Types of Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders and how they affect you

There are various types of sleep disorders. They include:

Sleep Apnea - It is the most common and serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. The airway repeatedly becomes blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches your lungs. When this happens, you may snore loudly or make choking noises as you try to breathe. Your brain and body becomes oxygen-deprived, and you may wake up. This may happen a few times a night, or in more severe cases, several hundred times a night. The lack of oxygen your body receives can have negative long‐term consequences for your health, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.

Restless Leg Syndrome - This is a neurological sleep disorder where you have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. Restless leg syndrome makes it difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. The symptoms are usually worse at night. You may lie down and begin to feel burning, throbbing, or itching inside your legs. If you move your legs or get up and walk around, these symptoms may go away. The discomfort may return when you try to return to sleep.

Insomnia - The most common sleep complaint, is where people simply have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or they wake up too early and are unable to go back to sleep. Short term insomnia lasts up to two months and affects between 15 and 20 percent of people. Chronic insomnia occurs at least three times per week, and lasts for at least three months. It affects 10 percent of the population.

Narcolepsy - This is a lifelong sleep disorder that makes you feel overwhelmingly tired. In severe cases, people suffer sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks. Narcolepsy can impact nearly every aspect of your life. It is dangerous because you can have excessive sleepiness or a sleep attack at any time of the day, and in the middle of any activity, including eating, walking, or driving. It may be associated with sudden loss of muscle tone.

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Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN sleep medicine services.