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睡眠障害専門医の正しい探し方

医者

現代病とも言える睡眠障害を抱える人が増えています。一方、専門医や専門の外来に関する情報を正しく把握して、治療の成果をあげているという方はまだ少ないようです。しかし、正しい治療が行えずに、症状を改善できなかったり悪化させてしまうと、本人の生活に支障をきたすばかりでなく、自動車事故などの重大な結果を招きかねません。

睡眠障害の専門医や相談できる睡眠外来は徐々に増えています。本記事では、睡眠障害の専門医の正しい探し方を紹介しますので、ぜひ参考にしてください。

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睡眠障害とは

次のような症状が認められる場合、睡眠障害が疑われます。

  • 不眠症状が1ヶ月以上続いている
  • 睡眠中に呼吸が止まる
  • 手足がむずむずするなど、違和感があり寝付けない
  • 睡眠中、手足や頭が頻繁に動く
  • 睡眠中、大声を上げたり、歩き回ったりする
  • 睡眠中、手足が頻繁に攣ったり、パニック障害のような症状が出る
  • 夜間十分な睡眠時間を取っているのに、昼間、頻繁に睡魔に襲われる
  • 夜更かしが習慣化した結果、昼夜逆転の状況が改善できない

睡眠障害はなぜ起きるのか

寝る男

睡眠は、体内にある「睡眠恒常性維持機構」と「体内時計機構」が協調することによって開始や維持がコントロールされています。睡眠障害は、さまざまな理由でこの協調作用がうまく働かないために起こると考えられています。上記のような症状が、一過性ではなく長期間続いた場合、治療が必要となります。

睡眠障害への対処法

生活習慣の改善などを行なっても睡眠障害の症状が軽くならない場合、専門医による診断、治療を行なう必要があります。睡眠外来などで専門医にかかる前に、睡眠障害の原因を特定するために、下記の点についてまとめておくと、医師により正確な情報が伝わり、精度の高い治療が受けられる助けになります。

  • どの時間帯に症状が出るか(寝付けない/夜中に何度も起きる/早朝に目が覚めてしまう/熟睡できない)
  • いつごろから症状が出始めたか
  • 朝、太陽の光を浴びるか
  • 習慣的に運動しているか
  • 一定の時間に起床しているか
  • いびきをかくか
  • 就寝前にカフェインを含む飲み物を飲んだり、パソコン、スマートフォンなどの操作をしているか
  • 日中強いストレスを感じることが多いか
  • 睡眠中呼吸が止まっていると指摘されたことがあるか

以上について、まとめておきましょう。

専門医の探し方

1.日本睡眠学会の認定医を探す方法

日本睡眠学会は我が国の睡眠医療に関する総本山で、睡眠障害に関する一定の知識や技能を有する医師を認定医あるいは認定歯科医として認定しています。ホームページの左列メニューにある「睡眠医療認定医リスト」をクリックして、認定医、認定歯科医、認定医療機関の一覧表を参照してください。

表は、都道府県別に記載されていますので、お近くの医師を探しやすくなっています。一覧表の右に「機関A」「機関B」という記載がありますが、これは何を表しているかというと、「機関A」は睡眠障害全般を扱い、総合的に診療する専門医療機関である、「機関B」は睡眠時の呼吸障害のみを扱う機関となっていますので、診療を受ける際には注意が必要です。

睡眠時無呼吸症候群や歯ぎしりの治療のために口腔内装具(マウスピース)を作製してもらうには、認定歯科医を受診する必要がありますが、認定歯科医の数は残念ながらまだ少なく、全国で13都道府県に35名しかいません。

2.インターネットを利用して専門医を探す方法

睡眠障害の治療を行なう医師がすべて日本睡眠学会の認定医であるとは限りません。大学病院などの勤務経歴のない医師は学会の認定医を取りにくいのがその理由です。近くに認定医を見つけにくい場合は、インターネットの検索機能(ヤフーやグーグル)を利用して「睡眠障害 専門医」「不眠症外来」などのキーワードで検索してみましょう。

病院名に
「睡眠」や「スリープ」などの言葉が入っている場合、専門的に診療している機関です。「○○病院」や「○○クリニック」という一般的な名称の場合は、その医療機関に「睡眠科」や「不眠症外来」があるかをホームページなどで確かめましょう。

3.NTTのタウンページで探す方法

NTTのタウンページで専門医を探す場合、タウンページの項目には「睡眠科」あるいは「睡眠障害科」といった分類はありません。ですから、まず「病院・医院」の項目から「精神科」から探してみます。睡眠障害は精神科の医師が治療を行うケースが多いからです。「精神科」に抵抗がある場合は「心療内科」を探してもよいでしょう。

ひどいいびきや睡眠中に呼吸が止まるようなケースでは、「呼吸器内科」が良いでしょう。足がむずむずする場合、「精神科」あるいは「神経内科」に相談しましょう。

まとめ:睡眠障害が疑われる場合の専門医の探し方

本記事では、睡眠障害と思われる症状で悩まれている方へ、専門医、病院を探すための方法を紹介いたしました。おさらいをしますと

  1. 日本睡眠学会の認定医を探す
  2. インターネットを利用して専門医を探す
  3. NTTのタウンページで探す

以上となります。生活習慣を改めても睡眠障害が慢性化している方は、上記の方法で適切な専門医を探し、受診されることをお勧めします。

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