MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Instead of taking over-the-counter sleeping pills, which some doctors say could make sleep problems worse, how about checking into a better sleep center--conveniently located in South Florida.
It has the feel, with fluffy sheets and a view of Miami's skyline, of a fancy hotel suite but in reality, it's a hospital room at the new UHealth sleep medicine program.
Galea Tevar, 21, arrived at the sleep center to get to the bottom of what is keeping her awake at night.
Tevar, who "really want(s) to sleep," is undergoing an overnight sleep study that involves attaching wires to her head.
Dr. Alexandre Abreu runs the sleep medicine program.
"We address all the reasons why you may have insomnia. We try to fix your sleep hygiene and create a schedule," said Dr. Abreu.
Over medicating, the doctor said, can actually make sleeping problems worse.
"If the over-the-counter doesn't work, we double the over-the-counter and all of a sudden, we go to our primary care physician and say I tried this, that and another medication," said the Doctor.
"The drugs are short term that can address the problem, the long term is finding the underlying reason and working with your doctor to try to solve the problem," he said.
Dr. Sharin Shafazand said a simple snoring problem could be a bigger problem.
"As the tip of the iceberg, it could be an indication of other things like sleep apnea which is defainetly a serious medical condition that needs treatment," said Dr. Shafazand.
Tevar is learning that getting your body on a consistent sleep schedule is key.
"We need to create a regularity where our body is used to a particular time, that's my time to go to bed, that's my time to relax."
Windsom Thompson, who says she tosses and turns for hours and often wakes up in the middle of the night, is another patient at the center.
Thompson says letting go of stress and getting on sleep schedule changed her life.
"I'm in bed by 11, turn off the light, and within 10 minutes maximum I'm asleep."
As for Tevar, she's trusting the treatment will work.
"My goal is to sleep, just going to bed and dream," she said. "I had this sleep problem from when I was a child so, something I thought I'd have to live with, I don't have to live with anymore and that's priceless."
For more information on the UHealth Sleep Center, click here.
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