Do you wake up feeling tired or feel really sleepy throughout the day, despite getting a “good” night’s sleep? Do you often become sleepy while driving? Do you have a dry mouth and/or headache when you wake up? Do you snore so loud that others complain or even need earplugs?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you could have a sleep disorder.
Approximately 50 million people in the US suffer from some type of sleep-related disorder. They have difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or staying awake throughout the day.
“Sleep disorders are common, but largely undiagnosed,” explained Kevin Carter, D.O., family physician specializing in sleep medicine with Kettering Health Sleep Centers. “Most suffer from their sleep disorder for many years before seeking treatment.”
Types of sleep disorders
While there are more than 80 specific sleep disorders, they can be broken down into five categories:
• Disorders causing daytime sleepiness – includes sleep apnea
• Insomnia – includes trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or non-restful sleep
• Circadian rhythm disorders – experiencing a shifted sleep period
• Movement disorders during sleep – includes restless legs syndrome and bruxism (teeth grinding)
• Abnormal behaviors during sleep – includes sleep terrors, sleepwalking and bedwetting
So I snore…what’s the big deal?
Actually, it can be a very big deal.
Obstructive sleep apnea is often associated with depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It also is one of the most common sleep disorders that results in a visit to a physician’s office.
Additionally, “patients with severe sleep apnea have almost eight times the risk of stroke, three times the risk of heart disease (heart attack, arrhythmia, sudden cardiac death), and more than twice the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment and certain types of cancer,” explained Dr. Valle. “Almost every organ system can be negatively affected by this disorder.”
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include: snoring, snorting sounds, pauses in breathing, dry mouth, sweatiness, morning headache, tossing and turning throughout the night. Symptoms are made worse with alcohol and tobacco abuse, as well as sleep deprivation.
Dr. Michael Valle, neurologist and medical director for Grandview Hospital’s sleep centers, says that the usual reasons a patient seeks their care are:
• Their bed partner is concerned, either worried about the apnea or their own sleep is disrupted because of the snoring
• The patient complains of excessive sleepiness which causes varying degrees of dysfunction during the day
• The patient’s primary care physician refers them because of concerns about the effect of sleep apnea on the patient’s other medical conditions.
Kettering Health offers advanced treatment and the highest quality care for sleep disorders at any one of its seven sleep center locations throughout the Dayton area.