A sleep disorder can cause a person to feel fatigued during the day, interfering with work and personal life. Those with a disorder may become unusually forgetful, have trouble concentrating, and be irritable, anxious and/or depressed. If left untreated, many disorders can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, heart attack or stroke. Sometimes the person with a sleep disorder may not realize they have a problem (such as loud snoring or apnea), but a partner is very aware of the condition. Listed below are the most commonly diagnosed sleep disorders and symptoms.
- Do I have a sleep disorder?
Signs include but are not limited to the following symptoms:
Choking or gasping during sleep.
Daytime exhaustion even after a full night’s sleep.
Loud or frequent snoring
- What if I sleep alone?
If you are alone, you may not be aware that you suffer from the symptoms since no one is there to alert you because you are also disrupting their sleep. The best way to determine if a sleep disorder is at the root of yourproblem is to be tested. Better safe than sorry.
- How do I get tested?
You will need a prescription from a physician for sleep testing. If you Suspect that you have a problem and don’t have a physician, we have physicians at Delaware Sleep Disorder Center who can meet with you to determine the correct course of action for your symptoms.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Sleep Apnea is defined as a pause in breathing. Apnea during sleep is more frequent in middle-aged, obese men, but this sleep disorder affects men, women and children of all ages and ethnicities. Loud snoring and daytime sleepiness are key symptoms. Sleep Apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention and intervention.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep or remaining asleep. There are many causes of insomnia. Among them are stress, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and even the long-term use of sleeping pills. People with serious insomnia often do not function well during the day.
Restless Legs Syndrome
People with Restless Legs Syndrome typically experience an unpleasant or creepy-crawly sensation in their legs, which often delays the onset of sleep. These sensations are most bothersome in the evening, but can occur at other times. People with true Restless Legs Syndrome will spend the first hours of their bedtime rubbing their legs or getting up to try and “walk off” these unpleasant sensations, ultimately getting only a few hours of sleep per night.
Parasomnia is a category of sleep disorders that includes sleep walking, bed-wetting and nightmares. They are undesirable events that occur exclusively in sleep or are made worse by sleep. Young children will likely outgrow the parasomnic activity. However, adults may require intervention by a physician.
This is a condition typified by daytime attacks of uncontrollable sleep, frightening dream-like episodes occurring while falling asleep, and/or coexisting episodes of weakness brought on by emotions such as laughter or surprise.