When drinking warm milk or counting sheep no longer help you fall asleep, it may be time to turn to the University of Maryland Sleep Disorders Center, a comprehensive program designed for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

An estimated 40 million Americans are living a true nightmare, suffering from chronic disorders of sleep and wakefulness. Unfortunately, many of these conditions are never identified or treated

"Considering we spend nearly a 1/3 of our life asleep, it is very important to help those suffering from sleep disorders. At the University of Maryland, we have an innovative and full-service facility, providing diagnosis and treatment of more than 80 different types of sleep disorders," says Steven Scharf, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Medical Director of the UM Sleep Disorders Center.

"Our team of multidisciplinary specialists – including experts from sleep disorders medicine, pulmonology, neurology, otorhinolaryngology, cardiology, psychology, psychiatry, and dentistry–help diagnose a wide range of sleep disorders, from insomnia and sleep apnea to snoring, narcolepsy, night terrors and sleepwalking," 

A new patient will meet with a sleep specialist to determine the nature of the underlying disorder and what additional testing, such as a sleep study, is indicated. Then, depending on the results of the studies, other specialists are brought in as needed to develop a personalized treatment plan.

The University of Maryland's sleep laboratory located is designed to conduct overnight and daytime sleep studies.

Contrary to what you may think, sleep is an active, organized process. How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our control, including our internal biologic clock that regulates our biologic rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) over a 24-hour period.  Our physicians take into account all these factor when developing treatment options.

Dr. Scharf says, "Disordered or abnormal sleep is often the cause of major medical problems such as heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. It can also take a psychological toll, robbing the joy of life from many men and women."

Among the common sleep disorders treated at the center are sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, nocturnal behavioral problems and insomnia. Treatments are adjusted by the staff for individual patient needs and include the entire range of available therapies and behavioral treatments.

There are more than 80 different sleep-related disorders recognized by the medical profession. Could you be suffering from one of them?

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