Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders come in a variety of forms, and an astounding 60 percent of those with sleep deprivation are likely to have a chronic sleep disorder. More than 18 million U.S. citizens have sleep apnea. At least that amount of people, don’t realize they have such interrupted sleep, and that number is growing along with public health figures due to the rise of obesity. Insomnia and narcolepsy affect the sleep of hundreds of thousands. The rise of technology and 24-hour-per-day interconnected society means people take their smart phones to bed, and the need for 7 to 8 hours of sleep is often a fantasy, which leads to weight gain, sickness, and a lack of alertness when operating a motor vehicle or performing your job – among other health risks. Excessive daytime sleepiness may be the result of the following disorders or other sleep disorder possibilities.

•    Narcolepsy, involving consistent episodes of drowsiness and sleep during typical waking hours, typically every 3-4 hours.
•    Sleep apnea, also called “obstructive sleep apnea,” and signified by snoring,  occurs when patients stop breathing or breathing become shallow for 10-20 seconds during the sleep state. A degree of breathing kicks back in with a cough, clearing of the throat, or a snort.
•    Hypersomnia, excessive napping during daytime hours, and these short bouts of sleep do nothing to make a person feel refreshed and rejuvenated. A subset of this condition is found exclusively in women during menstrual cycles.
•    Kleine-Levin Syndrome, also called “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome,”  is characterized by excessive sleep day and night, waking only to occasionally eat or go to the bathroom. Confusion and sensitivity to light and noise are some of the symptoms of this neurological disorder.
•    Circadian rhythm disturbances in which people normally are able to to awake and sleep long enough to hold down jobs and perform household and social duties. When a person’s circadian rhythms are interrupted, his biological clock is “off,” and it becomes more difficult to function in life.
•    Insomnia; most “insomniacs” have problems falling and staying asleep for any extended length of time.
•    Bruxism, described  as a patient grinding their teeth, often waking himself repeatedly and keeping other members of his household awake with the sound.
•    Sleepwalking and bed wetting, sleepwalking can be harmful and bed wetting an embarrassing problem especially for teens and adults.

These listed sleep disorders are only a partial list, and may or may not be the cause of your sleeplessness. Proper diagnostic testing, including a sleep test is the only way to diagnose your condition.   So, we invite you to know more  about selecting your sleep medicine doctor, diagnostic tests and about treatment options for some of the common sleep disorders.