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What are sleep disorders?

At best, sleep disorders are a constant emotional and physical drain. At worst, they can be life threatening.

Sleep disorders are physiological, biological or psychological conditions that disturb sleeping patterns and may affect daytime function both physically and mentally. These conditions may include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, frequent sleep arousals, excessive daytime sleepiness, daytime fatigue and/ or lack of energy. In many cases, the spouse or bed partner of someone with sleep disorder is the one who suggests a visit to a sleep specialist.

Sleep disorders deprive 2 out of 4 Americans of a good night’s sleep. Living with a sleep disorder can interfere  with your performance at work, home or school, and can even affect your relationships with family and friends.

What are sleep patterns?

All of us have an internal clock that rules when we can best sleep and remain awake. This cycle of sleeping and waking is called a sleep pattern or rhythm (Circadian rhythm). Sleep patterns change with the aging process. Infants may sleep up to 16 hours a day, while the elderly may experience shorter sleep patterns and a greater need for naps. Teenagers and young adults may find it more difficult to go to bed early and may need to sleep later into the morning. Adults still require 7-9 hour of sleep per night. Daytime naps may disturb sleep for some people, but for others they are a normal part of a healthy sleep/wake pattern. When an individual’s sleep is adequate, that person should feel alert throughout the day. Excessive need for naps could be indicative of a sleep disorder.

Experience an improved night's sleep.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, please tell your physician. Sleep disorders can be more than a source of frustration. Some disorders, such as sleep apnea are linked with heart attacks, stroke, depression, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and Alzheimer's disease. Sleep disorders are often easily diagnosed and simply treated. The specially trained sleep technologists and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment at the Starr Regional Sleep Diagnostics Center can help you get to the root of your problem and help your doctor find a solution.

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