Sleep Disorders

Common Sleep Disorders Idaho

Each year about 70 million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders in the United States. Sleep deprivation from these disorders can interfere with driving, work, and social activities. Most sleep disorders can be effectively treated once they are correctly diagnosed. Out of all sleep disorders, the most common include insomnia, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea.

 

Insomnia

Almost everyone has suffered from insomnia at one point in their life. Not being about to fall asleep can result from jet lag, stress, diet, and numerous other reasons. Lack of sleep can affect job performance and a person’s overall well-being. Insomnia regularly increases with age and affects about 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women. This sleep disorder is often a symptom of an underlying medical disorder.

Doctors may prescribe sleeping pills for short-term insomnia. Sleeping pills eventually stop working after many weeks of nightly use, and long-term use can actually inhibit good sleep. Those suffering from mild insomnia can often be cured by using good sleep habits.

 

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is a disorder that causes unpleasant prickling, tingling, or crawling sensations in the legs and feet that is accompanied by an urge to move. RLS is one of the most common sleep disorders, and it tends to affect the older population more. This disorder currently affects approximately 12 million Americans. It causes constant leg movement throughout the day and insomnia during the night. As research has shown, some cases may be linked to diabetes, anemia, or pregnancy. Many patients with RLS also have periodic limb movement disorder or PLMD.

This disorder affects the limbs (especially the legs) and causes repetitive jerking movements. RLS typically causes movement every 20 to 40 seconds and severely broken sleep. The symptoms of RLS and PLMD can often be relieved by medicine that affects the body’s dopamine neurotransmitters. These findings suggest abnormalities in dopamine levels may be the cause of RLS and PLMD symptoms.

 

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy affects approximately 250,000 people in the United States. Narcolepsy consists of “sleep attacks” throughout the day, whether they had a normal amount of sleep during the night or not. Recurring attacks can last several seconds to over 30 minutes. In addition to these sleep attacks, people with Narcolepsy may also experience other symptoms. These symptoms include temporary paralysis after they awake, hallucinations, disrupted sleep at night, and loss of muscle control during emotional situations, known as Cataplexy.

Narcolepsy symptoms typically show up during adolescence and it can take years to get a correct diagnosis. The disorder has a tendency to be hereditary and is occasionally linked to a head injury or neurological disease. Antidepressants, stimulants, and other drugs can help control the symptoms of narcolepsy. Naps will also help reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.

 

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder consisting of interrupted breathing during sleep that affects about 25 million Americans. This sleep disorder is often associated with a fat increase or a loss of muscle tone due to the aging process. These factors can cause the windpipe to collapse during breathing while muscles are relaxed during sleep. This is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and it is commonly associated with snoring. Although, keep in mind not everyone who snores will have this disorder, and many who do not snore will. If neurons that control breathing malfunction while asleep, it can also cause sleep apnea.

During an episode of obstructive apnea, airflow can be blocked for 10 seconds to a minute. This not only slows or stops breathing, it can also lead to less restful sleep. When the airway becomes constricted, the brain “awakens” the person from a deep sleep. Repeated gasping and snorting can happen hundreds of times throughout the night, causing a person to sleep more lightly. The lack of quality sleep may cause personality changes such as depression and irritability. Because sleep apnea deprives people of oxygen, it can lead to morning headaches, a decreased libido, and a possible decline in mental performance. In addition, sleep apnea is linked to irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, and an increased chance of having a stroke or heart attack. It can also lead to sudden death from respiratory arrest in those that have severe sleep apnea.

 

Sleep Disorder Treatment

A person with signs of sleep apnea or other sleep disorders should be referred to a specialized sleep center. If diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are many options. Some treatments for sleep apnea include weight loss, oral appliances, cpap, or preventing a person from sleeping on their back. In some cases, special devices or surgery may be needed to correct the obstruction.

 

Sleep Center Hayden, Idaho- There is Help For Sleep Disorders

If you think you or a loved one is suffering from a sleep disorder, you’ll want to take care of the problem right away. Our treatment is a short term process, typically one year, with results that last a lifetime. For more information or to set up a free patient education meeting, please give Just Breathe DDS a call today at (208) 500-3030. We can help get you on your way to better sleep and a better life!