Some Common Sleep Complaints

  Excessive Sleepiness is a symptom wherein an individual may experience sleepiness at inappropriate times of the day affecting work, school or home life. Extended over a long period of time this condition may indicate something more serious. Some potential causes include Sleep Apnea Syndrome, Periodic Limb Movements, or Narcolepsy.

  Snoring is the sound that results from the vibration of soft tissue when air passes through a partially obstructed airway. Although, all snoring does not lead to apnea, snoring can be very disruptive to sound sleep and is a common complaint of individuals that have obstructive apnea syndrome.

  Sleep Apnea is the stopping of breathing during sleep. This sleep disorder can be found in women, men and individuals of all ages including children.

  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition that occurs when a person momentarily stops breathing due to obstructions. Enlarged tonsils, adenoids and other soft tissues in the throat fall over the airway and block the passage of air to the lungs. These periods of breathlessness may reoccur hundreds of times during the course of the night. This halted breathing can last only a few seconds or up to a minute in duration awakening the patient each time.

  Central Sleep Apnea is a neurological condition wherein the brain basically forgets to breathe for a short time. This condition is rare.

  Obstructive sleep apnea causes the disruption and fragmentation of sleep due to the frequent arousals as a result of bodies reaction to a lowering of the level of oxygen in the blood. The increased strain on the heart, lungs, and brain often result in premature coronary problems, elevated blood pressure and poor quality of sleep.

Many individuals that have sleep apnea are not aware of their condition. Symptoms include excessive sleepiness, morning headaches, early morning dry mouth and sore throats, decreased alertness, falling asleep at inappropriate times and possibles short-term memory loss.

  Insomnia is defined as the inability to initiate and maintain sleep. Generally, it is an intermittent problem for most individuals. However, should insomnia become a chronic problem, it should be evaluated to determine the underlying cause.
  Nocturnal Myoclonus/ Restless Leg Syndrome are conditions involving limb movement. Rhythmic muscle movement or twitches of extremities may cause sleep disturbances. The movements are involuntary and can occur with such frequency that they cause short arousals from sleep or full awakenings. The patient usually feels fatigued in the morning.
  Narcolepsy is a disorder that usually presents in younger age groups- children, adolescents, and young adults but may begin at any age. Individuals often exhibit uncontrollable sleepiness regardless of how much sleep they get during the night. Other symptoms include Excessive daytime sleepiness/Sleep Attacks without warning. Cataplexy, a sudden loss of strength associated with strong emotions such as fear, surprise, anger etc. Hypnagogic hallucinations involve images or sounds in a partial awake state. Sleep paralysis is an abnormal extension of deep sleep and body weakness into a state of being awake.

If Narcolepsy is diagnosed that patient will usually undergo a overnight sleep study or PSG followed with a daytime Multiple Sleep Latency Test utilized to measure how sleepy an individual may be and wether that person achieves REM sleep or the dreaming state.