Common Sleep Disorders
Healthful sleep habits can ease the severity of sleep problems, but many people need medical treatment to get a good night’s sleep. Following are some of the most common sleep disorders, which are evaluated at The Sleep Disorders Center at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
A person with sleep apnea stops and starts breathing again while asleep. This may happen several hundred times during the night, causing loud snoring and gasping, morning headache, sore throat, daytime sleepiness and problems with memory and concentration. If left untreated, it can result in irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, stroke or impotency in males. Sleep apnea is a very serious sleep disorder.
A person with insomnia is unable to fall asleep during the night.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
A person with RLS has muscle twitches in their calves, thighs and ankles throughout the night, causing restless sleep and excessive tiredness during the day.
A person with narcolepsy suddenly falls asleep during the day.
The Sleep Evaluation
If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, consult with your primary care physician and they will determine if a sleep study is necessary. The sleep study will provide your physician with information about how you breathe and sleep. This data will help your physician to determine the type and severity of your sleep disorder. It can also help to determine your treatment options.
The Sleep Testing Process
The sleep study test will require you to spend the night at the Sleep Disorders Center at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. You will be directed when to report to the hospital. A few days before your test, you will receive information and a questionnaire to complete and bring with you the night of your sleep study. A staff member will escort you to an attractive, comfortable room where your sleep test will be conducted.
Before you retire for the evening, a technician will place several small electrodes, or sensors, on your body. These will record your body movements, brain waves, heart rate, air flow, breathing and blood/oxygen levels. They will not restrict your movement or cause you discomfort. The technician will remain in an adjoining room throughout your test, and will wake you the next morning.
The results of your testing will be documented in a report and reviewed by a physician credentialed in interpreting sleep study tests. The report summarizing the information with the sleep specialist’s impressions will then be sent to your referring physician. Your physician will discuss the results of your report and various treatment options with you.