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Sleep deprivation treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can a doctor treat sleep deprivation on Maple?

Yes, a doctor from Maple will be able to offer sleep deprivation treatment options, but only after you’ve received a sleep deprivation diagnosis.

The doctor will most likely request additional testing and to meet with a sleep specialist before offering a sleep deprivation diagnosis or any kinds of prescription sleep deprivation medications.

In addition to help from a general practitioner, if you live in Ontario, you can get a specialty consultation with one of our registered sleep technologists in 24 hours or less.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe sleep deprivation medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs if you aren’t getting enough sleep.

While each person may require different amounts of sleep, in order to function normally, the CDC recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

It’s currently believed that roughly 1 in 3 adults aren’t getting enough sleep.

What are the symptoms of sleep deprivation?

The most common symptoms and signs of sleep deprivation include:

  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Mood swings or changes
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Reduced sexual drive
  • Lowered reaction times

Sleep deprivation symptoms can also impact certain parts of the body. Eventually, sleep deprivation can cause other negative conditions to occur. Some areas of the body that can be affected include:

  • Reasoning in the brain
  • Emotion control
  • Hormone levels
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Immune system
  • Weight control (loss or gain)
  • Reproductive system
What causes sleep deprivation?

There are a number of sleep deprivation causes, which could result in less sleep or the inability to sleep during normal resting hours. Some of these include:

  • Using electronic devices close to bedtime
  • Stress from work (meeting deadlines, learning new tasks, starting a new position, etc.)
  • Shift work (or rotating schedules, which prevent regular sleep schedules)
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Mental health issues (such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or schizophrenia)
  • Caring for another person during the night (commonly affecting new parents and those caring for sick patients or the elderly)
  • Substance misuse or abuse
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Bruxism (grinding teeth while asleep)
  • Narcolepsy
How is sleep deprivation diagnosed?

Before offering a sleep deprivation diagnosis, the doctor will likely want to discuss your medical history, perform a physical exam, and talk about your current sleeping habits.

To help determine the specific causes of your sleep deprivation, the doctor may have you visit a sleep specialist, as well as request a sleep study or a polysomnogram.

Once they’ve determined the root of your sleep deprivation causes, the doctor will be able to offer sleep deprivation treatment options.

How is sleep deprivation treated?

There are a number of different sleep deprivation treatments that the doctor could suggest for you, depending on what they believe the sleep deprivation causes could be.

If the doctor believes your signs of sleep deprivation could be caused by an underlying condition, they’ll try to determine what condition is causing your sleep deprivation so they can treat it at its source.

The doctor may want to try some natural strategies to help you sleep before suggesting prescription sleep deprivation medications. Some of these strategies include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, etc.)
  • Limited caffeine or alcohol consumption, especially close to bedtime
  • Staying off electronic devices for 30 minutes before bed, and not keeping them near the bedside
  • Avoiding tobacco use
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Avoiding food for 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and routine
  • Using a mouth guard (to avoid bruxism)
  • Keeping the bedroom, dark, cool and quiet
  • White noise machines
  • Anti-snore devices (such as nasal strips, or an anti-snore chin strap)
  • Wedge pillows

There are a number of over-the-counter sleep deprivation medications that the doctor will most likely suggest if these techniques aren’t helping, such as:

  • Dyphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Doxylamine (Unisom)
  • Melatonin

If none of these alternative options are helping, the doctor could also suggest prescription sleep deprivation medications, such as:

  • Butabarbital (Butisol)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Zolpidem (Ambien)
When to see a doctor for sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation can be crippling to your day-to-day life. If you believe that sleep deprivation is beginning to negatively affect your daily activities, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about it and discuss some possible sleep deprivation treatments.

This is especially important if you have chronic sleep deprivation issues. Long-term, untreated sleep deprivation can increase the risks of experiencing:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attacks
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Psychosis
  • Depression or anxiety

These other conditions can be dangerous, and in rare cases life-threatening. If you believe you’re experiencing chronic symptoms of sleep deprivation, talk to your doctor right away.

What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary. This includes sleep therapy. This includes sleep therapy. If you live in Ontario, you can get a consultation with one of our registered sleep technologists in 24 hours or less.

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