Sleep Disorders and Treatment Options featuring Dr. Gerard Meskill: Ask the Expert Group Recap

lifestyle medicine Apr 24, 2024

This past week, Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine hosted a valuable group visit session led by Dr. Gerard Meskill, a renowned Sleep Neurologist at Tricoastal Narcolepsy and sleep Disorders Center. During the informative session, Dr. Meskill shared his expertise on various sleep disorders and their multifaceted treatment approaches.

Dr. Meskill began by emphasizing the significant impact sleep disorders can have on overall health and well-being. He explained that treating these conditions often requires a comprehensive approach involving lifestyle changes, medication, and in some cases, surgical interventions.

For those experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Meskill discussed the use of CPAP machines and oral appliances. While these treatments can be effective, he cautioned that they may not work for everyone, and adjustments might be necessary. For instance, if a patient finds themselves removing the CPAP mask during the night, it could be due to discomfort or improper fit. In such cases, trying a different mask or adjusting the pressure settings may help.

Regarding oral appliances, Dr. Meskill stressed the importance of working with a practitioner who understands the complexities of airway issues, as not all dentists have this expertise.

Moving on to restless leg syndrome, the expert highlighted the significance of addressing underlying issues such as low iron levels. Additionally, he mentioned that certain supplements like magnesium may provide relief for some individuals. However, he cautioned that what works for one person may not work for another, and finding the most effective treatment may involve trial and error.

For those dealing with insomnia, particularly in relation to PTSD, Dr. Meskill discussed the importance of cognitive behavioral therapy in retraining the subconscious to associate the bedroom and going to bed with a sense of safety rather than a fight or flight response. This can be a complex process and may require the assistance of a trained professional.

In terms of medications, Dr. Meskill touched on the use of Wakix for narcolepsy, highlighting that while it can be effective for some individuals, everyone's response to medication is different, and adjustments may be needed.

Throughout the session, Dr. Meskill emphasized the importance of monitoring symptoms, communicating with healthcare providers, and working together to find the most effective treatment plan for individual needs.

The group visit also included discussions on sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and sleep disorders in relation to overall body health, dysautonomia, and POTS. Dr. Meskill provided valuable insights, such as trying different types of pillows and sleep positions, ensuring proper humidifier settings for CPAP machines, considering magnesium and iron supplements for restless leg syndrome, exploring cognitive behavioral therapy and mind-body techniques for PTSD-related insomnia, and consulting with specialized airway dentists or orthodontists for oral appliances, especially for those with TMJ issues.

Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine would like to extend its gratitude to Dr. Gerard Meskill for his time and valuable insights during this informative group visit session. Stay tuned for the next group! 


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