Do you have difficulty falling asleep? Problems breathing during sleep? Or general issues disrupting your sleep and wake cycle? Are you concerned these occurrences could be the sign of short-term insomnia, or perhaps something more serious? No matter the symptoms, it’s important to discover the underlying cause of your sleep problems. Especially if you’ve found yourself counting sheep night after night wondering, What is wrong with me? Do I have a sleep disorder?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by the inability to sleep or maintain restful sleep through the night. Under this broader umbrella, there are two subtypes of insomnia that most diagnoses fall into:
Sleep apnea is marked by abnormal breathing during sleep, particularly multiple extended pauses between breaths. It is the most common sleep disorder in the US, affecting all demographic groups, though it’s most frequently observed in men. Sleep apnea falls into three subtypes:
Narcolepsy is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and in some instances, partial or total loss of muscle control (cataplexy). People experiencing narcolepsy feel exhausted throughout the day and may fall asleep involuntarily while doing normal activities. Narcolepsy blurs the boundaries between sleep and wakefulness, making its sufferers show characteristics of sleep while awake. Narcolepsy subtypes fall into two categories:
Restless leg syndrome, or Willis Ekbom disease, is characterized by an uncomfortable itching, prickling, pulling, or crawling sensation that creates an overwhelming urge for the person to move their legs. Though RLS doesn’t exclusively affect sleep, its symptoms often worsened during periods of inactivity, causing a disruption in sleep. RLS is more common in individuals who also have periodic limb movement disorder, another condition affecting lower-limb movement.
REM sleep behavior disorder is a type of parasomnia (abnormal sleep behavior) associated with various neurological disorders in which a person’s body doesn’t experience temporary paralysis during REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep. This allows them to move and vocalize fully and freely while asleep. During these episodes, the person can be observed as acting out their dreams, which tend to be intense and frightening.
Although there are more than one-hundred types of sleep disorders recognized by the medical community, their general effects on the body remain relatively standardized across the spectrum. Common symptoms include:
Determining how to treat sleep problems depends on the symptoms a person is experiencing. For some sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy, medical attention is necessary to ensure your safety and wellbeing. And while the best option is always to get a valid diagnosis from a medical professional, we’ve compiled some at-home sleep tips for getting a better night’s sleep:
If none of these techniques are able to help you fall asleep or maintain restful sleep throughout the night and your lack of sleep is causing problems with your daytime functioning at school, work, or home, it’s time to talk to your doctor about a diagnosis and potential treatment options.
At OakBend Medical Center, we understand the frustration and disruption that disordered sleeping can cause in your daily routine. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of common sleep disorders outlined above, our experts can help diagnose and treat the underlying issue. Visit one of our locations in the Greater Houston area or contact us today if you’ve made it this far and still find yourself wondering, Do I have a sleep disorder?
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By: OakBend AdminTitle: Do I Have a Sleep Disorder?Sourced From: www.oakbendmedcenter.org/2021/01/14/do-i-have-a-sleep-disorder/Published Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2021 19:03:00 +0000