One of the “four cornerstones” of wellness is “Restorative Sleep.” I preach it every day to my patients. You can not possibly achieve optimal wellness if you are chronically sleep deprived. Fatigue, fibromyalgia, brain fog, irritablity, anxiety, depression, ADD, and weight gain all may come from a lack of sleep. Insomnia is also associated with hypertension, and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Unfortunately, a good night’s sleep may be hard to come by. At McMinn Clinic we have many tools in our toolbox to help you get a good night’s sleep. When it comes to sleep, my motto is “whatever it takes.”
Unfortunately many “sleep centers” only focus on sleep apnea. Certainly, sleep apnea is a very important problem to recognize and to treat. However, getting restorative sleep usually goes well beyond apnea.
Every patient’s sleep evaluation is customized. Sometimes we start with sleep testing. In the comfort of your own home, we are able to test for all of the major parameters that you would test for at a sleep lab, often for a fraction of the price. When appropriate, we also test for night-time melatonin, cortisol, and neurotransmitter levels with saliva and urinary neurotransmitter tests. When appropriate, we test hormone levels. Women with low progesterone often have difficulty going to sleep, while women with low estrogen frequently wake up in the middle of the night, with or without hot flashes and night sweats. Men with low testosterone are often not able to reach a restorative level of sleep.
The therapeutic approach is customized and integrative. We can usually solve the problem by getting at the “root cause.” With proper sleep hygiene, hormone therapy (with bio-identical hormones), and natural neurotransmitter modulation the vast majority of patients are able to get a good night’s sleep. When we need to add sleep medications we do so. Once again, “whatever it takes.” We must not give up until the patient is consistently sleeping well.
You will never be well unless you are sleeping well.