Treating Common Sleep Disorders
Serving communities throughout Greater Boston, the sleep specialists at Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Sleep Center have the expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep disorders. Continue reading to learn about common disorders that we diagnose through our sleep studies, and contact us today if you would like to make an appointment with one of our sleep specialists.
Common Sleep Disorders
Insomnia can occur in patients of all ages and last for one or two nights or continue for months and even years. Insomnia can be caused by factors including psychological conditions, lifestyle habits, exercise habits, work schedules, environmental disturbances and various physical and psychiatric illnesses.
Narcolepsy causes constant sleepiness and a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times. Patients may suffer from sleep attacks and a feeling of tiredness that cannot be relieved by sleep. While there is no cure for narcolepsy, physicians can provide treatment to help patients actively participate in everyday life.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea have episodic difficulty breathing during sleep due to a narrowing of the upper airway. This diminished breathing disrupts sleep and leads to insufficient oxygen levels. This airway obstruction is more common during sleep because the muscles in the throat relax and the throat partially closes. The obstruction typically resolves when the patient briefly awakens, returning normal muscle tone to the throat. These awakenings can occur many times per hour. As a result, patients do not sleep as deeply and repeatedly stress the heart and lungs. Symptoms include loud snoring, difficulty breathing, respiratory pauses and snorts, restless sleep, daytime irritability and sleepiness. Overnight studies are recommended for an accurate diagnosis.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
PLMD causes involuntary limb movements during sleep, which may cause multiple arousals throughout the night. This creates a feeling of restless sleep. It is commonly associated with RLS.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS causes unpleasant sensations in the legs, especially at bedtime. Stretching or moving can temporarily relieve these sensations. It may cause severe insomnia.