We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, and the quality of that sleep directly affects our quality of life and daily function during our waking hours. Unfortunately, that quality of life and health for some 75 million people is negatively impacted by inadequate sleep.
Persistent sleepiness and chronic fatigue are two symptoms of impaired sleep. The irresistible urge to sleep can vary in severity, from moderate daytime drowsiness to dangerous life threatening occupational hazards and/or driving accidents. In addition, sleep deprivation can cause deterioration in memory and judgment, early morning confusion, headaches, or nausea. Some suffers have even detected personality changes involving sudden bursts of inappropriate behavior, irritability, jealousy, suspicion, anxiety, and/or depression.
Family members often report that these individuals snore loudly at night and note periods where breathing stops. Also relatives have witnessed jerky body movements, sleepwalking, night terrors or falling out of bed. Some individuals complain of chronic insomnia, which can seriously interfere with daily activities, performance, and mood.
For those with a serious, long-term difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep, an evaluation by a board certified sleep specialist is recommended.
Some of the more common sleep disorders include:
Restless Leg Syndrome
Learn more about sleep disorders.
The following are the primary tests used during our evaluation of a sleep/wake disorder:
Nocturnal Polysomnography (Sleep Study)
This evaluation requires an overnight test consisting of continuous monitoring of brain waves (EEG), heartbeat (EKG), eye movements (EOG), muscle activity (EMG), blood oxygen levels, chest and abdominal movement, and nasal/oral airflow.
Multiple Sleep Latency Testing
This test is performed during the daytime, usually following an all-night test to rule out sleep disturbances.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test
A daytime test used to determine the effectiveness of treatment for sleep disorders.