Sleep Disorders


SNORING:

Snoring is a noise produced during sleep resulting from vibrations and narrowing of the soft tissues at the back of your nose and throat. Snoring can be more than just a nuisance and can even be an indicator of a more serious health condition called sleep apnea.

UPPER AIRWAY RESISTANCE SYNDROME (UARS):

UARS is a sleep condition characterized by increased respiratory effort and airway resistance during sleep. This resistance causes sleep fragmentation and arousals. The primary symptoms include unrefreshing sleep, daytime sleepiness and excessive fatigue.

SLEEP APNEA:

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you temporarily stop breathing during sleep. Because the apnea prevents air from entering or exiting the lungs, the oxygen level in the blood decreases, causing the heart to work harder. Apneas can either be obstructive, central or complex in nature.

CENTRAL SLEEP APNEA:

CSA is a type of apnea that occurs when your brain doesn’t send the signal telling your lungs to breathe. Sometimes this condition occurs with heart problems or different types of brain damage (stroke).

COMPLEX SLEEP APNEA:

Complex sleep apnea is the emergence of central apnea upon the introduction of positive airway pressure (CPAP/BI-LEVEL) when treating obstructive sleep apnea. This type of apnea can be treated with a specialized device called VPAP ADAPT SV or BIPAP AUTO SV.

EXCESSIVE DAYTIME SLEEPINESS (EDS):

EDS is feeling drowsy, tired and abnormally sleepy at different times throughout the day. This sleepiness can interfere with ones ability to concentrate and perform daily tasks and routines. EDS can also be a safety issue, if one falls asleep in a situation where they need to be fully awake and alert, such as driving.

RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME (RLS):

RLS is a common condition where one will experience unpleasant feelings in their legs, that improve once they move or stand. Some might be described as a tingling, creeping, itching, pulling or aching feeling. Most of the time these symptoms will worsen during the evening and bedtime hours. These symptoms can prevent or interrupt sleep, causing sleep deprivation and day time sleepiness.

PERIODIC LIMB MOVEMENT DISORDER (PLMD):

The movements of RLS are a voluntary response to the uncomfortable feelings in the arms or legs when awake. The movements of PLMD occur most often during sleep and are involuntary. Many people are not aware of these limb movements and only learn they have them because of a complaint made by their bed partners. These limb movements can cause arousals or brief awakenings that contribute to a feeling of waking up unrefreshed or experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness. Periodic limb movements are more common in people who have kidney disease or narcolepsy, but is not limited to. Some antidepressants can increase the frequency of these limb movements. If a patient is experiencing negative symptoms as a result of these limb movements, various medications can be prescribed.

NARCOLEPSY:

Narcolepsy is a lifelong neurologic (brain related) condition. The most common symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcolepsy symptoms usually first appear when a patient is between 10-25 years old, but they can appear at any age. Those with narcolepsy usually have low levels of hypcretin (a chemical produced by the brain) which is responsible for the sleep wake cycle. Some other classic daytime symptoms are unexplained sleep attacks, cataplexy (loss of muscle tone with strong emotion), and performing automatic behaviors and routine tasks but not having any memory of doing so. Some of the nighttime symptoms that are regularly experienced are disrupted sleep, sleep paralysis, and vivid frightening dreams. If narcolepsy is suspected your physician might order a sleep study followed by MSLT.

INSOMNIA:

Insomnia is difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can cause one to feel fatigued during the day or having trouble focusing on tasks. Many factors can contribute to insomnia such as stress, poor sleep hygiene, stimulants, alcohol and shift work. Insomnia can also be a side effect of other underlying disorders such as depression or psychiatric problems, breathing disorders, leg kicks during sleep, or even gastroesophogeal reflux. Insomnia can be treated with various behavior modifications, relaxation techniques or even the use of short term sleeping medication. Any underlying sleep disorder should be ruled out as the possible cause of the insomnia.

SLEEP WALKING:

Sleep walking can occur at any age but is most common in children ages 4-6 years. Some common triggering factors include sleep deprivation, fatigue, concurrent illness and some sedative-hypnotic medications.

REM BEHAVIOR DISORDER:

This disorder occurs during REM sleep (dream sleep) and patients typically present with a history of vivid dreams and excessive movements in sleep. They actually act out their dreams while asleep, which sometimes can cause injury to the patient or bed partner.

SHIFT WORK DISORDER:

Shift work disorder is a sleep disorder that occurs when your work schedule requires you to be awake when your body wants to sleep. Then you have to try to sleep when your body expects to be awake. The body has an internal clock called our circadian rhythm and is set by exposure to light. When this rhythm is altered, one can experience many side effects such as unrefreshed sleep, insomnia, drowsy driving, excessive sleepiness, less alertness resulting in poor performance on the job and placing one at an increased risk for accidents.