Sleep Disorders

Simple Snoring
Snoring is a sound generated in either the back of the throat, or nose while sleeping. It is considered simple when it is not further complicated by the presence of sleep apnea.
Apnea — Obstructive Type
Breathing temporarily stops while we sleep. It may last from 10 seconds to a minute or longer. In obstructive type apnea, breathing stops because there is a physical blockage. This may be caused by excess bodyweight, the way our face, jaw, or neck are formed, or enlarged tonsils (common in children). Snoring is usually also present.
Apnea — Positional Obstructive Type
Also known as “POSA” and defined as having apneic events at least 1.5 times more frequently when sleeping on your back.
Apnea — Central Type
Breathing stops because our brain takes a pause from telling our lungs to breathe. This type is less common and may be caused by damage to our brain, such as from a stroke. It may occur without the presence of snoring.
Difficulty with either falling asleep, staying asleep, or both.
Excessive daytime sleepiness despite adequate nighttime sleep. Naps are not usually helpful. Sometimes caused by medications, substance abuse, or another medical condition, but often occurring without any precipitating factors.
Insufficient Nocturnal Sleep
Excessive daytime sleepiness caused by a lack of adequate nighttime sleep. These individuals have no difficulty falling, or staying asleep, but their own behavior causes them to miss out on the sleep they need. This is commonly seen in adolescents and teens who consistently stay up too late and then sleep in on the weekends in an attempt to “catch up” or recover.
A neurologic disorder causing excessive daytime sleepiness as evidenced by “sleep attacks” during the day. Naps are usually helpful, but this relief is only short lived. Nighttime sleep is usual normal in duration, but riddled with arousals and awakenings. The time lapse between falling asleep and experiencing REM sleep is characteristically rapid. Most narcoleptics also experience cataplexy.
A rapid, temporary, complete or partial loss of muscle tone of the face, legs, or whole body usually following emotion, such as laughter while maintaining consciousness.
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
A group of disorders arising from a discrepancy between the body’s internal sleep wake cycle and either the extrinsic cycle of day and night, or the required cycle, such as night shift work. One such example is advanced sleep phase syndrome characteristic of the elderly patient who goes to bed very early in the evening and then awakens several hours before dawn unable to get back to sleep.

Sleep Related Movement Disorders

Restless Leg Syndrome
An unpleasant sensation in the legs, such as burning when sitting, or lying down and most commonly experienced at night. There is also usually an uncontrollable urge to move the legs which when accomplished relieves the unpleasant sensation.
Sleep-Related Bruxism
The action of grinding the teeth during sleep.
A large group of disorders including those caused by arousals from non- REM sleep, such as sleepwalking, those associated with REM sleep, such as REM sleep behavior disorder, and others such as groaning, hallucinations, and exploding head syndrome.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder: Movements during REM sleep associated with dreaming, such as screaming, or punching and ending with awakening and excellent recall of the dream. This disorder is uncommon, but may pose a safety hazard to the patient and bed partners.

Exploding Head Syndrome: A benign, painless, but annoying sensation of a loud bang when just falling asleep, or just before wakening.