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If you have problems getting a good night’s sleep, you might be tempted to regard them as an frustrating part of life that has to be accepted. But there’s no reason to accept sleep disorders as just a quality-of-life issue. For one thing, they can carry the risk of serious medical issues. For another, they are often eminently solvable.
At the least, the day-after fatigue from sleep apnea or insomnia can diminish your work performance and personal relationships and possibly impair your ability to drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery safely.
Beyond this, a problem like sleep apnea – involving frequent, brief interruptions of breathing during sleep – can increase your chances of having high blood pressure, a stroke, a heart attack, heart failure and diabetes. Studies have suggested that sleep apnea plays a role in obesity by disrupting hormone levels that control eating habits.
Diagnosing and resolving sleep problems is the mission of Portsmouth Regional Hospital’s Sleep Diagnostic Center. Effective treatments do exist, and PRH’s sleep medicine staff is committed to helping you find healthy, refreshing sleep.
Sleep Disorders Overview:
Types of Sleep Disorders
Everyone experiences problems like insomnia from time to time, but for some people they are chronic issues – defined as experiencing symptoms at least three nights a week for more than a month. Insomnia is probably the most frequently reported sleep problem.
Sleep apnea is also a common disorder – but despite its potentially serious consequences, most people who experience it aren’t aware of it. Unlike insomnia, people with sleep apnea seem to sleep – but its continual, momentary interruptions prevent sufferers from achieving restful sleep. With its mechanisms hidden in the night, its most visible symptom is fatigue during waking hours.
The following links lead to pages discussing Insomnia and Sleep Apnea.
Other, less-common sleep disorders treated at PRH’s Sleep Diagnostic Center include narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, idiopathic hypersomnia and excessive snoring.
Although symptoms and treatment of differing sleep disorders vary, diagnosis follows a general process, starting with a careful patient medical history by a neurologist that evaluates factors like family history, symptoms and lifestyle issues. It may well be followed by a sleep study in the Sleep Diagnostic Center.
Treatment depends on the diagnosis and severity of the sleep disorder. To read more on treatment options at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, visit our Sleep Diagnostic Center.
For More Information:
American Sleep Apnea Association
American Academy of Neurology
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke National Institutes of Health
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
National Sleep Foundation