The Undetected DisorderBecause many people think it is “typical to feel tired during the day, they don’t pursue their sleep problems.  In fact, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most common and treatable sleep disorders, yet it frequently goes undiagnosed.  OSA involves snoring and irregular breathing during sleep.  An affected person may stop breathing for prolonged periods, or wake up choking, or gasping.

Not only does, OSA affect the quality and quantity of sleep, it can also lead to serious long-term medical problems.  Recent research shows that sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure and poor heart function.  If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, or if you are a cardiac patient who snores, you may benefit from a sleep evaluation.

Other common sleep disorders include:

Narcolepsy– severe daytime sleepiness with “sleep attacks.”  Some patients experience cataplexy, a sudden muscle weakness in response to emotional stimuli, like laughter or a startle.  Vivid dreams at the onset of sleep or with naps are quite common.

Restless leg syndrome– irritable, “creepy crawly” feelings in the feet and legs often around bedtime.  Some patients may also kick their legs during sleep disturbing their own sleep and that of the bed partner.

Insomia– difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue may result from these and other less common disorders.  A full evaluation may be the first step in solving your problem.