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What is Sleep Disorder?

Most of us have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, due to stress or other outside factors. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders cause more than just sleepiness. The lack of quality sleep can have a negative impact on your energy, emotional balance, and health. If you’re experiencing sleeping problems, learn about the symptoms of common sleep disorders, what you can do to help yourself, and when to see a doctor

Sleep can often be a barometer of your overall health. In many cases, people in good health tend to sleep well, whereas those suffering from repeated sleeping problems might have an underlying medical or mental health problem, be it minor or serious. Sleeping well is essential to your physical health and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, even minimal sleep loss can take a toll on your mood, energy, efficiency, and ability to handle stress. Ignoring sleep problems and disorders can lead to poor health, accidents, impaired job performance, and relationship stress. If you want to feel your best, stay healthy, and perform up to your potential, sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorder

Everyone experiences occasional sleeping problems, but how can you tell whether your sleeping problem is just a minor, passing annoyance or a sign of a more serious sleep disorder or underlying medical condition?

Start by scrutinizing your symptoms, looking especially for the telltale daytime signs of sleep deprivation. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may be dealing with a sleep disorder.

  1. Feel irritable or sleepy during the day
  2. Have difficulty staying awake when sitting still, watching television or reading
  3. Fall asleep or feel very tired while driving
  4. Have difficulty concentrating
  5. Often get told by others that you look tired
  6. React slowly
  7. Have trouble controlling your emotions
  8. Feel like you have to take a nap almost every day
  9. Require caffeinated beverages to keep yourself going

Other symptoms include:

  1. Loud, chronic snoring
  2. Frequent pauses in breathing during sleep
  3. Gasping, snorting, or choking during sleep
  4. Feeling exhausted after waking and sleepy during the day, no matter how much time you spent in bed
  5. Waking up with shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, nasal congestion, or a dry throat

If you’ve tried a variety of self-help sleep remedies without success, schedule an appointment with a Lung Center specialist.

At your appointment, be prepared with information about your sleep patterns and provide the doctor with as much supporting information as possible so that the physician can determine your type of sleep disorder.

In order to diagnose Sleep Apnea or other sleep disorders, a patient must undergo a polysomnography (sleep study). This is typically done in a sleep lab, requiring the patient to spend the night in-lab, while the polysomnography (PSG) equipment records his/her physiological data. However, today with technological advancements a polysomnograpy can be performed at home and is called home sleep testing (HST) or a home sleep study.

The advantages of Home Sleep Study (HST)

  1. The patient self-administers the home sleep test, and is able to spend the night in the patient's own bed in familiar surroundings (reducing first night effect)
  2. Home sleep testing, a home sleep study, can be especially advantageous to the home-bound, elderly, or those with chronic illness, who require specialized care such as a nurse or family member spending the night, expensive transportation costs, etc. It is also beneficial for those with trouble arranging time out of their schedules to spend the night in-lab
  3. The typical cost of a home sleep test or a home sleep study is only a fraction of the cost of an in-lab sleep study, and typically yields similar results in the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

It has been established that sufferers of sleep apnea have a 60% increased risk of developing heart failure, a 200% higher likelihood of developing a stroke, 300% increased chance of resistant hypertension and a dramatic 400% increased risk for developing atrial fi brillation. Call the Lung Center today at 409.813.1677