Are you getting enough sleep?

If you have insomnia, sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, you know that not getting enough sleep can hurt your quality of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Institute of Medicine and other sources, sleeping problems have been linked to:

  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity
  • Cancer
  • Increased mortality
  • Reduced productivity
  • Mistakes at work

Get better sleep within just a few weeks

Some people think that not getting enough sleep is proof that you’re working hard. But a lack of sleep can have serious consequences on your job – and your life. And if you think sleeping pills are a good option, think again. Many people become dependent on pills and eventually build up a tolerance – which means they increase the dosage and put their organs (and lives) at risk.

The good news is, many sleep disorders can be easily managed once they are properly diagnosed. Here are a few of the most common sleeping disorders – all of which we can identify through our sleep tests. Within just a few weeks, we can help you sleep better and have a better quality of life.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is sleep disorder characterized by repeated stops in breathing for over ten seconds at a time. There are two main types:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which happens when the anatomy of the nose, mouth, or throat cause a blockage of air flow into the lungs
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), which occurs when a person’s drive to breathe has been decreased, causing repeated cessation of breathing

If you have sleep apnea, you may briefly awaken hundreds of times each night and feel tired in the morning, even though you may not recall any problems during the night.

Sleep deprivation can also produce inflammation, and can affect your immune system, blood pressure, risk of having a stroke or heart attack, and more.

The most accurate way to diagnose sleep apnea is through an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram (PSG). Once diagnosed, the most effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is often the nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, in which a continuous stream of pressurized room air is sent through a small mask over the nose or mouth.

Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS) and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Periodic movements of the arms and legs may cause brief awakenings during sleep, leaving a person feeling fatigued in the morning, even though they do not recall any problems during the night. It is much more common as you get older (one-third of people over 60 have it), and it is very common in people with neurological diseases.

PLMS and RLS can only be clearly diagnosed and differentiated from other sleep disorders by a sleep study (polysomnogram, or PSG). Treatment of PLMS may include eliminating anything that might be aggravating the symptoms, providing treatment for medical conditions that might be causing or worsening the symptoms, or medication.

Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes you to be sleepy during the daytime. When you have narcolepsy, it’s hard to stay awake, and you may also proceed too quickly into dream (REM) sleep. Other symptoms include:

  • Brief episodes of muscle weakness (“cataplexy”)
  • Awakening with a brief feeling of the inability to move (“sleep paralysis”)
  • Hallucinatory symptoms (sound, sight, or skin sensations) that occur during drowsiness

Diagnosing narcolepsy can only be made by a combination of sleep studies, including a nocturnal polysomnogram (PSG) to rule out other sleep disorders, and a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) that involves multiple naps the next day. Treatment may include a combination of change in daytime habits and the use of daytime stimulant medication.

To learn more about any of these sleep disorders – or to schedule your sleep test – please contact us today.