By Michelle Dufour,Reuters Health & Fitness EditorDecember 12, 2017″I do a lot of research about sleep and I find that most doctors are very interested in the things that we can do to help our bodies sleep better,” said Dr. Michael Faderman, who practices in Portland, Oregon.
“So it’s an opportunity to really explore what it means to have sleep.”
As a licensed medical doctor, Fademan is one of a growing number of physicians who are seeking to be more involved with sleep, as well as the sleep of people with various conditions and disorders.
In fact, his specialty is in the areas of sleep medicine and sleep hygiene, and he’s often asked by his patients whether they’ve ever had to do anything special to sleep well.
And while sleep doctors are now a relatively new specialty, they’re often seen as a second-class profession.
In fact, they tend to be underrepresented in the field of sleep research, even among doctors, according to Dr. Jennifer Tannenbaum, a sleep specialist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
She said she’s not surprised to hear that most sleep doctors don’t have extensive training in sleep research.
“It’s not uncommon for people to feel like they have this ‘I know nothing about sleep’ stigma that they’ve just never had to experience,” Tannengbaum said.
“And that can be a barrier to getting the information they need to be effective at treating sleep disorders and sleep related conditions.”
Tannengab said the lack of training in the area of sleep and sleep-related conditions is a major obstacle to understanding sleep and health issues, as it often makes it hard to identify where sleep problems are coming from.
“When you look at the list of sleep disorders, you don’t see people with sleep disorders that are related to sleep,” Tinnenbaum said, adding that sleep disorders are often not identified as sleep disorders until after the condition has progressed to the point where it becomes a significant problem.
While it’s difficult to diagnose a sleep disorder, many experts say it can be possible to treat it with medication.
Tannenab said a doctor can often recommend medication to help people get more restful sleep, such as medications like melatonin, which helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle.
However, the drugs are only effective if the person can manage their sleep without medication.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Tanninbaum and her colleagues at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that most people with serious sleep problems didn’t have enough sleep to function, and some patients who were treated with medications for insomnia could suffer complications.
“If you don´t get the medication you need to function at all, you will not be able to function,” Tanni said.
“You can’t go back to your normal life without medication,” she added.
In addition to being unable to do any work while on medication, patients can also experience physical symptoms that are not symptoms of a sleep problem.
“We are concerned that we are in the midst of a pandemic, that our public health system is unprepared to handle the challenges of the pandemic,” said Tannanab.
“If we don’t recognize and treat these symptoms, we will have a very high mortality rate.”
“When I go to a doctor for treatment, they will usually ask me, ‘What are you doing?’
They will be concerned about me and they will ask if I am taking my medication,” said another sleep specialist, Dr. Steven D. Davis, who also works at the VA.
“I will say no.
They are just interested in knowing if I have sleep issues.”
In addition, it can take a long time for doctors to recognize and address symptoms, and that can lead to unnecessary complications for patients.
“There is a huge gap in our knowledge of sleep,” Davis said.
Tanna said he often gets patients with chronic insomnia to go to sleep doctors because they want to avoid the side effects of medication, but often they just get frustrated because they don’t know what they’re doing.
“Sometimes they feel like there is a big gap, and I tell them, ‘I understand that,’ but they just don’t want to take time to figure it out,” Tanna said.
Another problem, according with a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, is that doctors tend to assume that patients are not suffering from sleep disorders.
“They don’t understand that there are people who are just tired from sleep,” said Fademerman.
That leads to an expectation that the condition can be addressed at home, he said.
But a study published last year in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that a lack of understanding about sleep can lead patients to treat symptoms without medication and worsen their condition.
In the study, doctors used a technique called functional MRI to measure patients’ brain activity as they fell asleep