Our Sleep Disorders Centers are outpatient diagnostic facilities. At the request of your family physician the center will perform a comprehensive evaluation to aid in diagnosing disorders of sleep or wakefulness.
Common Sleep Disorders
Difficulty going to sleep or difficulty remaining asleep are most often related to stress, anxiety, or aging. Insomnia also can be caused by physical problems such as sleep apnea or periodic limb movement. It may result from overuse of sleep medications, alcohol or drug abuse. Insomnia is often treatable once its causes have been identified.
Narcolepsy is a serious, potentially disabling disorder estimated to afflict more than 250,000 Americans. It usually begins in young adulthood and is a lifelong neurological disorder. The most common symptom of narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness. There is no known cure for narcolepsy to date, however, there are medications that can help patients stay alert during the day and to function normally through daytime activities.
Nightmares are frightening dream experiences which can later be recalled. They may occur at any age.
Night terrors usually occur between 4 and 12 years of age and disappear during adolescence. A night (or sleep) terror usually starts with an anguished scream. The sleeper appears to be in great distress, but is very difficult to arouse. It usually takes several minutes to gain full consciousness. If wakened, the person remembers a sense of terror or dread and a feeling of helplessness, but can seldom recall the experience.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
One of the most prevalent sleep disorders is obstructive sleep apnea. Breathing is momentarily stopped during sleep because of an obstruction in the breathing passage. This disorder affects between 6 and 10 million Americans and may cause:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Mood changes
- Difficulty losing weight
- Male impotence
- Mental impairment
It is often characterized by chronic fatigue and loud snoring. The disorder is treatable with methods such as nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), upper airway surgery and dental devices.
Periodic Limb Movements
These minor twitches of the arms or legs may not be obvious, but their impact on your sleep quality can be great. Many of these muscle twitches disturb the sleeping brain causing fragmented non restful sleep. People with this disorder are very tired when awake, with no obvious explanation.
Occasional sleepwalking episodes are considered normal in children; however, frequent sleepwalking in adults is more serious. Since sleepwalking can be dangerous, sleepwalkers need to be protected by reducing the risk for falling or other dangers. This disorder can be aggravated by stress, anxiety, a lack of sleep, and an increase in alcohol consumption.