Common Sleep Disorders
One out of three Americans has a sleep disorder that can make sleeping or waking hours miserable.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a disorder of breathing during sleep. Typically it is accompanied by loud snoring. Apnea during sleep consists of brief periods throughout the night in which breathing stops. People with sleep apnea frequently do not get enough oxygen during sleep, which causes sleep disruption. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can lead to other health problems.
- Loud snoring
- Waking up unrefreshed and tired
- Trouble staying awake during the day
- Waking up with headaches
- Waking up during the night sometimes with the sensation of choking and night sweats
Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder affecting part of the brain where regulation of sleep and wakefulness take place. Narcolepsy can be thought of as an intrusion of dreaming sleep (REM) into the waking state.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Sudden temporary decrease or loss of muscle tone, especially when emotional
- Some may experience vivid dream-like images when drifting off to sleep or waking up unable to move or talk for a brief period of time
Periodic Limb Movement
Periodic Limb Movement or Restless Leg Syndrome is characterized by an annoying feeling of leg restlessness, mostly in the evening hours prior to bedtime. It can be associated with iron deficiency, nerve damage or other medical conditions.
- Leg restlessness, which is worse while at rest during the evening hours. It is usually improved temporarily by leg movement and can cause significant sleep disruption.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. It may be caused by multiple factors. When the root cause is adequately addressed, insomnia can be successfully treated.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Daytime lack of energy, sleepiness and symptoms of depression
Parasomnias are undesirable physical activities that occur during sleep. These disorders have medically explainable causes and are usually treatable.
Types of parasomnia include:
- Sleepwalking (Somnambulism) is a series of complex behaviors that are initiated during slow wave sleep and result in walking while asleep. The onset typically occurs in children and can continue into adulthood. It is occasionally associated with injuries.
- Sleep Terrors are characterized by a sudden arousal from slow wave sleep with a piercing scream or cry, along with inconsolable intense fear and confusion. Symptoms include a sudden episode of intense terror during sleep. The episodes usually occur within the first third of the night, and the person will not recall having the event when fully awake. These events are mostly seen in children but can also happen in adults.
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder is characterized by violent dream enactment behavior, often causing injury to oneself or the bed partner. The behavior is due to increased muscle activity while asleep, and it is sometimes associated with an underlying neurological disease.
- Acting out violent dreams while asleep with punching, kicking and screaming