A sleep disorder disrupts and disturbs your overall quality of life. It can affect a child, teen, adult, parent or senior citizen.
Roughly 40 million Americans have a sleep disorder – and most are completely unaware of it. Many who are aware they have a diagnosable sleep disorder seek the help they need.
Sleepiness is commonly experienced by anyone who is sleep-deprived. Evaluation at the Crozer-Keystone Sleep Centers will help confirm a diagnosis and establish a treatment program. The following are the most common adult sleep disorders:
- Chronic Sleep Deprivation: A severe and continual lack of sleep, when the patient routinely sleeps less than what is required for optimal functioning.
- Insomnia: Short and poor quality sleep that affects your functioning during the day.
- Narcolepsy: A chronic disorder of the central nervous system characterized by the brain's inability to control sleep-wake cycles.
- Parasomnias: A disruptive sleep-related disorder that can occur during arousals from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or arousals from non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD): Simple, repetitive, uncontrollable and often imperceptive muscle movements that occur while your body is at rest.
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): A condition in which your legs feel very uncomfortable when you're sitting or lying down.
- Sleep Apnea: A serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common than generally understood.
Signs of a Sleep Disorder
You might have a sleep disorder if:
- Your snoring disturbs your bed partner
- You have trouble falling asleep at night more than three times a week.
- You wake up often during the night.
- You feel tired throughout the day.
- You find yourself falling asleep while driving, at work or in class.
- You have an itchy, crawly feeling in your legs.
- You wake up with a headache or a dry/sore throat.
Risk Factors for Sleep Disorders
Some of the common risk factors for sleep disorders include:
- Age: While sleep problems affect all ages, they’re more common in middle and older-age adults. Children have different sleep patterns, resulting in unique pediatric sleep problems.
- Gender: Women are more likely to suffer from insomnia; men are more likely to have sleep apnea.
- Weight: The more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop a sleep disorder.
- Anatomy: Some people have structural abnormalities in the sinuses, mouth, throat or elsewhere in the upper airway.
- Drug or alcohol use: Medications, alcohol or illegal drugs can interfere with normal sleep patterns or the ability to awaken from sleep.
- Other medical problems: People who suffer from high blood pressure or depression are also at higher risk.
How to Improve Your Sleep
Doctors call it “sleep hygiene.” Just like dental hygiene, developing the right habits can have a big impact on your health.
Nighttime rituals might seem like a too-easy solution, but the following guidelines have been proven to be critical in establishing healthy sleep patterns:
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Always sleep in a bed in a dark, quiet room – avoid the temptation to sleep in a recliner or on the couch.
- Give yourself time to unwind from daily activities to help clear your mind.
- Follow the same “getting ready for bed” routine every night.
- Get regular daily exercise.
- Don’t eat within four hours of going to bed.
- Avoid all caffeine six hours before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco two hours before bedtime.
Request an Appointment
To request an appointment at a Crozer-Keystone Sleep Center, complete our online secure appointment request form or call 1-888-753-3703.