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About Sleep Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know If I Have A Sleep Disorder?

Ask yourself:

  • Does it take me more than 30 minutes to fall asleep at night?
  • Do I wake up frequently at night and have a difficult time going back to sleep?
  • Do I wake up in the morning feeling groggy, lethargic or with a headache?
  • Am I irritable or forgetful?
  • Do I have a difficult time concentrating?
  • Do I find myself "drifting off" during routine situations?
  • Do I fall asleep during the day?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may have a sleep disorder.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Sleep Disorder?

  • Talk to your physician. It’s a good idea to talk with your physician about any sleeping problem that recurs or persists for more than a week. Your physician can help you make a plan to control or prevent poor sleep.
  • Seek out a sleep disorders specialist. Most sleep disorders can be successfully treated or controlled once properly diagnosed. Ask your physician for a referral to a sleep disorders specialist.
  • Arrange to visit a sleep disorders center. During your first visit, you will be asked questions about your sleep and daytime habits, in order to compile a sleep history. (Family members can often provide additional information about your personal habits, like snoring or shortness of breath, that you may not be aware of.) Also, your physician should provide any relevant medical history in advance of your first visit to a sleep disorders center.
  • After the first visit, you may be asked to return for a night or two, so that your sleep patterns can be monitored. The sleep center staff will have you go about your normal routine to get ready for bed. Then, before you go to sleep, dime-sized sensors will be placed on your body. This painless, non-restrictive test, called a polysomnogram, records your brain waves, muscle activity, limb movements, heartbeat, breathing and other body functions during the night.
  • You may also be given another test, called the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, which shows how quickly you fall asleep-a good measure of daytime sleepiness.
  • Know your treatment options. When the study is complete, a sleep specialist will conduct a thorough evaluation and recommend treatment, either directly to you or your referring physician.

It’s a good idea to talk with your physician about any sleeping problem that recurs or persists for more than a week. Your physician can help you make a plan to control or prevent poor sleep.

What are the Most Common Sleep Disorders?

There are nearly 84 known sleep disorders. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Sleep Apnea: A disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.
  • Parasomnias: Problems that often intrude on our sleep and those around us in active, sometimes dramatic ways; these disorders include rapid eye movement behavior disorder (RBD), sleep talking, sleep terrors and sleepwalking.
  • Insomnia: The chronic inability to sleep.
  • Narcolepsy: A condition marked by sudden, uncontrollable and usually brief attacks of deep sleep.
  • Periodic Leg Movement: Periodic leg movements or PLMs are sudden, jerking spasms of the leg muscles that can affect a person’s ability to fall asleep and maintain quality sleep.

Want to learn more?

For more information about the Center for Sleep Disorders or to set up an appointment, please call (360) 414-7800 or (800) 438-7562.

The Center for Sleep Disorders is located on the first floor of St. John Medical Center at 1615 Delaware Street in Longview.

 
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