What are sleep disorders?
Most people do not recognize that sleep is an active state that is essential for mental and physical revitalization, not merely a break from every day life. More than 110 million Americans of all ages do not get a sufficient night's sleep.
There are currently about 100 classified sleep disorders that potentially harm personal health and quality of life. In addition, individuals who are unable to sleep, or who are excessively sleepy can contribute to traffic and industrial accidents.
Sleep disorders can be identified by some or all of the following signs and symptoms:
Insomnia - problems falling asleep
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Sleep apnea - A potentially life-threatening disorder that causes an irregularity in breathing during sleep. This disorder may contribute to high blood pressure, excessive sleepiness, cardiac dysfunction, and heart failure. Loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness may be symptoms of sleep apnea.
Adherence to a consistent sleep/wake schedule.
Nocturnal myoclonus - disturbed sleep caused by kicking and irregular leg movements
How are sleep disorders diagnosed?
First, a consultation with a board certified sleep specialist is arranged. This consultation includes a complete history and physical exam, and it allows the doctor to collect all of the pertinent information and facts about your sleep patterns.
If testing is recommended, a sleep study will be arranged to record data about your sleep study and breathing patterns.
What is a sleep study?
Under the direction of our board certified sleep specialist, the study is conducted by one of our highly qualified technicians who record the patient's brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, limb movements, heart activity, oxygen levels, and breathing during one or two nights' sleep.
A nighttime study will not only show whether you suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, but also how severe the problem is, which is information that influences your treatment.
The sleep study, or polysomnogram, is painless and it can be done either in the privacy of your home or in our private, state-of-the-art sleep center. Hospitalization is neither necessary nor required.
What treatments might be used?
Treatments for sleep disorders may include medication, devices to aid in breathing, and specific changes in diet and lifestyle.
How can I find out more?
For more information, please contact us at either of our offices, or at the Center for Sleep Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center.