In the first week of 2013, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released word of a new milestone, the accreditation of the 2,500th sleep center in the United States. This is the highest number ever recorded, twice that of the previous five years, and five times that of ten years ago. The new statistic calls attention to the sharp increase in Americans reporting and seeking medical attention for difficulties sleeping. The AASM believes this is because the general population has begun to realize how detrimental sleep problems are to one’s health.
When people visit sleep centers, they are monitored by board-certified physicians for common sleep related conditions including sleep apnea, which results in momentary stops in breathing during sleep, and insomnia, or failure to fall asleep. Other conditions found include sleep paralysis, the inability to move upon waking from sleep, REM sleep behavior disorder when your muscles enact your dreams, and sleep walking and talking. Additionally, people suffer from teeth grinding, or sliding teeth together while sleeping and exploding head syndrome which gives sufferer the illusion that their head is blowing up. Sleep centers have also treated problems that more commonly afflict children including bed wetting, and night terrors.