Quality sleep is necessary for good health. It restores our bodies and minds. So when a person has a sleep disorder, their mental and physical health can be affected.
What are Sleep Disorder Symptoms?
A person with a sleep disorder may experience all or some of the following:
- Loud, disruptive snoring
- Excessive tiredness
- Morning headaches
- Reduced attention and concentration
- Memory loss
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times
What kinds of Sleep Disorders are there?
The most common sleep disorders are:
A condition when breathing stops for short periods of time during sleep, causing those afflicted to awaken many times a night. Sleep apnea is the most common of all sleep disorders, affecting 8 million Americans.
What causes Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by relaxation of the upper airway muscles during sleep and subsequent blockage of the airway by the tonsils, uvula or fatty tissue.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a sleep associated disorder in which a person experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs and sometimes also the arms (while awake), described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling or painful. These sensations occur when the person with RLS lies down or sits for prolonged periods of time, such as at a desk, riding in a car, watching a show, or at bedtime.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
(PLMD or Nocturnal Myoclonus) is another disorder that affects the limbs as well as a person's ability to sleep at night and function normally during the day. PLMD is also characterized by involuntary jerking or bending leg/arm movements during sleep. Some people may experience hundreds of such movements per night, which can wake them, disturb their sleep, and awaken bed partners.
When a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, night after night.
What causes Insomnia?
Poor sleep habits; Psychological problems; Extended use of sleep medications or drugs; Excessive intake of alcohol; Disruptive sleeping and waking schedules; Sleep apnea; Nocturnal Myoclonus (leg jerks during sleep); Chronic pain; Gastroesophageal reflux; Nightmare/Night terrors; Sleepwalking; and Bed wetting.
Narcolepsy is a life-long neurological disorder. It is primarily characterized by sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks and persistent daytime sleepiness.
How are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?
Sophisticated new tests are now available to assist physicians in diagnosing a sleep disorder. Monitoring your sleep during an overnight sleep study in a sleep lab is the usual way to tell for sure if you have a sleep disorder. The activity of your heart and brain, eye movement of respiratory muscles, air flow from your nose and mouth, oxygen level in your blood, as well as snoring and body position are monitored and recorded.
If obstructive apneas are present and depending on the severity a device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), may be applied. During sleep, air flows from a small compressor into a mask placed over the nose. The air pressure keeps the airway open, preventing apneas and frequent awakenings. In addition, your physician may also suggest that you lose weight and avoid alcohol, especially close to bedtime.
Facts About Sleep Disorder Testing at Anderson Hospital
- Considered an eligible charge by most private insurers, as well as Medicare and Medicaid.
- Results are interpreted by a board-certified Sleep Medicine/Pulmonologist.
- Computerized monitoring system is state-of-the-art Sleep Disorder diagnostic equipment.
- The Sleep Lab is supervised by a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT).