Sleep Diseases & Conditions
Restless leg syndrome is characterized by a strong urge to move your legs associated with crawling sensations in the legs. These uncontrolled movements can cause frequent arousals and disruption in your sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) means that breathing stops during sleep due to the collapse of the upper airway. This repeated airway collapse leads to apneas, arousals and low blood oxygen levels. OSA can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and driving accidents.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep and maintaining sleep. Insomnia may be transient, meaning it lasts a few days, or chronic, which can last for weeks or months. This condition is often caused by daily stress, depression, panic, poor sleep hygiene, caffeine, alcohol, chronic pain, asthma, shift work or jet lag.
About 10 percent of people who work outside the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday experience difficulty sleeping when sleep is desired, needed or expected. Symptoms include excessive sleepiness when you need to be awake and insomnia when you need to sleep.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which you experience sleepiness attacks, dreaming while awake. You may fall asleep suddenly, even while eating, walking or driving. Narcolepsy can also cause hallucinations.
Sleep Treatments & Procedures
Surgery is generally only used as an option when other treatments have failed to correct your sleep disruption. Surgery for sleep apnea is intended to enlarge the airway either through your nose or throat. For severe, life-threatening sleep apnea, it may be necessary to create a new air passageway through surgery, a procedure called a tracheostomy.
Oral appliances, such as mouth guards, may be useful for some sleep disruption sufferers. These devices are designed to keep your throat open during sleep.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications to help you get to sleep or improve the quality of your sleep.
A CPAP gently blows air from a mask on the nose into the back of your throat. This keeps your airway open during sleep. Regular CPAP use has been shown to improve daytime function, reduce driving accidents and improve blood pressure and heart function.
A BPAP is similar to a CPAP, however, instead of applying constant pressure in your airway, the BPAP builds to a higher pressure when you inhale and lower pressure when you exhale. This treatment can help create steady breathing patterns during sleep.