Here are some of the most common sleep disorders we diagnose and treat.
Often mistaken for common snoring, sleep apnea can stop your breathing during sleep for up to 60 seconds and as many as 50 times per hour (average). Sleep apnea is often, but not always, caused by an obstruction in the upper airway. Symptoms include loud snoring, pauses in breathing, fatigue, poor work performance, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea has been linked to irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Diabetes mellitus, memory difficulty, headaches, heart attack, injury and death resulting from accidents and even sudden death during sleep.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)
A common symptom of sleep disorders, EDS can have severe consequences, including injury and death at work or on the road. Up to 80% of sleep apnea patients report excessive daytime sleepiness.
What causes snoring? During sleep, the throat relaxes and the tongue falls into the airway in the back of the throat. Because this narrows the airway, a vibration in the soft tissues in the back of the nose and throat occurs.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
UARS is the orphan child of sleep medicine since far more emphasis is placed on it’s more attention-getting sibling, obstructive sleep apnea. However, all of the symptoms attributable to obstructive sleep apnea can also be attributed to UARS. Untreated, UARS can evolve into obstructive sleep apnea. UARS commonly masquerades as ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’, fibromyalgia, migraines, depression, or anxiety.
Seizures occur because of uncontrolled electrical discharge in the brain. They can be associated with untreated sleep disorders. Learn more about epilepsy and seizures here.
These are abnormal physical behaviors that occur while you are sleeping. Some examples are sleepwalking, night-terrors, and REM behavior disorders which can cause violent movements while dreaming. Others are bed-wetting, teeth-grinding, and rhythmic movement disorders, which can cause you to bang your head or rock your body while sleeping. Parasomnias can also disrupt your bed partner’s sleep and even lead to injury to you or your bed partner. Parasomnias are frequently neurological in nature.
If you suffer from narcolepsy, you’ll find yourself so tired during the day that you’ll tend to fall asleep. This can even occur after you’ve had a full night’s sleep. Other symptoms include sleep paralysis, frightening hallucinations and cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle function). Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder unrelated to sleep-breathing patterns.
If you have trouble getting to sleep, find it nearly impossible to remain asleep during the night or wake up too early in the morning, you may suffer from insomnia, which is the most common sleep complaint in the industrialized world. Difficulty maintaining your sleep can commonly be from sleep apnea. For more information about insomnia, click here.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
A neurological problem characterized by irrepressible “creepy-crawly” sensations in your legs and/or arms while sitting or lying still. Like other sleep disorders, restful sleep is disrupted when the brain experiences an “arousal”, though you never actually wake up.
Periodic Leg Movement Disorder (PLMD)
If your legs or arms twitch or move involuntarily and periodically during sleep, you may have PLMD. It is not the same as muscle spasms that occur as you fall asleep. PLMD is usually attributed to reactions in the brain or originating in the spinal cord.
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Now Taking Pediatric Patients With Sleep Disorders
Poor sleep in children is a serious issue! It can have far reaching effects on the child, and influences the family every day. Poor sleep quality or quantity in children is associated with a variety of academic, behavioral, developmental and social issues. They also can affect family dynamics. If your child has trouble falling or staying asleep, has sleep apnea or sleepwalks, consider seeing Dr. Thomas for a consultation.
Intermountain Neurological Sleep Center provides the following advanced diagnostic services for Neurologic and Sleep disorders. These are the sleep tests that we run in our clinic:
Diagnose sleep disorders by recording brain wave activities, body movement in sleep, respiratory efforts for a variety of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, etc.
CPAP Titration Polysomnography
Specialized equipment with the latest software to find the best positive air pressure to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Home Sleep Testing
Diagnoses sleep apnea in specific patients out of the comfort of your home.
Records oxygen saturation levels during sleep.
MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test )
Evaluates daytime sleepiness to diagnose disorders like Narcolepsy.
Multiple Wakefulness Testing (MWT)
Evaluates daytime sleepiness particularly for DOT evaluation.
Studies brain waves in seizure disorders.
Helps diagnose and characterize seizures by recording brain wave activity for 24 hours. This will also record any abnormal heart rhythm.