Sleep Disorders : Mayo Clinic
Sleep disorders are changes in sleeping patterns or habits. Excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep, difficulty sleeping and abnormal sleep behaviors are signs of sleep disorders. A sleep disorder can affect your overall health, safety and quality of life. With accurate diagnosis, doctors can treat most sleep disorders effectively.
With accurate diagnosis, most sleep disorders can be effectively treated. All three Mayo Clinic locations operate sleep centers staffed by experienced specialists.
Diagnosis of your sleep disorder begins with a complete medical history and focused physical exam as well as use of standard questionnaires that identify your symptoms and document your sleep history. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary, and doctors may interview your sleep partner.
During the diagnostic period your doctor may order one or more of several tests to further identify the type of sleep disorder you have. These tests help doctors determine which treatment will be most effective for your condition:
Actigraphy tracks your sleep-wake cycles at home using a small device you wear on your wrist.
Sleep study (polysomnogram). A polysomnogram is an overnight evaluation that measures your brain wave activity, eye movements, breathing function, oxygen levels, heart rate and muscle activity.
Multiple sleep latency test. Doctors observe you while you nap throughout the day to measure the time it takes you to fall asleep and enter rapid eye movement sleep. Often, you take this test the day after a polysomnogram
There are many effective sleep disorder treatments. Your doctor will prescribe treatment based on the type of disorder you have (circadian rhythm disorder, hypersomnia, parasomnia, insomnia, sleep-related breathing disorder or sleep-related movement disorder).
Your treatment may include:
Risk factor modification. Weight loss, reduction of alcohol use or other medications, change in sleep position and treatment of nasal congestion may reduce the likelihood that you'll experience sleep disorders.
Lifestyle modification. Common lifestyle modifications include establishing a regular sleep schedule, not driving while drowsy, reducing caffeine consumption, physical exercise and carefully timing exposure to bright light.
Counseling or psychotherapy. Use of stress management techniques and treatment of underlying emotional conditions may improve your quality of sleep.
Medications. Your doctor may prescribe sedatives to improve the quality of your sleep or stimulants to improve wakefulness.
Medical devices. Various devices can improve your sleep by keeping your airways open during sleep.
Surgery. Your doctor may recommend throat surgery and related ear, nose and throat procedures to address the causes of your airway obstruction during sleep.
Doctors trained in psychiatry and psychology, neurology, pulmonary medicine, pediatrics, otorhinolaryngology, dental specialties and oral and maxillofacial surgery work together to diagnose and treat several types of sleep disorders.
Read more about sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, narcolepsy, jet lag, sleepwalking, night terrors, nightmares, restless legs syndrome, bruxism and night leg cramps at MayoClinic.com.
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