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Sleep Disorders

How you perform during the day is related to how much sleep you get on regular basis. Impairment of daily routine functioning, difficulty initiating or maintaining prolonged sleep, or experiencing daily non-restorative sleep for at least one month may be a signal of a sleep disorder. Some of the more common symptoms of sleep disorders in adults include:

  • Frequently having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling un-refreshed after sleep 
  • Snoring loudly, stopping breathing or gasping for breath during sleep 
  • Excessive sleepiness and feeling irritable, or depressed during the day 
  • Unpleasant, tingling, creeping feelings or nervousness in the legs when trying to sleep 
  • Difficulty staying awake while driving Reliance on caffeinated beverages to make it through the day 
  • Frequent memory lapses or difficulty concentrating, or slow response reaction 
  • Feeling the need for a daily nap 
  • Others frequently comment on how tired you look 
  • Difficulty staying awake while sitting (i.e. watching television, reading a book) 
  • Difficulty concentrating at work, school, or home 

Sleep deprivation is a serious health condition. It is important to evaluate the possible causes of sleep disorder symptoms and find a solution. Left untreated sleep disorders and the lack of quality sleep may contribute to hypertension, heart disease and obesity, and ultimately reduce life span. Make an appointment with a sleep specialist at McLaren Central Michigan.

Sleep Disorders


Symptoms of insomnia can be different for each individual, and people with insomnia might experience a variety of symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep, which can mean lying in bed for up to an hour or more, perhaps tossing and turning, wishing for sleep to begin
  • Awakening during sleep and having trouble getting back to sleep
  • Awakening too early in the morning
  • Feeling unrefreshed upon awakening
  • Daytime irritability, drowsiness, anxiety, and/or non-productiveness

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Narcolepsy is a syndrome of excessive daytime sleepiness and is often signaled by unexpected "sleep attacks." These attacks can be very dangerous if they occur while the person is driving, operating equipment or performing other functions.

Symptoms of narcolepsy can include:

  • Suddenly falling asleep at inappropriate times
  • Loss of muscle tone, often following strong emotions such as anger or laughter (cataplexy)
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Vivid dream states which seem real
  • Urge to sleep again within one to two hours after sleeping

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Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

For most people, dreams are just a mental activity during sleep. Those who suffer from REM Behavior Disorder act out their dreams. They may physically move their limbs, talk, shout, scream, or fly out of bed.

Sleep involves three stages: wakefulness, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. For those with REM Behavior Disorder, the brain's electrical activity during REM sleep appears similar to electrical activity during waking. The characteristics of one stage of leave carry over into the others.

Those with REM Behavior Disorder lack the temporary muscle paralysis that most individuals experience during REM sleep. This permits them to act out their dreams while still asleep.

Researchers have found that more than 90% of REM Behavior Disorder patients are male and usually over the age of 50. Research is ongoing as to the cause of REM Behavior Disorder. A formal sleep study is needed to confirm this disorder. In general, benzodiazapine medications control or eliminate the behavior in 90% of all cases.

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Restless Leg Syndrome

If you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), you'll recognize these symptoms:

  • You have an urge to move your legs. You feel uncomfortable creeping, crawling sensations, and the only relief is to move your legs. Some affected by RLS will try rubbing their legs, trying a different position in bed, or getting up and walking.
  • RLS appears late in the day and at night. The condition worsens while lying down and is a common"sleep stealer."

The cause of RLS is unknown, but symptoms tend to worsen with age. There appears to be some hereditary tendency when first-degree relatives have RLS. Some cases of RLS have been associated with iron deficiency anemia, stress, diet and other health problems.

Many RLS patients response to treatment with levadopa medication. Some researchers have concluded RLS may be related to a dopamine deficiency in the body.

According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, RLS is a common, underdiagnosed, but treatable condition. Symptoms can range from bothersome to almost incapacitating. Most cases of RLS respond to pharmacological treatment. If you experience the symptoms described, talk with your family doctor. You may be referred for a sleep study to confirm RLS, or referred to a sleep specialist.

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Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Tossing and turning during sleep
  • Periods of non-breathing during sleep
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Feeling suffocated during sleep
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Morning headaches
  • Feeling irritated and unrested
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times, such as while eating, driving, or talking
  • Problems on the job

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Sleep Center - Sleep Disorders

Most commonly affecting children, but also occurring in adults, parasomnias are often signs of a very serious underlying psychological or medical problem. As an example, sleep terrors which usually occur during the deepest stages of sleep can sometimes be caused by epilepsy, while persistent nightmares may be the result of a psychological disorder. For this reason, accurate diagnosis of parasomnias is very important to determine the proper form of treatment.

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