First Choice Neurology

Sleep Disorders

Sleep is a cornerstone of overall health and well-being, but for many individuals, the realm of restful slumber is fraught with challenges due to sleep disorders.  Sleep disorders are a condition in which you have the irresistible urge to move the legs (restless legs syndrome), snoring to the point you can't sleep, sleep apnea, insomnia, jet lag, and sleep deprivation. This can also include night terrors, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking.

Over 20% of Americans may suffer from chronic sleep loss or untreated sleep disorders and more than 1,500 deaths a year are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

Common Sleep Disorders

1. Insomnia: Persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite having the opportunity to sleep.
Common Causes: Stress, anxiety, depression, and irregular sleep schedules.
Impact: Fatigue, irritability, and impaired daytime functioning.

2. Sleep Apnea: A condition characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep.
Common Causes: Obesity, anatomical factors, and family history.
Impact: Excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and an increased risk of cardiovascular issues.

3. Narcolepsy: A neurological disorder causing sudden and uncontrollable episodes of sleep during waking hours.
Common Causes: Genetic factors and abnormalities in the brain's wake-sleep regulation.
Impact: Daytime sleep attacks, cataplexy (sudden muscle weakness), and disrupted nighttime sleep.

4. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): An irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations.
Common Causes: Genetics, iron deficiency, and certain medications.
Impact: Disrupted sleep, difficulty falling asleep, and daytime fatigue.

5. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD): Involuntary movements of the legs or arms during sleep.
Common Causes: Genetics, iron deficiency, and certain medications.
Impact: Fragmented sleep, daytime sleepiness, and impaired cognitive function.

sleep-disordersFacts about Sleep Disorders

• Not getting enough sleep can cause weight gain, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, an impaired immune system, and attention deficit disorder.
• On average most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
• Women usually sleep more than men.
• A 30-minute workout each day correlates with 14 extra minutes of sleep per night.

Warning Signs of Sleeping Disorders

Recognizing the warning signs of sleep disorders is crucial for early intervention and effective management. Some common indicators include:

Persistent Fatigue: Feeling consistently tired, despite spending an adequate amount of time in bed.

Difficulty Falling or Staying Asleep: Frequent struggles to initiate sleep or maintain a continuous sleep pattern.

Loud Snoring: Especially when accompanied by pauses in breathing, a potential sign of sleep apnea.

Daytime Sleepiness: Experiencing excessive drowsiness during waking hours, leading to difficulties concentrating and staying alert.

Restlessness or Movement during Sleep: Frequent tossing and turning, leg movements, or other disruptive behaviors.

Morning Headaches: Waking up with headaches may indicate sleep apnea or other sleep-related breathing disorders.

Mood Changes: Irritability, mood swings, and heightened emotional sensitivity may be linked to inadequate or disrupted sleep.

Sleep Self-Test

Do you snore, gasp, or stop breathing while asleep?
Do you have restless legs?
Do you act out your dreams?
Do you exhibit bizarre or violent behavior in sleep?
Are you excessively sleepy during the day?
Do you have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke or depression?

Treatment for Sleeping Disorders

Treatment for Sleep Disorders can include seeing a neurologist, medications, surgery, or sleep treatment plans. If you are suffering from a sleeping disorder, contact First Choice Neurology. We have 3 Sleep Centers located in Florida. First Choice Neurology partners with Baptist Sleep Centers to offer the finest care in Sleep Diagnostic Testing. We provide day and night sleep studies. Our Sleep Centers offer diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, nocturnal behavior disorders, and narcolepsy.

Here are some approaches to address common sleep disorders:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I): A structured therapeutic approach that addresses negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with insomnia.
Benefits: Improves sleep quality without the use of medications, promoting long-term success.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for Sleep Apnea: A device that delivers a continuous stream of air, preventing airway collapse during sleep.
Benefits: Reduces snoring, alleviates daytime sleepiness, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Stimulus Control Therapy: Establishing a consistent sleep environment and associating the bedroom with sleep rather than wakefulness.
Benefits: Improves sleep efficiency and helps break the cycle of insomnia.

Medications: Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be recommended in certain cases.
Benefits: Temporary relief from symptoms; however, long-term use should be carefully monitored.

Iron Supplements for RLS and PLMD: Addressing underlying iron deficiency, which can exacerbate symptoms.
Benefits: Alleviates restless sensations and reduces involuntary limb movements during sleep.

Wake-Promoting Medications for Narcolepsy: Stimulant medications to promote wakefulness and reduce daytime sleep attacks.
Benefits: Improves alertness and helps manage narcolepsy symptoms.

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