Flourish Health & Wellbeing eMagazine - Jan21 - Flipbook - Page 39
Where and when should
you seek help?
How are sleep disorders
Talk to your local doctor if you have
persistent problems with your sleep such
that it affects your daytime wellbeing or
you are always feeling sleepy during the
day. Neither of these is a normal result
of ageing. Something can be done about
both of them. You should also seek help
if your partner notices something wrong
with your breathing during sleep. There
are effective treatments for snoring,
sleep apnea and insomnia.
Treatment for a sleep problem depends
on the cause, so the issue has to be
diagnosed before treatment commences.
Talking to a doctor about sleeping
problems is important. You might need a
referral to see a sleep specialist. There
are a variety of effective treatments for
snoring, sleep apnoea, restless legs,
insomnia and other common sleep
problems. If you have insomnia, your
doctor might recommend that you see a
psychologist who specialises in
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for
insomnia (CBT-i). Alternatively, your
doctor may prescribe melatonin (a
synthetic version of the hormone
naturally produced by your body and
sold as Circadin). Sleeping tablets, on
the other hand, are effective for just a
short time, and should not be used for
longer than four weeks. You may find it
difficult to stop taking them, and they
may also make you drowsy the following
day. Sleeping tablets also increase the
risk of falls in some older people.
Can anything else cause
Poor sleep may not simply be related to
getting older. Stress, depression,
anxiety, medications, pain and many
other factors may all contribute.
Remember that good sleep is vital for
good health, and any concerns you have
are best raised with your doctor.