Common
Sleep Disorders

Advantage Sleep Centers helps ensure all your nights are good nights.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder. It occurs when the muscles of the throat relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway to the lungs. This leads to partial reductions and complete pauses in breathing.
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Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to obtain an adequate amount of sleep due to the inability to fall asleep, the inability to remain asleep, or both. For millions of people, insomnia is a symptom caused by a number of medical conditions, diseases or circumstances either environmental or behavioral.
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Restless Legs Syndrome/ PLMD

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a limb movement disorder. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is the nighttime sleep disorder equivalent that we test for. People feel an uncomfortable sensation often described as burning, tingling, prickling, or crawling feeling deep in the legs when lying or sitting still.
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More about common sleep disorders

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder. It occurs when the muscles of the throat relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway to the lungs. This leads to partial reductions and complete pauses in breathing. Most pauses last between 10 and 30 seconds, but some may last for one minute or longer.  When breathing is stopped the oxygen in the blood will drop.  The brain responds by alerting the body causing an abrupt arousal to breath.  The gasping, chocking or snorting sounds one may experience and/or hear is the effects of this arousal/apnea. This process may happen several times an hour, throughout the night, causing continued interruptions in sleep.  These interruptions in sleep cause daytime sleepiness.  Sleep Apnea has been linked to a number of medical conditions such as high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Insomnia is the inability to obtain an adequate amount of sleep due to the inability to fall asleep, the inability to remain asleep, or both.

For millions of people insomnia is a symptom caused by a number of medical conditions, diseases or circumstances either environmental or behavioral. Insomnia can be temporary lasting a couple of days. Temporary insomnia can be a result of uncommon noises, jet lag, changes in work schedules, normal routine, acute emotional or physical trauma. However, long term insomnia, also known as Chronic or Primary Insomnia, lasts one month or more and can cause emotional distress, daytime fatigue, illness, and loss of productivity.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a daytime movement disorder, however it shares symptoms with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), which is the sleep disorder often misdiagnosed as RLS. In both disorders, people feel an uncomfortable sensation often described as burning, tingling, prickling or crawling deep in the legs when lying or sitting still. Sometimes PLMD becomes painful and almost always involves an irresistible urge to move the legs.  Relief will come with movement of the legs or walking, in turn causing restlessness and inadequate sleep.

This disorder can occur in both children and adults. In children, it often is misdiagnosed as “growing pains.” It can be especially difficult for young children to describe the unpleasant sensations involved with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder or Restless Legs Syndrome. 

Symptoms may vary widely from one day to the next, and they are provoked by long periods of inactivity. Early-onset starts before the age of 45 years, producing symptoms that progress gradually.

For more on PLMD and RLS click the link below.
PLMD Information

A neurological sleep disorder, Narcolepsy causes excessive sleepiness. This excessive sleepiness can become disabling.  At times patients experience dreaming while still in an awake state. Narcoleptics can suddenly fall asleep in unusual situations, such as while eating, walking and driving. These episodes are known as “sleep attacks”.

Typically narcolepsy begins appearing in teens and young adults and then persists for a lifetime. Hypersomnias, are a group of sleep disorders for which daytime sleepiness is a primary symptom. Sleepiness in narcolepsy is not the result of inadequate sleep; people with narcolepsy still experience daytime sleepiness even when they sleep well at night.  Research shows that the cause of most cases of narcolepsy is the brain’s loss of neurons containing hypocretin, a protein that helps your brain stay alert.

The medical professionals of the Mayo Clinic define night/sleep terrors as episodes of fear, flailing and screaming while asleep. The terrors are often paired with sleep walking.

Night terrors may also cause a person to sit up in bed, be heard to awaken, be inconsolable get out of bed, stare wide-eyed, have heavy breathing, and a racing pulse.

Although night terror episodes are most common among children between the ages of 4 and 12 years of age, affecting only a small percentage of children, they can be experienced by adults.

While disruptive to sleep, occasional night terrors are not usually cause for concern. Medical experts suggest seeing your doctor if you begin to experience the night terrors on a more frequent basis, cause continued disruption to your sleep and the sleep of family members, or to dangerous behavior or injury.

For additional information on these and other sleep disorders including complete medical definitions, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) http://www.aasmnet.org/

The Effect of Sleep Disorders

There are over 100 different sleep disorders. The four most common are Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome, Insomnia and Narcolepsy. Your sleep may be disrupted hundreds of times a night, and you may never know it.

If left undiagnosed, Sleep Disorders may lead to:

• Stroke
• Heart Attack
• Diabetes
• Hypertension
• Weight Gain
• Depression
• Chronic Fatigue
• Sexual Impotency

Sleep aids may bring temporary assistance, but they don’t solve the problem. Only a medical evaluation along with a high quality sleep study can truly get to the root of your sleep disorder. The exceptionally trained and caring staff at ADVANTAGE Sleep Centers will coordinate your diagnostic services, perform your study, and promptly report the findings to your physician so that the rest of your nights are good nights!

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