Sleep Disorders

Use the following links to find more information on specific sleep disorders, treatments and related topics.

Sleep Disorder Indicators

How can you tell if you or a loved one has a sleep disorder?

First, know that:

Many people with potentially dangerous sleep problems have no symptoms.
Sleep is the one time you cannot know what is happening to you!
Sleepiness is often unrecognized or its severity underestimated by the person experiencing it, but it often is evident to others.

Observations of family members, bed partners, friends and even co-workers can be invaluable. Ask them for help.

And remember: NO questionnaire can exclude the possibility of a sleep disorder.

If there is any chance that you may have a sleep disorder, arrange assessment promptly at a good quality sleep center. Testing is safe, treatments are available and the

complications of untreated sleep disorders can be devastating.

The following checklist may help to judge the significance of what you are experiencing or what you have observed with a loved one:

Group 1

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • The person has no energy/ feel worn out, depressed, irritable or overwhelmed.
  • The person has trouble remembering things/ worry about memory/ feel less efficient than they should be.
  • The person has dozed off in meetings, at work, during movies or while spending time with others.
  • The person has while driving, have run off onto the berm, or have “driven on autopilot”.
  • The person has trouble concentrating or have been suspected to have attention deficit disorder.
  • The person is still tired or groggy when they get up from sleep.
The symptoms indicated are consistent with a disorder of Excessive Sleepiness.
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Group 2

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • The person has awakened with one or more of the following: snores, snorts, choking, gasping, shortness of breath, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, dry throat,

    nasal congestion or headaches.

  • The person has night sweats, restless sleep, falling out of bed, bedwetting, or awakenings to urinate.
  • Others say that the person snores or stops breathing.
  • The person has muscle stiffness/ soreness or a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
  • One or more of the following apply: The person is overweight, has high blood pressure, a history of heart trouble, or is post-menopausal.
  • One or more of the person’s blood relatives suffers from heavy snoring, sleepiness or diagnosed sleep apnea.
  • The person has scoliosis, muscle weakness or chronic lung disease.
The symptoms indicated are consistent with Sleep Apnea or a related breathing disorder.
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Group 3

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • The person sees or hears things when they’re drowsy/ seems to begin dreaming before they’re fully asleep.
  • The person has experienced sudden muscle weakness with laughter, anger, pleasurable events or other emotions.
  • The person often dreams right away when they doze off or seem to dream intensely while they sleep
  • The person has experienced paralysis/ inability to move when awakening or when dozing off.
The symptoms indicated are consistent with Narcolepsy.

The only diagnostic symptom of Narcolepsy is Catalepsy: Sudden episodes of muscle weakness triggered by emotions. It is important to know that the other symptoms listed can be

the result of Sleep Apnea.

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Group 4

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • Awakenings with a sour or bitter taste, vomiting, wheezing, chest pain, heartburn, choking, or a dry cough.
  • The person has been diagnosed with chronic esophagitis or Barrett’s esophagus.
The symptoms indicated are consistent with Acid Reflux during sleep.

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Group 5

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • The person often can’t fall asleep for some time.
  • The person has symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome: their legs feel “antsy”; they feel like they must keep moving their legs to get relief.
  • The person wakes up frequently, with or without any associated symptoms.
  • The person often wakes up too early and has trouble returning to sleep.
  • The person’s sleep is light, fragmented or unrefreshing.
  • The person has frequently taken something to help them sleep.
The symptoms indicated are consistent with Insomnia.

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Group 6

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • The person has experienced screaming out
  • The person has experienced sleepwalking
  • Toothgrinding during sleep
  • Bedwetting
  • Acting out of dreams during sleep.
The symptoms indicated are consistent with Abnormal Behaviors in sleep.

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Group 7

THE PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATIONS:

  • The person has been told that they have episodes of blank staring without indications of sleepiness.
  • The person has experienced abnormal smells, tastes unrelieved by rinsing, visual distortions not due to eye problems, frequent deja vu or feelings of

    unreality.

  • The person has had frequent tongue biting, witnessed convulsions, generalized or one-sided body or head jerks in their sleep.
The symptoms indicated suggest that a seizure disorder may either be affecting sleep or masquerading as sleepiness.

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