Sleep Disorders

With over 40 million Americans suffering from a chronic sleep disorder and upwards of 62% of adults experiencing sleep problems a few nights per week, it’s safe to say that millions of Americans are not getting the sleep they need to maintain good health.
Sleep Disorders

Overview

A sleep disorder is a physical and psychological condition or disturbance of sleep and wakefulness caused by abnormalities that occur during sleep or by abnormalities of specific sleep mechanisms. Although the sleep disorder exists during sleep, recognizable symptoms manifest themselves during the day. Accurate diagnosis requires a polysomnogram, widely known as a “sleep test.”

It is estimated that some 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders. Another 20 to 30 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder on an irregular basis. The annual costs in productivity, health care, and safety have been estimated in the billions of dollars.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, National Department of Transportation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Types of Sleep Disorders

Insomnia

Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep. Individuals vary normally in their need for, and their satisfaction with, sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

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Sleep Apnea

Loud, constant snoring can indicate a potentially life-threatening disorder called sleep apnea. A person with sleep apnea stops breathing repeatedly while sleeping, anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes.

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Narcolepsy

The main characteristic of narcolepsy is excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even after adequate nighttime sleep. A person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep, often at inappropriate times and places.

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain illness characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. Fibromyalgia patients experience a range of symptoms of varying intensities that wax and wane over time.

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Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder in which patients experience irrepressible sensations in the legs or arms while sitting or lying still. Terms used to describe RLS may include creepy, crawly, pulling, tingling, itching, or gnawing.

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Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), formerly known as nocturnal myoclonus, is a condition in which a person’s legs or arms twitch or move involuntarily and periodically during sleep. PLMD is not the same as night muscle spasms, or hypnic jerks, that occasionally occur when a person is falling asleep.

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Snoring

What is Snoring?

Snoring occurs when the breathing airway is not completely open. This forces the air you breathe to move more quickly through your airway and the soft palate and the uvula (the skin tissue that hangs down the back of the throat) to vibrate. The vibration makes the noise we know as snoring. Over 90 million Americans suffer from primary snoring directly with a much larger number of indirect suffers. Snoring affects both the person snoring and their bed partner and family members whose sleep is disrupted by proxy.

While there is a high degree of variation in snoring patterns — people can snore rarely, intermittently, or with just about every breath they take while sleeping, the primary effect of leaving snoring untreated is lack of sleep. While this may seem like an innocuous effect, sleep deprivation opens your body to a variety of health risks. These include headaches, decreased alertness, moodiness, delayed reaction times, and a difficulty focusing.

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