Patients with obstructive sleep apnea have episodic difficulty breathing during sleep, often due to a narrowing of the upper airway. This lack of breathing disrupts sleep and leads to insufficient oxygen levels. During sleep, the muscles in the throat relax and may partially close which leads to airway obstruction. During sleep, when there is an obstruction, the patient briefly awakens, returning normal muscle tone to the throat. These episodes may occur several times throughout the night and this creates a significant amount of stress to your heart and lungs. Symptoms include loud snoring, difficulty breathing, respiratory pauses and snorts, restless sleep, daytime irritability and sleepiness. An overnight sleep study are recommended for diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea.
Insomnia can occur in patients of all ages and last for one or two nights or continue for months and even years. Insomnia can be caused by factors including psychological conditions, lifestyle habits, exercise habits, work schedules, environmental disturbances and various physical and psychiatric illnesses.
Narcolepsy causes constant sleepiness and a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times. Patients may suffer from sleep attacks and a feeling of tiredness that cannot be relieved by sleep. While there is no cure for narcolepsy, physicians can provide treatment to help patients actively participate in everyday life.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
PLMD causes involuntary limb movements during sleep, which may cause multiple arousals throughout the night. This creates a feeling of restless sleep. It is commonly associated with RLS.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS causes unpleasant sensations in the legs, especially at bedtime. Stretching or moving can temporarily relieve these sensations. It may cause severe insomnia.