CommunityHealth Fix


HealthFix: Common Sleep Disorders and Learning to Sleep Well

Posted at 7:55 AM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-18 10:41:12-05

Many people experience sleep issues at some point in life; however, how do you know if those sleep issues are actually signs of a sleep disorder? Sleep disorders can eventually become debilitating if left untreated, so it is important to address any symptoms or sleep issues may be experiencing with your doctor.

Common Sleep Disorders

  • Insomnia
    • Symptoms include: Sleep disorder that causes difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep.
      • Difficulty falling asleep
      • Feeling unrefreshed upon waking
      • Waking up often during the night
      • Fatigue and sleepiness during the day
      • Problems with concentration and memory
    • Sleep apnea: Potentially serious sleep disorder that occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep.
      • Symptoms include:
        • Fatigue or daytime sleepiness
        • Snoring during sleep
        • Restlessness during sleep
        • Gasping for air while sleeping
      • Restless legs syndrome
        • Symptoms include: Disorder caused by the nervous system affecting the legs and causing an urge to move.
          • Intense urge to move legs when lying or sitting for long periods of time, especially in the evening
          • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to restlessness
          • Fatigue or daytime sleepiness
          • Irritability

How are sleep disorders diagnosed?

If you suspect you might have a sleep disorder, it is important to speak to your doctor. After performing an initial examination, he or she may request that you schedule an appointment with a sleep clinic. A sleep specialist can then evaluate your symptoms during a sleep study or polysomnogram and potentially lead to an accurate diagnosis.

Garrett Bird, M.D.
Jordan Valley Medical Center