St. Joseph Health System
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Common Sleep Disorders

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are many types of sleep disorders and we are equipped to test and treat all of them. The most common is Sleep Apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common but serious disorder in which a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud, interrupted snoring, observations by a bed partner of breath-holding episodes, morning headaches, and daytime drowsiness. This sleep disorder frequently goes unrecognized and can lead to such problems as trouble concentrating or remembering things, drowsy driving, being tired all day, increased chances of accidents, problems with depression or anger management, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities, heart attack and possibly stroke if not treated.

Other common sleep disorders include insomnia, periodic limb movements, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.

Insomnia is trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This problem can make a person feel fatigued during the day, as well as cause trouble in focusing on daily tasks. Although insomnia can be the result of depression or anxiety, there may be physical causes for difficulty with sleep that are unknown to the patient.

Periodic limb movements
Periodic limb movements are another common sleep disorder that is almost always completely unknown to the patient. A person with periodic limb movements has contractions of the muscles in the lower legs or even actual kicking movements during sleep. Signs of periodic limb movements include a feeling of light, unrefreshing sleep and disheveled bedcovers in the morning upon arising.

Restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is an overwhelming desire to move the legs, usually caused by uncomfortable unpleasant sensations in the legs just as the person is trying to fall asleep. It also can occur while a person is sitting quietly during the day or in the evening. This disorder often keeps patients from falling asleep.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder defined by cataplexy (sudden muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions), sleep paralysis (an inability to move when falling asleep and waking up) and hypnagogic hallucinations (hallucinatory visions when falling asleep or waking up). Not all patients with narcolepsy have all of these symptoms, but constant daytime sleepiness and falling asleep at inappropriate times are common signs.

In order to have a sleep study a physician's order/referral form is required, as well as a basic medical history and current insurance information.  Click here to print referral form.  Our Medical Directors are also available to evaluate you, prior to your sleep study. To make an appointment, call them directly at 979.774.0012. Our Center Manager is available Monday - Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at 979.774.2936 to answer any questions.

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