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What Are Some Sleep Disorders And How Are They Treated

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An Overview Of The Types Of Breathing Problems That Can Arise During Sleep

Sleep-related breathing disorders are conditions of abnormal and difficult respiration during sleep, including chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Some sleep-related breathing disorders have limited health impact, but others can have serious consequences because of their potential effects on sleep and the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine identifies several types and subtypes of sleep-related breathing disorders. The symptoms, severity, causes, and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing varies based on the type. In complex cases, a person may be diagnosed with more than one type.

What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Sleep Disorders

  • What kind of sleep disorder do I have?
  • How severe is my sleep disorder?
  • Do you think my sleep disorder will go away on its own, or will I need treatment?
  • How can I improve my sleep hygiene?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
  • Do you recommend any medications to help with my sleep disorder?
  • How often should I return to see you?
  • Are there medicines I should take?
  • Are there medicines I should stop taking?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Sleep disorders may not be deadly, but they affect your quality of life so often and so severely that they can disrupt your thinking, weight, school/work performance, mental health and your general physical health. Common ones like narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea prevent you from getting the long, deep sleep you need to function at your best.

If you’re struggling with your sleep, don’t hesitate to see your healthcare provider. Your health, and therefore your quality of life, depends on good sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/23/2020.


Specialized Personalized Care For Sleep Disorders Right In Your Backyard

Welcome to better sleep for you, and your loved ones. At Pomona Valley Health Centers, our board-certified team of physicians and experienced, highly trained sleep disorder specialists are ready to help you sleep well again. Our approach to care works through dedicated, individualized sleep disorder treatment in La Verne and Pomona Valley. For healthier sleep, or to take care of all your family’s health care needs, the expert and caring medical support you need is close to home.

Schedule an appointment at a PVHC location near you. For Claremont, Chino Hills or Pomona, call 909-630-7829 or to use our online form.

I Cant Stop Moving My Legs At Night Do I Have Restless Legs Syndrome

It’s possible. A frequent urge to move one’s legs while in bed is a common symptom of restless legs syndrome. Another related symptom includes an uncomfortable feeling in the arms or legs—often described by patients as “creepy crawly,” tingly, or itchy—which may be temporarily relieved by moving them. Though RLS is closely tied to sleep, the symptoms can occur in the daytime as well.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia And Other Sleep Disorders

Sleep and Insomnia Therapy Services

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most widely-used therapy for sleep disorders. It may be conducted individually, in a group of people with similar sleeping problems, or even online. Since the causes and symptoms of sleep disorders vary considerably, CBT should always be tailored to your specific problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia , for example, is a specific type of therapy designed for people who are unable to get the amount of sleep they need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

The length of therapy also depends on the type and severity of your sleep disorder. While CBT is rarely an immediate or easy cure, it is relatively short-term. Many CBT treatment programs for insomnia, for example, report significant improvement in sleep patterns following a course of 5 to 8 weekly sessions.

Why Do I Think I See Someone In My Room During Sleep Paralysis

While it can be disturbing for someone suffering from sleep paralysis to perceive that there is a person or “presence” in their room, it’s actually one of the most common hallucinations to accompany a paralyzed state. While researchers still aren’t sure why this is, there are theories. It’s possible, for instance, that our brain’s parietal lobe, which tracks where our body is in space, becomes confused during REM sleep—creating a projection of our “self” elsewhere in the room. The anxiety and loss of control that come with sleep paralysis may be what make this figure frightening, experts speculate.

What Are The Treatment Options Available For Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are highly resistant, and you need your doctor’s consultation in the first place to identify and detect all the causes linked with sleep disorders.

The doctor will help you get rid of the signs and symptoms connected with sleep disorders. Many individuals suffer from sleep disorders and lead to depression.

The treatment options for sleep disorders include the following:

What Are Most Common Sleep Disorders How Are They Treated

    Sleep disorders are medical conditions that affect an individual’s ability to sleep daily. There are numerous reasons that can contribute to this disorder. It might not seem serious, but sleeping issues are actually a global epidemic that hampers the health standard and life quality of about 45% of the global population. This is a clear indication that sleep disorders are critical conditions and must be treated with equal urgency.

    Now, most people often face sleep problems due to busy schedules or too much stress. It is considered normal. But, if this continues on a daily basis for a prolonged time, seeking medical attention is the best move. It can eventually interfere with daily activities. The feeling of tiredness, along with loss of energy and mood swings, can threaten your physical health.

    Moreover, the manifestation of sleeping problems can also be a sign of other medical disorders. In this case, the issue may resolve when the medical condition improves. But, if it is not related to other health disorders, then you will need appropriate treatment. It is vital to opt for it immediately without delay. Even if it seems harmless, it can cause a lot of health issues in the future.

    Some Of The Most Common Diseases Associated With Long

    • Type 2 diabetes: Unhealthy sleep may contribute to poor blood sugar control, which is a primary driver of diabetes.
    • Heart disease: Some research has linked too-little sleep with an uptick in hypertension and other risk factors for heart disease.
    • Obesity: Too little sleep may throw off the body’s metabolic processes in ways that contribute to weight gain and obesity.
    • Depression: The cause-and-effect relationship between poor sleep and depression isn’t well understood, but there’s a clear link between sleep disorders and an elevated risk for depression.

    Behavioral Techniques Used In Cbt For Sleep Disorders

    As well as changing the way you think about sleep, CBT also works to change the habits and behaviors that can prevent you from sleeping well. Depending on your specific symptoms and needs, your therapist may employ some of the following techniques:

    Sleep restriction therapy reduces the time you spend lying in bed awake by eliminating naps and forcing you to stay up beyond your normal bedtime. This method of sleep deprivation can be especially effective for insomnia. It not only makes you more tired the next night but builds a stronger association between bed and sleep rather than bed and lying awake.

    Stimulus control therapy helps to identify and change sleep habits that prevent you from sleeping well. This means training you to use your bedroom for just sleep and sex, rather than working or watching TV, and maintaining consistent sleep-wake times, even on weekends.

    Improving your sleep environment and sleep hygiene. Your sleep environment should be dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable, so your therapist may recommend blackout shades, earplugs, or a sound machine to block out noise. Sleep hygiene involves improving your daytime habits to include exercising regularly, avoiding nicotine and caffeine late in the day, and learning to unwind at night.

    Biofeedback uses sensors that measure specific physiological functions—such as heart rate, breathing, and muscle tension. Biofeedback teaches you to recognize and control your body’s anxiety response that impacts sleep patterns.

    How Are Insomnia And Other Sleep Disorders Diagnosed

    If you think you may have insomnia or another sleep disorder, start by talking to your primary care physician. He or she will ask you questions about your sleep habits and medical history. That, along with a physical exam, may be enough for your physician to diagnose your sleep problem. He or she may also offer treatment options, including recommending lifestyle changes to help you sleep better and medication. If your physician is unable to diagnose or treat your sleep disorder, you will be referred to a sleep doctor.

    In addition to also asking questions and performing an exam, your sleep doctor may order a sleep study. Sleep studies can be conducted at home or overnight at one of our fully accredited sleep centers in DuBois or St. Marys. While you sleep, the study tracks changes in your brain waves, breathing rate, eye movement, heart rate and blood pressure. Collectively, this information helps your sleep doctor diagnose your sleep disorder.

    In need of a family doctor? Find a primary care physician near you.

    Narcolepsy: Complementary And Alternative Treatments

    Shishira Sreenivas

    Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that disrupts your wake-sleep pattern and brings about overwhelming drowsiness and periods of sudden sleep attacks during the daytime. The complex, lifelong condition affects 1 in 2,000 people but it often goes undiagnosed. There’s no cure for narcolepsy but medications and certain lifestyle changes may help manage the symptoms.

    For some people with narcolepsy, conventional Western medication alone may not be enough to ease the day-to-day symptoms, which can take a toll on quality of life. Some choose to include complementary medicine or turn to alternative medicine to manage their condition.

    Complementary medicine includes approaches that you take along with traditional Western medicine. While alternative medicine focuses on approaches you may take instead of conventional medicine your doctor uses. In some cases, your doctor may choose to combine different approaches to get the best results. This is called integrative medicine.

    For narcolepsy, this can range from lifestyle changes, melatonin supplements, and natural herbal extracts to trying yoga or acupuncture for a better wake-sleep cycle.

    What Happens When A Person Doesnt Get Enough Sleep

    Sleep Disorders

    Not getting the proper amount or quality of sleep leads to more than just feeling tired. Sleepiness interferes with cognitive function, which can lead to learning disabilities in children, memory impairment in people of all ages, personality changes and depression.

    People who are deprived of sleep experience difficulty making decisions, irritability, have problems with performance, and slower reaction times, placing them at risk for automobile and work-related accidents. Sleep loss can also adversely affect life by contributing to the development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

    Is It Possible To Commit Crimes While Sleepwalking

    Yes. Throughout history, there have been many documented cases of people committing crimes—including murder—while apparently asleep. Sleepwalking has often been used as a legal defense in these cases, sometimes successfully. In one famous case of a sleepwalking killer, a Canadian man named Kenneth Parks was acquitted of the brutal murder of his mother-in-law; the jury determined that because he was asleep, he had not acted voluntarily and was thus not criminally liable.

    Why Therapy For Sleep Disorders And Not Medication

    When you’re desperate for sleep, it can be tempting to reach for a sleeping pill or an over-the-counter sleep aid. But sleep medication won’t cure the problem or address the underlying symptoms—in fact, it can often make sleep problems worse in the long term. That’s not to say there’s never a time or a place for sleep medication. To avoid dependence and tolerance, though, sleeping pills are most effective when used sparingly for short-term situations—such as traveling across time zones or recovering from a medical procedure. Even if your sleep disorder requires the use of prescription medication, experts recommend combining a drug regimen with therapy and healthy lifestyle changes.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy can improve your sleep by changing your behavior before bedtime as well as changing the ways of thinking that keep you from falling asleep. It also focuses on improving relaxation skills and changing lifestyle habits that impact your sleeping patterns. Since sleep disorders can be both caused by and trigger emotional health problems such as anxiety, stress, and depression, therapy is an effective way of treating the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms, helping you develop healthy sleeping patterns for life.

    What Are The Best Treatments For Sleep Disorders

    Depending on the type of sleep disorder you have, your doctor may recommend a medical treatment that can include:

    • Sleeping pills or melatonin supplements
    • Allergy or cold medication
    • Medications for underlying health issues
    • An assistive breathing device or surgery
    • A dental guard

    Making lifestyle adjustments can also improve your quality of sleep, especially when combined with medical treatments. You may want to consider:

    • Increasing vegetables and fish to your diet while reducing sugar intake
    • Exercising to reduce stress and anxiety
    • Establishing a regular sleeping schedule and sticking to it
    • Drinking less water before bedtime
    • Limiting caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon or evening
    • Cutting back on tobacco and alcohol use
    • Eating smaller, low-carbohydrate meals before bedtime

    What Is Snoring And Why Would It Affect My Sleep

    Snoring is the sound that happens when air flow is partially blocked in the back of your throat. Because your airway is partially blocked, the air has to speed up to move through this blockage. This fast moving air causes your tongue, soft palate, and uvula to vibrate against each other and causes a snoring sound.

    In addition to disturbing your own sleep patterns, snoring can disturb the sleep patterns of bed partners. Snoring can also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition known as obstructed sleep apnea .

    Snoring may be caused by these factors:  

    • Jaw and throat anatomy,

    Some Common Sleep Disorders And Their Treatment

    There are about 80 types of sleep disorders. Here, some of the most common sleep problems are listed. Moreover, their treatment methods are also discussed.

    • Sleep apnea

    Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleeping problem. In this, the person is unable to breathe properly while sleeping. As a result, they can snore loudly or make some choking sounds. Also, the person wakes up as there is oxygen deprivation in the brain and body.

    Some symptoms include feeling tired, sore throat, lack of energy, snoring, headaches, etc. There are different treatment methods for sleep apnea. You can opt for the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy. Moreover, you also have the option of surgery and positional therapy. It is vital that you take the suggestion of a sleep physician before trying anything.

    • Insomnia

    Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Here, the person finds it difficult to sleep or even stay asleep for longer durations. There are two main types, namely – chronic insomnia and transient insomnia . You can look out for symptoms like inability to sleep though you are exhausted, restless sleep, feeling unrefreshed, etc.

    Now, the treatment for insomnia is mostly personalized. It is mainly dependent on the cause of the disorder. If needed, the doctor will prescribe the required medications. However, there also some non-medical treatment routes like cognitive behavior therapy, stimulus control, and lifestyle changes.

    • Sleep paralysis
    • Restless Legs Syndrome
    • Narcolepsy
    • Parasomnia

    What Are The Best Ways To Treat Sleep Disorders

    You sometimes have problems sleeping due to stress, a hectic schedule or other outside influences. No big deal, right? Probably not, but if these issues start to interfere with your daily life, they can indicate a sleep disorder. Some of the symptoms of a sleep disorder include:

    • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • Daytime fatigue
    • Strong urge to take naps during the day
    • Irritability or anxiety
    • Lack of concentration
    • Depression

    There are several types of sleep disorders: From insomnia to sleep apnea to narcolepsy to sleepwalking. Some make it difficult to fall asleep and sleep through the night. Others make it tough to fall back asleep after waking up during the night. Aside from making you feel exhausted, a lack of sleep can negatively impact your energy, mood, concentration and overall health. But you’re not alone. More than 75 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 59 report regularly having sleeping difficulties.

    Sleep Medicine Tests Procedures And Surgeries

    Sleep doctors recommend a number of tests and procedures, depending on the types of sleep problems their patients are having. They include:

    Blood tests: Used to check for conditions that can cause interrupted sleep, such as thyroid problems.

    Sleep log: Used to help diagnose insomnia, this diary is for recording information such as bedtimes, wake-up times, and degree of daytime sleepiness.

    Sleep disorders inventory: Used to understand a patient’s sleep problems, this detailed questionnaire takes a comprehensive history of health and sleep patterns.

    Sleep study : Used to evaluate and diagnose sleep disorders, sleep studies are conducted according to the disorder suspected. If the evaluation is for sleep apnea, for example, patients are observed as they sleep overnight in a lab. If narcolepsy is suspected, patients sleep and wake in the lab for a series of naps.

    During sleep studies, patients are connected to sensors that monitor the stages of sleep, body movements, oxygen levels, and breathing patterns.

    Based upon the patient’s diagnosis, preferences, and goals, a sleep specialist may recommend one of these sleep-disorder treatments:

    Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia : Specialized therapy aimed at identifying thoughts and behaviors that contribute to insomnia and learning new strategies to improve sleep.

    Surgery: There are a number of surgical approaches that can be used to treat people with apnea and problem snoring. They include:

    What Medicines May Help With Sleep Disorders

    New York Cardiovascular Associates Releases New Statement ...

    Your healthcare provider may recommend some of the following medications and supplements:

    • Sleep aids may be helpful in some cases of insomnia, including melatonin, zolpidem, zaleplon, eszopiclone, ramelteon, suvorexant, lamborexant, or doxepin.
    • Restless legs syndrome can be treated with gabapentin, gabapentin enacarbil, or pregabalin.
    • Narcolepsy may be treated with a number of stimulants or wake-promoting medications, such as modafinil, armodafinil, pitolisant and solriamfetol.

    What Are The Common Types Of Sleep Disorders

    While many people think of insomnia when they hear the term “sleep disorder,” there are several other common conditions that can harm a person’s slumber. In some cases, sleep disorder symptoms may even strike during the daytime—not at night.

    There are over 90 different types of sleep disorders. The most common include:

    How Does My Doctor Diagnose A Sleep Disorder

    After meeting with a sleep specialist, you will discuss your symptoms, medical history, and answer any other questions your specialist may have. Then, you may be given any of the following diagnostic tests:  

    • Overnight home oxygen recordings,
    • overnight portable home sleeping testing,
    • overnight sleep recording in the Sleep Wake Center,
    • or daytime nap recordings .

    If your sleep specialist diagnoses a sleeping disorder, your specialist will work with you to decide what treatments are best.

    What Are The Treatments For Sleep Disorders

    Treatments for sleep disorders depend on which disorder you have. They may include

    • Good sleep habits and other lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and exercise
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy or relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety about getting enough sleep
    • CPAP machine for sleep apnea
    • Bright light therapy
    • Medicines, including sleeping pills. Usually, providers recommend that you use sleeping pills for a short period of time.
    • Natural products, such as melatonin. These products may help some people but are generally for short-term use. Make sure to check with your health care provider before you take any of them.

    University Hospitals Solves Sleep Disorders

    Sleep is a critical function for brain and body health. A night of restful sleep allows the brain to store memories and promote mental sharpness and concentration during the day. It also allows the body to burn fat, restore tissue and boost energy and productivity. Yet millions of Americans suffer from lack of sleep.

    To schedule an appointment with a pediatric or adult sleep provider, call 216-844-7378.

    Long-term sleeplessness and restless sleep can lead to a number of health problems including:

    • Cardiovascular risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
    • Mood disorders such as depression or anxiety
    • Mental impairments such as an inability to focus and concentrate
    • Metabolic complications such as diabetes or weight gain

    Sleep disorder doctors at University Hospitals work hand-in-hand with our pulmonary specialists, heart doctors, ENTs, neurologists and psychologists to evaluate patients’ sleep struggles and restore them to good, solid rest.

    What Are The 3 Most Common Sleep Disorders

    3 Most Common Sleep DisordersInsomnia and Narcolepsy. Insomnia, or the chronic inability to fall or remain asleep, is by far the most common sleep disorder. Sleep Apnea. Less common than insomnia but potentially more severe in some cases, sleep apnea involves breathing that frequently starts and stops during sleep. Restless Leg Syndrome.

    Patients With Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

    It is difficult to differentiate daytime sleepiness from fatigue. Detailed questioning and use of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale28 may be helpful, but patients may underreport their symptoms. Although patients with certain sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and OSA, present with excessive daytime sleepiness, it is important to rule out insufficient sleep before diagnosing pathologic causes of sleepiness.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia

    CBT-i is considered a first-line treatment for insomnia because it does not carry the health risks associated with sleep medication. In most cases, CBT-i is provided by a licensed psychologist who has received training for this type of treatment. CBT-i focuses on pinpointing the anxieties people with insomnia often have about sleep, and then replacing these anxieties with healthier beliefs and attitudes. Additionally, this type of therapy may one or more of the following components:

    The number of qualified behavioral sleep medicine therapists in the U.S. is fairly limited. You can locate CBT-i providers and verify their credentials through certain professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, American Board of Sleep Medicine, Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Disorders

    A sleep disorder is a medical disorder of the sleep ...

    The symptoms of sleep disorders depend on the specific disorder. Some signs that you may have a sleep disorder include that

    • You regularly take more than 30 minutes each night to fall asleep
    • You regularly wake up several times each night and then have trouble falling back to sleep, or you wake up too early in the morning
    • You often feel sleepy during the day, take frequent naps, or fall asleep at the wrong times during the day
    • Your bed partner says that when you sleep, you snore loudly, snort, gasp, make choking sounds, or stop breathing for short periods
    • You have creeping, tingling, or crawling feelings in your legs or arms that are relieved by moving or massaging them, especially in the evening and when trying to fall asleep
    • Your bed partner notices that your legs or arms jerk often during sleep
    • You have vivid, dreamlike experiences while falling asleep or dozing
    • You have episodes of sudden muscle weakness when you are angry or fearful, or when you laugh
    • You feel as though you cannot move when you first wake up

    Alternative And Complementary Treatments

    If you’re looking to try out or take on complementary or alternative approaches to manage your day-to-day narcolepsy symptoms, there are a few ways to go about it.

    Yoga and meditation. A few studies point out that certain yoga positions can bring about relaxation, ease anxiety, and help with sleep issues. This may be because of its meditative properties such as breathing in and out and taking in the moment.

    However, not all types of yoga are beneficial, says Rubin Naiman, PhD, a psychologist, sleep and dream specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

    “I think yoga is helpful for anybody and everybody, because it really helps refashion our relationship with the body,� Naiman says. “There are 10 ways to do yoga, and not all are helpful. But when it’s done right, it’s almost like a friendly dialogue with our body.�

    If you’re looking to try yoga to help you relax and sleep better at night, keep these things in mind:

    Valerian root has natural sedative properties and has long been used as a sleep aid to help ease issues like stress, anxiety or headaches that disrupt your sleep cycle. But clinical trials on valerian root’s effects have had inconsistent results. Experts aren’t sure what effects long-term use may have on your body.

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    How To Get Better Rem Sleep

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