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Sleep Disorders

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What are common sleep disorders?

  • Snoring: a partial obstruction of the upper airway shown to increase the risk of having heart attacks and/or strokes.
  • Sleep Apnea: a life threatening disorder that causes you to stop breathing periodically while sleeping.
  • Insomnia: a persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Narcolepsy: a neurological illness characterized by sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks and persistent daytime sleepiness.
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus: a disorder characterized by excessive movement of the legs during sleep, which causes arousals, also known as Periodic Leg Movements.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux: a disorder caused when acid from the stomach “backs up” into the esophagus during the night, causing small awakenings.
  • Parasomnias: abnormal and recurrent nighttime behavior such as sleep walking, night terrors and head banging, teeth grinding, etc.

When to see a sleep specialist?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you feel excessively sleepy during the day?
  • Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
  • Do you awaken frequently during the night?
  • Do others say you snore loudly?
  • Do others say you stop breathing during your sleep?
  • Do you suddenly awaken gasping or choking?
  • Do you awaken with morning headaches?
  • Do you feel your body going limp when you are angry or surprised?
  • Do you experience vivid dreamlike scenes upon falling asleep or awakening?
  • Do you experience leg pain during the night?
  • Do others say you kick and thrash while asleep?
  • Do you wake up with heartburn or coughing?
  • Does your heart pound or beat irregularly during the night?
  • Do your family and friends say they've noticed a change in your personality?

If you have answered "yes" to two or more of these questions you should discuss your symptoms with your physician or sleep specialist. An evaluation at our Sleep Disorders Center might be appropriate for you.