More than 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. There are over 84 different sleep disorders. The sleep disorders described below represent the most common of those:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a common sleep disorder. The most common symptoms include loud snoring, sleepiness during the day, high blood pressure and obesity. A bed partner will often report that the patient will stop breathing during the night. Untreated, sleep apnea may cause cardiovascular disease, risk of automobile accidents, and decreased quality of life and work. Treatment for sleep apnea and snoring include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), weight loss, behavior modification, and surgery.
Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Brief periods of insomnia are common, but a smaller group of people are chronically affected and may benefit from a formal sleep consultation. Insomnia can be a difficult sleep disorder to treat. Options for treatment include light therapy, behavior modification, and medication.
Periodic Limb Movements
Periodic Limb Movements during sleep (PLMS) are kicking movements of the legs which occur every 20-90 seconds during the night and may disturb the normal sleep of both you and your partner. PLMS can be treated by medications, certain vitamin and mineral supplements, and avoiding caffeine and sugars in the evening.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) can be a source of insomnia and is due to leg discomfort usually described as aching or a a crawling sensation, which makes the sufferer feel they must continually move their legs. RLS can also be treated by medications, certain vitamin and mineral supplements, and avoiding caffeine and sugars in the evening.
Narcolepsy is a less common than sleep apnea. The main symptoms are excessive and uncontrollable sleepiness, weakness during the day and vivid dreams during daytime naps. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential with this disorder. Narcolepsy is a complicated neurological sleep disorder, which needs verification from a sleep test, and can be treated with medications and behavior modification.