that at least 40 million Americans currently suffer from a sleeping disorder. According to Rita Mueller, who specializes in research and practice in the area of sleep disorders at the Birmingham Maple Clinic, most patients don’t realize the impact that a sleep disorder can have on their overall well-being, “Most of my patients understand that not getting enough sleep makes them feel groggy or cranky, but they don’t understand the impact that a long term lack of sleep has on their health, safety and personal relationships.”

As reported by the APA, those who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia are at a much higher risk for car accidents and are more prone to workplace injury. These individuals can also have trouble learning or staying awake during the day. And for those who may have an underlying psychiatric problem that hasn’t been diagnosed, this can lead to even more problems, “Anyone who has had trouble sleeping for more than a week or two should consider speaking with a mental health professional to determine the cause.” Mueller noted. “While insomnia is a symptom of depression, we are also finding that insomnia can be a co morbid disorder. Once we determine the cause, we can start working on an effective treatment plan.”

For many individuals who have sleeping problems, the only solution they are aware of is the standard treatment that includes over-the-counter sleep aids or prescription sleeping pills. As reported by Mueller, “I’ve been surprised at how many of my clients think that sleeping pills are the only solution for insomnia. While these medications are included in the current standard of practice, we have seen that when it comes to long term results, the most effective way to treat insomnia is to maintain a treatment plan that includes the appropriate therapy (similar to the current treatment for Major Depression and other mental disorders). Most people don’t realize that most sleeping pills are addictive and are often masking an underlying problem. I work with patients to help them understand that with proper treatment, they can learn to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally – getting the proper rest and restoration they need without a prescription.”

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Lori Edelson