Common Sleep Disorders

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With OSA, your airway collapses and reopens many times each hour, slowing the flow of air to your lungs and causing you to stop breathing momentarily. OSA, which affects as many as 18 million Americans, is usually treatable with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) technology, which maintains a gentle flow of air. Snoring is virtually eliminated and you sleep more soundly.


Central sleep apnea is a disorder in which your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. This condition is different from obstructive sleep apnea, in which you can’t breathe normally because of upper airway obstruction. Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea can result from other conditions, such as heart failure and stroke. Another possible cause is sleeping at a high altitude. Treatments for central sleep apnea might involve treating existing conditions, using a device to assist breathing or using supplemental oxygen.


Insomnia is an inability to initiate or maintain sleep that affects approximately 60 million Americans. Insomnia increases with age and affects men and women. Chronic sleep loss can impair work performance and result in mood disorders. Insomnia results from various factors that when evaluated and properly managed can result in improved quality and quantity of sleep.


Narcolepsy is a life-long neurological condition that may affect as many as 200,000 Americans, causing excessive sleepiness during the day. Some patients may accidentally fall asleep frequently, even though they appear to function normally. We use a combination of Polysomnography (PSG) and a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) to diagnose narcolepsy. Treatment may include medications or behavioral changes such as regulating sleep times.


Patients with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) often have an uncontrolled and compelling need to move their legs while being still. This can be accompanied by a sensation of burning, itching or electric current. This is usually caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain or iron deficiency and can be successfully treated with behavioral changes and medications.


A parasomnia is a sleep disorder that involves unusual and undesirable behaviors that disrupt your sleep. A parasomnia can occur before or during sleep or during arousal from sleep. If you have a parasomnia, you might have abnormal movements, talk, express emotions or do unusual things. You are really asleep, although your bed partner might think you’re awake. Examples of parasomnias include sleep walking, sleep talking, sleep related eating disorder, sleep terrors, nightmares, confusional arousals and REM sleep behavior disorder. Particular parasomnias may have a preponderance in different age groups and sleep stages.


PLMD is repetitive jerking of the legs during sleep. It is also called periodic leg (or limb) movements during sleep. “Periodic” refers to the fact that the movements are repetitive and rhythmic, occurring about every 20-40 seconds. These movements can disrupt sleep and lead to daytime sleepiness. PLMD may occur with other sleep disorders, especially restless leg syndrome (RLS), but they are different. RLS involves strange sensations in the legs (and sometimes arms) while awake and an irresistible urge to move the limbs to relieve the sensations. At least 80% of people with restless legs syndrome have PLMD, but the reverse is not true.