Sleep Disorders & Solutions
What is a sleep disorder?
A sleep disorder, or somnipathy, is a change in a person’s sleeping patterns or habits. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental or emotional functioning.
Common symptoms of sleep disorders include:
- Having trouble staying awake during the day
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Loud and heavy snoring
- Waking up during the night with the sensation that you are choking or gasping for air
- Waking up un-refreshed after 7-8 hours of sleep
- Waking up with headaches
- Kicking your partner during the night
- General moodiness, depression or irritability
If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, talk to your family doctor and ask to be referred to the CNY Medical Professionals Sleep Lab. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively so you can be more alert and energetic throughout your day.
Sleep Apnea is very a common sleep disorder that affects approximately 20 million adults in the United States. It is a treatable disorder characterized by temporary interruptions of breathing, on and off all night; often accompanied by daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, irritability, and heavy snoring. There are three different types of apnea: obstructive, central, or mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common. People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep due to airway collapse. This airway collapse may be caused by factors such as a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. As a result air is prevented from getting into the lungs. Without proper diagnosis and treatment people with OSA can be at risk for-high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms or heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and increased likelihood of driving or work-related accidents.
Other types of sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia – not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep
- Irregular Sleeping Patterns – difficulty in finding an appropriate sleep/wake schedule
- Narcolepsy - a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary sleep attacks at inappropriate times, such as falling asleep at your desk or during a business meeting
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS) - a neurological movement disorder characterized by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that occurs most frequently late in the day or at night, especially when laying down
Sleep problems also include a variety of more common disorders such as recurring nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep-talking, bed-wetting, and teeth grinding.
An overnight diagnostic sleep study, known as a polysomnogram, is used to determine the type and severity of the sleep disorder as well as appropriate treatment. Depending on the disorder, possible treatments may include Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy (providing a gentle flow of air pressure though the nose by use of a mask during sleep), surgery, body position modification and oral appliances.