What is a Sleep doctor?

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Sleep medicine is a combination of mental and physical symptoms that influence how well we sleep.  

Sleep physicians specialise in diagnosing and treating a number of sleep-related conditions, including excessive snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia (inability to sleep or sleep well), and narcolepsy (chronic, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness).

Sleep specialists are medical doctors with specialist training in sleep apnea, but there is far more to sleep than just breathing. 

When selecting a specialist, search for doctors who take a holistic approach to wellness

People can get very focused on the sleep itself, but the answer to sleep conditions may be elsewhere. Talking about your nutrition, exercise and anxiety are just as important to guide the treatment for your sleep condition. 

How can you treat sleep disorders?

Treatment with a Sleep specialist generally starts with a detailed consultation about your sleep problems as well as your general health.

There are many treatment options for sleep disorders, including air pressure machines (CPAP), dental treatments, surgery for sleep apnea or psychological treatment. 

Your doctor may then refer you to any tests that may be required to establish what the problem is, as well as outline a management plan.

Health a Porter tip: 

Consultations with a sleep specialist are only covered by Medicare with a referral letter from your GP, so make sure to see them first!

Talk to your GP about your sleep issues. Your health care practitioner may refer you to a specialist for medical issues or, to a psychologist for mental health issues that may be affecting your sleep.