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Sleep Deprivation

Definition of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation results from either not enough hours of sleep (insufficient amount of sleep)  or sleep fragmentation from an underlying sleep disorder; that is, the number of hours you sleep is adequate (see  Average Sleep Needs by Age) but your sleep quality is impaired. Sleep Quality is determined by you reaching the deep stages of sleep which are REM (dream) Sleep and Slow Wave Sleep.   Sleep deprivation may cause changes in mood, behavior and thinking.  Sleep deprivation may impair daytime performance.  It also may result in daytime sleepiness, decreased reaction time and increase likelihood of accidents.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

There are many causes of sleep deprivation:  life style factors, medical conditions, sleep disorderes such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and others, travel to mention a few.   Dr. Gingras will review you history to establish the cause of your sleep deprivation.


Diagnosis of Sleep Deprivation

Dr. Gingras will take a thorough history to determine the root cause of you sleep deprivation.  She may order a sleep study (polysomnogram) if she is concerned about an intrinsic disorder in sleep.  A polysomnogram is used to evaluate how your body functions while you sleep.  This test measures your heart rate, oxygen level, breathing, brain waves, and body movements.  It is helpful for identifying a variety of sleep problems.


Treatment of Narcolepsy

The type of treatment for sleep deprivation depends on the cause.  Dr. Gingras will take a thorough medical history and may order sleep testing to determine the cause of Sleep Deprivation.


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