Sleep disorders are considered as seriously as any other illness, and they may significantly interfere with many important aspects of our lives. In our increasingly busy and complex society, getting the sleep we need has become more difficult.
Sleep and mental health are strongly connected. Sleep disorders can be a symptom of mental illness, they can be caused by mental illness, or they can trigger mental illness. It’s also possible for a mental illness to be mistaken for a sleep disorder, or vice versa.
The Sleep Disorders Clinic at The Royal offers clinical expertise in sleep medicine to the general public (by referral), but it has staff with specialized knowledge of the relationship between sleep and mental illness. This includes expertise in the very specific sleep problems related to certain psychiatric illnesses, which is not routinely available in other sleep clinics.
The sleep clinic includes a state-of-the-art sleep lab where data about patients’ sleep is collected and analyzed.
A psychiatrist who specializes in sleep medicine interprets the results and can provide diagnosis and treatment options. Treatment may involve a number of measures, including medication, therapy to encourage appropriate behavioural changes, and habits to promote good sleep, depending on each client’s unique situation.
Sleep issues related to psychiatric illness may require different treatments than other sleep disorders (such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, etc.), but these problems often happen at the same time, and may even be related.
For example, unrecognized obstructive sleep apnea might contribute to the development or exacerbation of a mood disorder, or the nightmares/anxiety of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Your care may include a consultation with sleep specialist; possibly a polysomnogram, and further testing afterwards; a results appointment with a sleep specialist; then, possibly, additional tests or therapeutic suggestions.
To access our services, have your primary care physician (often a family doctor) use this sleep study or consultation form.
For more information, call +1 (613) 722-6521 ext. 6248.