This is the most common sleep complaint. It occurs when you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or do not feel refreshed in the morning even though you had the opportunity to get a full night of sleep. The causes, symptom and severity of insomnia vary from person to person. Insomnia may include:
Restless legs syndrome is a neurological sleep disorder that makes you have an overwhelming, often, irresistible urge to move your legs. The symptoms are usually worse at night. The sensation is difficult for some people to describe. You may lie down and begin to feel burning or itching inside your legs. If you move your legs or get up and walk around, these symptoms may go away. The discomfort may return when you try again to go to sleep.
Restless legs syndrome makes it difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. At night the condition is defined as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while individuals are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up. Parasomnias may include emotions, perceptions, abnormal movements, behaviors, or dreams. Although the behaviors may be complex and may appear purposeful to others, the patient remains asleep during the event and often have no memory that it occurred. A parasomnia may make it difficult to sleep through the night.
This is a very common and underdiagnosed problem in modern life with its demands on an individual’s time.
Shift work sleep disorder occurs when there are difficulties adjusting to a work schedule that takes place during a time which most people sleep. When a person has shift work disorder, there is a conflict between the body’s circadian rhythms and work schedule. The patient may have to be at work when the body wants to sleep. Thus when a person has to sleep, the body expects to be awake.
There are multiple variations of shift work schedules that can cause difficulties. These include:
About half of people snore at some point in their lives. Snoring is more common in men, though many women snore. It appears to run in families and becomes more common as you get older. About 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women are habitual snorers. Men become less likely to snore after the age of 70.
Snoring can be of different intensities and is often a nuisance to people around us.
Light snoring is common. However, loud snoring can indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea which is a significant health risk factor.
When snoring is associated with other medical problems or observed cessation of breathing, gasping, or choking, then further evaluation with a complete sleep evaluation is indicated as this may indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Sleep apnea affects some 18 million people. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2002 Sleep in America poll, about 1 in 10 adults reported experiencing some pauses in breathing during sleep. Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea. About 59% of adults said they snore, according to the same poll. About 1/4 of those who snore do so every night or almost every night. In sleep apnea, the airway of the snorer closes and he/she must wake up to resume breathing. This cycle may repeat hundreds of times during the night, resulting in severe daytime sleepiness.
The diagnosis of this disorder requires an overnight sleep study. For more information, see our page on diagnostic testing.