Sleep is an important part of one’s health: disrupted sleep can disrupt one’s work, school, and even relationships. Sleep disorders impact one’s ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, wake up, and/or stay awake after a night’s sleep. If you are experiencing a disruption to the quality or quantity of sleep, seek medical attention from a certified neurologist.
Circadian rhythm disorders are disorders of one’s internal clock that helps regulate sleep, hormone production, and other important functions. Examples of circadian rhythm disorders include
- REM sleep behavior disorder. REM sleep behavior disorder causes people to physically act out unpleasant dreams, often with violent leg and arm movements during REM sleep.
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome. Sometimes called delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, DSPS is a disorder that causes one’s sleep to be delayed by two hours or later than what is considered conventional, thus causing difficulty waking up.
People with hypersomnia, or idiopathic hypersomnia, experience excess daytime sleepiness despite receiving enough nighttime rest.
One of the most common sleep disorders, insomnia makes it persistently difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. An extremely rare and devastating form of insomnia is fatal familial insomnia, where difficulty sleeping gets progressively worse, resulting in coma, and sometimes, death.
KLS is a rare sleep disorder that primarily affects adolescent males and causes excessive sleep, excessive eating, and even alters behavior and disposition.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder causing extreme daytime drowsiness. Sudden sleep episodes called sleep attacks can occur at any time, which can not only interfere with day-to-day life but could also be life-threatening if engaged in behaviors such as driving.
Parasomnia refers to any behaviors considered unusual and unwanted when sleeping, including nightmares, night terrors, sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, bedwetting, and teeth grinding.
How are sleep disorders diagnosed?
Sleep disorders are diagnosed based on symptoms reported to your doctor along with an in-office physical examination (it’s often recommended that you keep a sleep diary detailing your sleep schedule, patterns, and habits). After reviewing your symptoms, your doctor may recommend you for polysomnography, or a sleep study. A sleep study records the patient’s brain waves, blood-oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing, and eye movements.
Your doctor may also run tests to rule out other causes of sleep disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
How are sleep disorders treated?
Treatment for sleep disorders will vary depending on the disorders but may include a combination of the following:
- Implementation of a sleep schedule, including on the weekends
- Lifestyle changes such as exercise, meditation, and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake may difficulty sleeping
- Assistive sleeping device
Why Choose NGPG
NGPG Neuroscience employs several board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurointerventional surgeons, neuropsychiatrists, and other specialists who provide high-quality care and up-to-date treatments through our two outpatient Neurology office locations. For imaging and surgical care, we partner with the Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s expert neurosciences team and state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring our patients access to the services of a leading hospital alongside our excellent outpatient care.
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