The purpose of this tool is to help you decide whether or not to see a sleep specialist. When making a decision like this, you must balance:
This tool is not a substitute for professional medical care and advice. Ask your regular doctor to help you decide whether it is worth seeing a specialist. There is usually no exact “right” or “wrong” answer.
Your physician may make certain recommendations to you. However, the final decision about whether to see a specialist rests with you.
What does the specialist do?
People with sleep problems often see a sleep specialist for testing and treatment.
Sleep disorders involve any problems related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.
More than 100 different disorders of sleeping and waking have been identified. They can be grouped in four main categories:
Sleep disorder testing by a specialist may also be helpful in identifying which category a patient falls under as well as an appropriate treatment program.
You should probably see a specialist when:
If you are very sleepy, especially if you fall asleep while driving, you need to see a health care provider and arrange testing immediately. You should stop driving until you can get evaluated and treated.
How much time this decision tool will take
What this tool will provide
Review Date: 9/12/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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