Better sleep means better health
Not getting a good night’s sleep? Talk to an Optum sleep center specialist. We believe that better sleep lets you live life to its fullest. Our teams are caring and qualified. They’ll figure out what’s causing your sleep problems. And they’ll create a personalized care plan to help you sleep better.
How are sleep disorders discovered?
A sleep doctor can learn the cause of sleep disorders. Are you or someone you know not sleeping well? If so, it’s important to get care from a sleep medicine specialist.
In-lab sleep test
Your doctor may order a polysomnography (PSG) test. It gathers data on your brain, heart rate, breathing and body movements. This test is safe and completely painless. You’ll spend the night in one of our deluxe and comfortable rooms.
Home sleep test
Some people may take a home sleep test. This is a simpler version of the in-lab test that you’ll do at home. In some cases, you may still need to come in to test.
Common sleep disorders
There are many reasons why you may not sleep well. Below are some of the common ones.
Insomnia is when it’s hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. It is the most common sleep complaint. Some people also wake up too early and can’t fall back asleep. Some reasons for insomnia are stress, medical conditions and lifestyle habits.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep problems. It’s a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start repeatedly while you sleep. It usually includes loud snoring and trouble breathing. You may also have:
- Headaches and sleepiness during the day
- Trouble focusing
- Mood changes
- Low energy
- High blood pressure
- Problems staying awake at work or while driving
Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
RLS is characterized by having uncomfortable feelings in the legs, such as itching, prickling, pulling or crawling. These sensations create an overwhelming urge to move the legs which often causes difficulty initiating sleep.
Narcolepsy can cause you to have:
- Sudden urges to fall asleep during the day
- Sleep-related hallucinations (see things that aren’t there)
- Sleep paralysis (can’t move during sleep)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
Some people also have cataplexy. This is when your muscles suddenly go limp or weak without warning. This may be triggered by strong emotions.
It’s important to take care of sleep disorders. If you don’t, it may increase your risk for:
- Problems with the heart or blood vessels
- Depression, anxiety and other mental illness
Healthy sleep habits
- Try to get up at the same time every day.
- Use your bed only for sleeping.
- Turn off electronic devices such as TVs, phones and computers at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Get up when you can’t sleep. Do a quiet activity with little light exposure. Do not get
- Do not eat a large meal or drink lots of fluids before bedtime.
- If you’re sensitive to caffeine, avoid caffeinated products in the afternoon or evening.
- Go to bed when you are sleepy. Spend only the amount of time in bed that you need to sleep.
- Make your bedroom relaxing with comfortable, cool temperature.
Activities to help you sleep better at night
Did you know that your activities during the day can affect how well you will sleep at night? It is critical to get a certain amount of quality sleep every night (amount varies based on age) to maintain good health.
How we care for sleep disorders
There are many ways to care for sleep disorders.*
For insomnia (not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep): your health care provider may use a combination of medications along with behavioral techniques to promote regular sleep.
For sleep apnea (your breathing stops and starts repeatedly while you sleep): most people will need to use a CPAP machine to help them breathe. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It uses gentle air pressure to keep your airways open.
Other sleep disorder care plans include:
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Bright light therapy
- Positional therapy
- Weight loss
- Mouth appliances
*Care plans and services vary by region or center.