Sleep is an essential part of health, affecting our mood, cardiovascular and metabolic health and impacting cognitive functioning.
Without good sleep, our attention span decreases, we are more prone to accidents, and fatigue robs of our quality of life. Poor sleep increases our risk of heart attack, memory problems, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke. Long-term poor sleep has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease because it is believed the brain cleans itself of metabolic wastes called beta amyloids when we are in our deepest sleep. Good sleep is essential to learning and even sexual functioning.
Sleep therapists treat sleep disorders usually without the aid of medications. There are effective treatments for insomnia, delayed and advanced sleep phase disorder, inadequate sleep syndrome, irregular sleep-wake patterns, shift work disorder, nightmares, and pediatric sleep problems. Sleep specialists also assist those struggling to use their CPAP or BIPAP machines to treat sleep apnea.