Sleep disorders are conditions that prevent a person from getting restful sleep and, as a result, can cause daytime sleepiness and dysfunction. Sleep disorders are common and at somepoint can lead to other serious health issues.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition in which the flow of air pauses or decreases while you are asleep because the airway has become blocked or narrowed. It is typically caused by having a narrow throat area that does not easily let air pass by when throat muscles relax during sleep. While OSA is one of the most common and easily treated sleep disorders, it will many times remain undiagnosed.
People with sleep apnea may:
The goal of treatment is to keep the airway open so that breathing does not stop. Some patients can relieve symptoms by making lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol or sedatives at bedtime, losing weight, or even avoiding sleeping on his or her back. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is typically the first treatment, and in severe cases, surgery may be needed.
Restless leg syndrome is characterized as an irritable feeling in the feet and legs around bedtime. Patients may also kick their legs as they sleep, which may disturb their sleep and that of the bed partner. While the cause is not known in most patients, it can be made worse by stress.
You will feel an irresistible urge to walk or move your legs, which almost always relieves the discomfort. Most patients have rhythmic leg movements during sleep hours, called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). All of these symptoms often disturb sleep. Symptoms can make it difficult to sit during air or car travel, or through classes or meetings. Symptoms may be worse during stress or emotional upset.
Narcolepsy is characterized as severe daytime sleepiness with “sleep attacks”. Some patients experience a sudden muscle weakness in response to an emotional stimulus. Narcolepsy symptoms usually first occur during ages 15 to 30.
Narcolepsy symptoms usually first occur during ages 15 to 30.
Symptoms may include:
While there is no known cure for narcolepsy, the goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms. Planning naps, eating light meals, and napping briefly after eating can help control symptoms. Prescription medications may also be needed to help you stay awake.
Insomnia is characterized as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Occasionally, the more a person with insomnia tries to sleep, the more frustrated and upset they get, and the harder sleep becomes. A lack of restful sleep can affect your ability to conduct daily activities because you are tired or have trouble concentrating.
We proudly conduct our Sleep Studies at the Northside Hospital Sleep Disorder Center which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and has four convenient locations in Atlanta, Cherokee, Forsyth, and Roswell. For more information please visit northside.com/sleep