Types of Sleep Disorders
During a full sleep study, the staff will monitor your brain wave activity, leg muscle activity, chin muscle tone, eye muscle movement, heart function, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen saturation. Some optional test may be done such as carbon dioxide levels. All monitoring is done by attaching small metal discs called electrodes onto the surface of the skin. There is no discomfort.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This sleep disorder involves cessation of breathing during sleep. Snoring is also commonplace. Respiration (breathing) is normal when the patient is awake, however, once asleep, an individual is unaware of their breathing difficulties. Often, it is the patient’s bed partner who will report hearing snoring and episodes of this specific type of apnea. This may become a potentially serious breathing disorder that can lead to heart attack, stroke, or high blood pressure later in life.
Nocturnal myoclonus is not the same as Periodic limb movement. It is a term used to describe a specific type of movement disorder that may involve brief muscle twitches.
The four main symptoms of this disorder are excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), cataplexy (partial to complete loss of muscle control lasting several minutes; a person is conscious but unable to move), hypnologic and hypnopompic hallucinations (intense vivid or auditory experiences which occur at sleep onset or upon awakening respectively), and sleep paralysis.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)
Patients typically describe feelings of decreased alertness or sleepiness at times when they should be awake (i.e. daytime). This can sometimes be associated with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and periodic limb movement during sleep (PLMS).
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
This condition is experienced while the patient is awake and is typically more prominent later in the day or evening. Discomfort in the legs (creeping, crawling, tingling) may require subsequent movement of these limbs to acquire interim relief. The majority of patients who are diagnosed with Restless Legs Syndrome also have Periodic Limb Movement during Sleep (PLMS).
Periodic Limb Movement During Sleep (PLMS)
A sleep disorder which involves repetitive movement of the limbs during sleep and may be associated with arousal activity in the EEG channels (brain wave). Some patients diagnosed with Periodic limb movement during sleep may also have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) as described above.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
A sleep disorder where increased muscle tone is associated with REM sleep thereby enabling the individual to enact dream content that otherwise is not usually possible.
Sleepwalking is associated with NREM sleep, more specifically slow wave sleep (stages III and IV). Typically, a person does not recall any of the events that take place while sleep-walking.
Principally, insomnia refers to a person’s difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. In some cases, insomnia may be the result of an underlying sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or periodic limb movement, however, many such other factors may contribute to insomnia (i.e. depression).