Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Center:
Types Of Sleep Conditions
Sleep disorders are frequently undiagnosed and untreated, often because the person suffering from the disorder doesn’t understand the problem or recognize its symptoms. Sleep deprivation can cause a variety of conditions, including the inability to concentrate, irritability, distraction, drowsy driving and daytime sleepiness. Sleep disorders have also been linked to other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Symptoms of sleep disorders include:
- Waking frequently during the night
- Falling asleep during the day
- Feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep
- Waking with a headache, sore throat or aching legs
The Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Center at Newton Medical Center treats many types of sleep conditions. Snoring is the most common type of sleep disorder. It occurs when the muscles of the throat relax, the tongue falls backwards and the throat becomes narrow and floppy. When a person breathes, the walls of the throat begin to vibrate, leading to the characteristic sound of snoring.
Snoring can be caused by abnormalities of the nose and throat, such as nasal polyps, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or a deviated nasal septum. Other conditions that factor into snoring include sleep position, alcohol consumption and taking muscle relaxants prior to bedtime. Obese people, who usually have a large amount of fatty tissue around the neck, are especially prone to the condition.
Other sleep disorders include:
- Sleep apnea – the word apnea literally means “without breath.” People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night, for a minute or longer. There are three types of apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea - the most common apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep
- Central sleep apnea - the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe
- Mixed apnea - is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea
- Narcolepsy – a disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. In fact, narcolepsy patients actually do sleep a normal amount of time, but cannot control the timing of their sleep cycles, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden sleep attacks, insomnia and dream-like hallucinations.
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) – a disorder that causes uncomfortable leg sensations such as a creeping or crawling feeling, burning, tingling or cramping of the legs or feet that occur continually while your body is at rest. It has been associated with anemia, diabetes, pregnancy, nerve damage, sciatica, arthritis and alcoholism as well as Periodic Leg Movements in Sleep (PLMS).
- Periodic Leg Movements in Sleep (PLMS) – a disorder in which a sufferer’s legs twitch or go through repetitive movements every 20 to 40 seconds during episodes lasting a few minutes to several hours while sleeping. Sufferers are often unaware of the condition but complain of symptoms such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness or feeling tired upon waking. PLMS can be an indicator of serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, anemia or kidney problems.
Take the Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Center’s Self-Assessment Test to help you determine whether to seek medical advice regarding your sleep patterns.
The Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Center is located at 222 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860. For more information or to schedule a consultation or a sleep test, please call 973-579-8330.