Special Treatments/Sleep Disorders


Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both, despite adequate opportunity and time to sleep, leading to impaired daytime functioning. Insomnia may be due to poor quality or quantity of sleep.
Impairment of daytime functioning is the defining and the most common symptom of insomnia.

Other common symptoms include:


Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea, is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause can last for a few seconds to a few minutes and they happen many times a night. In the most common form, this follows loud snoring.There may be a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. As it disrupts normal sleep, those affected may experience sleepiness or feel tired during the day. Main risk factors for the condition are

1. Obesity
2. Allergies
3. Enlarged tonsils
4. Family history
5. Smoking
6. Diabetes


Snoring is a type of sleep apnea. Snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is characterized by multiple episodes of breathing pauses greater than 10 seconds at a time, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This results in lower amounts of oxygen in the blood, which causes the heart to work harder. It also causes disruption of the natural sleep cycle, which makes people feel poorly rested despite having adequate time in bed.

Restless leg syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move one's legs.There is often an unpleasant feeling in the legs that improves somewhat with moving them. It is often described by the person as, an urge to move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that occur primarily in the legs, but occasionally in the arms or elsewhere." The sensations are unusual and unlike other common sensations. Those with RLS have a hard time describing them, using words or phrases such as uncomfortable, painful, 'antsy', electrical, creeping, itching, pins and needles, pulling, crawling, buzzing, and numbness. It is sometimes described similar to a limb 'falling asleep' or an exaggerated sense of positional awareness of the affected area. The sensation and the urge can occur in any body part; the most cited location is legs,. Some people have little or no sensation, yet still, have a strong urge to move.Occasionally the arms may also be affected. The feelings generally happen when at rest and therefore can make it hard to sleep. Due to the disturbance in sleep, persons with the discomfort may have daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood.

Risk factors for RLS include


Narcolepsy is a long-term neurological disorder that involves a decreased ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. It is characterized by symptoms like

1. Periods of excessive daytime sleepiness that usually last from seconds to minutes and may occur at any time.
2. Cataplexy is an episodic loss of muscle function, ranging from slight weakness such as limpness at the neck or knees, sagging facial muscles, weakness at the knees often referred to as "knee buckling or inability to speak clearly, to a complete body collapse.
3. Periods of wakefulness at night
4. Sleep paralysis is the temporary inability to talk or move when waking
5. Automatic behaviours occur when a person continues to function (talking, putting things away, etc.) during sleep episodes but awakens with no memory of performing such activities