Sleep is one of the vital functions of life. Thousands of people have trouble sleeping. Are you one of them? If trouble sleeping affects other areas of your life, it can become a serious issue. Often, sleep disorders are caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy or periodic limb movement disorder, and sometimes sleep problems can be a result of other issues. At the Shoals Sleep Center, we can help. We can diagnose and treat most sleep disorders so that you can once again have a restful and necessary good night’s sleep.
The Sleep Center at North Alabama Shoals Hospital is fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Our staff includes licensed sleep technologists with years of experience. The center has all private rooms with full-sized beds and private baths, with convenient parking and easy access. We look forward to assisting you by developing a plan to address your individual sleeping concerns.
Sleep Apnea is a treatable disorder in which a person stops breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during a night. It is estimated that at least 10 million Americans have sleep apnea, but it can be misdiagnosed.
“Apnea” is a Greek word meaning “without breath.” Those with sleep apnea literally stop breathing in their sleep! An apnea is clinically defined in adults as a cessation of breath that lasts at least ten seconds; in children, apnea is defined as a cessation of breath that lasts the equivalent of two-and-a- half missed breaths.
There are three different types of apnea: obstructive, central, or mixed (which is a combination of obstructive and central). Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. Usually the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes the airway so that sufferers of sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, as frequently as 100 times an hour and often for a minute or longer.
People with untreated sleep apnea are generally not even aware of the awakening, but are only aware that they are sleepy during the day. They may, however, realize that they snore or gasp for air during sleep. Loud snoring, punctuated with periods of silence (the apneas), is typical but is not always present, especially in children.
Consequences of untreated sleep apnea include:
People with untreated sleep apnea may also complain of:
Untreated sleep apnea, like sleep deprivation, may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle accidents. Apnea is a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia.
Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
However, sleep apnea can affect both males and females of all ages, including children, and any weight or ethnicity.
Narcolepsy is a neurological condition resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. People who suffer from narcolepsy experience extreme tiredness, perhaps even falling asleep during the day at inappropriate times, such as at work or in school. A narcoleptic person will usually experience disturbed sleep at night, which is often mistaken for insomnia.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder is a sleep disorder in which the patient involuntarily moves or jerks limbs during sleep, and has symptoms or problems related to the movement. The person experiencing these limb movements are rarely aware of them, but a bed partner often is. This disorder can lead to tiredness during the day because it disrupts your sleep at night.