What Are Common Sleep Disorders?

 

Sleep Disordered Breathing (sleep apnea) - All snoring is NOT sleep apnea, but if your snoring also includes gasping for air, pauses, snorts or excessive daytime sleepiness, you may have sleep apnea. When a person has sleep apnea, he or she stops breathing multiple (about 200-300) times during the night. The length of time the person stops breathing can be up to one minute each time. Sleep apnea that goes undiagnosed or untreated causes many nights of nonrestorative sleep or restless nights. This in turn can cause increased fatigue and sleepiness, drowsy driving, as well as increased risk of heart disease and other illnesses. Treatment options include CPAP therapy, surgical interventions, oral appliances, weight loss and lifestyle changes. To find out if you have sleep apnea, see a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) - a group of disorders characterized by cessation of breathing during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness and frequent nighttime awakenings. Treatment often includes the use of device to assist breathing known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) as well as some types of surgery depending on the severity of the sleep apnea. Other treatments may include oral appliances and weight loss. Undiagnosed and untreated OSA can lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. See a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.

Restless Leg Syndrome - a condition in which one experiences unpleasant sensation in the legs and feet, especially at night. Often, patients complain of crawling, tingling, aching, stabbing, heaviness, or pins and needles sensation in one or both legs and even arms, usually when lying down or sitting. People affected by RLS may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep which can lead to chronic sleep loss. This sleep loss can in time affect one's daily life. A St. Alexius Sleep Specialist can help diagnose RLS or talk with your physician.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder - this disorder is caused by the involuntary movement of the arms and legs during sleep or while going to sleep. PLMD seems to occur equally in men and women and occurs more as we age. The person suffering from PLMD may not notice the movement, but may feel the affects the next day due to excessive daytime sleepiness. See a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.

Narcolepsy - a disease characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and irresistible sleep attacks. These episode may last from seconds to minutes and occur two to six times a day. Sometimes there are bouts of sudden sleep attacks, insomnia, dream-like hallucinations and a condition called sleep paralysis. Symptoms generally develop when the person is an adolescent or young adult and can go unrecognized as the symptoms gradually develop over time. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from Narcolepsy, contact a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.

Insomnia - the inability to sleep at a time when the person expects sleep to occur. The difficulty may be in either falling asleep or remaining asleep, or both. The disorder may be primary or secondary to some other illness, condition, or circumstance. There are significant consequences for not getting a restful night sleep which may include daytime fatigue, depression, decreased ability for decision making and other health issues. See a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.

Parasomnias (sleepwalking; sleeptalking) - abnormal behavior or movement during sleep such as sleep walking, talking in one's sleep, nightmares, and bedwetting. See a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.

Pediatric Sleep Disorders - Children have different sleep patterns and also have different sleep needs. It is important to observe if a child is having problems breathing during sleep or if the breathing is noisy, if a child snores and if the snoring is loud, unusual nighttime awakenings, of if a child has difficulty falling asleep or difficulty maintaining sleep. Any of these problems along with daytime behavioral problems may also indicate a sleep disorder. See a St. Alexius Sleep Specialist or talk with your physician.