Sleep CenterSleep Center

Common Sleep Disorders

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the throat collapsing frequently during sleep which prevents air from getting into the lungs. A person with this condition snores very loudly and often chokes or gasps for breath throughout the night. This repeated disruption in sleep causes overtiredness during the day, an increase in the risk of hypertension, stroke and diabetes, as well as automobile and workplace accidents.

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Loud snoring and awakenings with gasping or snorting
  • Bed partners may see the person stop breathing
  • Morning headaches and dry throat
  • Irritability, difficulty with concentrating and memory, and decreased sexual function
  • Depression

Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep. It may be caused by anything from caffeine or alcohol consumption to stress and emotional difficulties. Insomnia can lead to irritability, drowsiness and depression.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up earlier than needed
  • Increased daytime fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is often caused by specific types of iron deficiency, medications or a possible genetic link that causes you to have irresistible urges to move your legs at bedtime. It is often described as creepy crawly or tingling sensations.

Symptoms include:

  • Feelings of restlessness and an urge to move legs while sitting or lying quietly
  • Discomfort that is alleviated by movement
  • Discomfort occurring more often in the evening when sitting or lying down
  • Involuntary leg twitches during sleep

Parasomnias

Parasomnias are behaviors that occur while you are sleeping. These range from night terrors in children to aggressive behavior in adults. Some parasomnias are provoked by other activities while sleeping and these can range from the brain waking up frequently to unknown night time seizures.

Symptoms include:

  • Acting out dreams (REM behavior disorder)
  • Sleep walking and/or talking
  • Sleep terrors
  • Confused arousals
  • Sleep-eating disorder

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy causes constant sleepiness and a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times. Patients may suffer from sleep attacks and a feeling of tiredness that cannot be relieved by sleep.  Since 2000, there have been many medical breakthroughs to treat narcolepsy. While there is no cure for narcolepsy, physicians can provide treatment to help patients actively participate in everyday life. Narcolepsy usually first presents in the teenage years, but can occur at any age.

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness with sleep “attacks”
  • Sudden loss of muscle control usually while laughing or following intense emotions
  • Vivid hallucinations at the onset of sleep
  • Feeling paralyzed as one awakens

Pulmonary Disorders

Pulmonary disorders are common and can increase in severity during sleep. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presents many difficulties while sleeping such as obstructive sleep apnea, under breathing and low oxygen levels.  COPD and many other pulmonary issues are often evaluated and treated in a sleep center.


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