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Sleep Disorders

Diagnosing Your Sleepless Nights

Sleeping womanThere are a number of conditions that could keep you up at night. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), about 24 percent of men and 9 percent of women have the breathing symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), with or without daytime sleepiness. About 80 to 90 percent of adults with OSA remain undiagnosed.

Patients who are overweight or obese, men and women with large neck sizes (17 inches or more for men, 16 inches or more for women), middle-aged and older men and post-menopausal women, ethnic minorities and patients with a family member with OSA are at the highest risk of developing the condition.

Patients who suffer from OSA may experience:

  • Unrefreshing and fragmented sleep
  • Severe daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chronic elevation in their daytime blood pressure
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Impaired concentration
  • Mood changes
  • Impaired blood glucose tolerance and insulin resistance
  • Higher rates of death attributed to heart disease

Their symptoms are often noticed by their bed partner.

Another sleep disorder, though much more rare, is narcolepsy. The AASM reports that less than 1 percent of the population has narcolepsy, and about 5 percent of patients seen at accredited sleep centers have narcolepsy.

Sleep studies are also useful for diagnosing restless leg syndrome (RLS), REM sleep disorders, periodic limb movement disorder, delayed sleep phase syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders, insomnia and more.

A sleep study monitored by a polysomnographer and read by a qualified physician can determine if a sleep disorder exists, and if so, what course of treatment would work best in correcting the problem.

For more information, call 770.812.9146.

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