Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder that causes uncontrollable sleepiness during the day, and patients often report experiencing trouble waking up after the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep. Patients with this disorder may also feel an uncontrollable urge to take naps during meals or social interactions, which can impact productivity at work and school. Knowing what triggers hypersomnia can help improve normal function in social and occupational settings, and it can help prevent accidents caused by prolonged and uncontrollable fatigue.
Among some of the other hypersomnia symptoms include:
What Causes Hypersomnia?
The causes of hypersomnia may be related to other sleep disorders like narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea that disrupt healthy sleep cycles, causing uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. In some cases, nervous system disorders such as epilepsy can trigger abnormal brain activity at night, which can lead to intermittent periods of fatigue during the day.
Some of the other medical conditions that may trigger hypersomnia in patients include:
How is Hypersomnia Diagnosed?
Hypersomnia can be diagnosed by analyzing current symptoms and other related conditions. Typically, a patient may be diagnosed with this disorder if they experience severe or sudden uncontrollable daytime sleepiness for at least one month, or persistent symptoms for three months that occur at least three times a week. A clinical evaluation to rule out other conditions such as nervous system disorders can help provide an accurate diagnosis. Other diagnostic methods include a sleep study to monitor and analyze abnormal brain activity and sleeping patterns that may contribute to uncontrollable daytime sleepiness.
What Treatments Are Available for Hypersomnia?
Treatment for hypersomnia depends on the severity of the condition. In some cases, stimulant hypersomnia medications like modafinil are prescribed to help increase alertness in patients with this sleep disorder. At Texas Sleep Medicine, we can tailor a treatment plan to you that includes medication and alternative therapies like relaxation training that will help you learn how to prepare your body for a healthy sleep cycle and improve problematic sleep hygiene habits.
INSOMNIA [ TOP ]
Insomnia is the perception of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night with difficulty returning to sleep, and/or waking up too early in the morning. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, including tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Insomnia can be classified as transient (less than one month) and chronic. Chronic insomnia occurs most nights and lasts a month or more. If episodes of insomnia occur from time to time, the insomnia is said to be intermittent.
What Causes Insomnia?
Certain factors seem to make individuals more likely to experience insomnia. It is more common in the elderly, women, and those with a history of depression or anxiety. Stress, anxiety, and other medical conditions may contribute to insomnia. Transient or intermittent insomnia may occur in people who are experiencing one or more of the following: stress, environmental noise or extreme temperatures, jet lag or similar problems, and medication side effects. Chronic insomnia is more complex and often results from a combination of factors, including underlying physical or mental disorders. One common cause of chronic insomnia is depression.
Other underlying causes include heart failure, asthma, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. It may also be due to behavioral factors (including the misuse of caffeine, alcohol, or other substances), shift work or other nighttime activity schedules, and chronic stress.
How is Insomnia Diagnosed?
Patients with insomnia are evaluated with the help of a medical history and a sleep history. The sleep history may be obtained with the aid of a sleep diary filled out by the patient and an interview with the patient’s bed partner.
How is Insomnia Treated?
We believe that the first step towards insomnia cure is a proper diagnosis. Once the level and seriousness of the condition are determined through a study of the medical and sleep histories of the patient, the specific procedures for curing the problem are implemented. Transient and intermittent insomnia may not require treatment since episodes last only a few days at a time. For example, if insomnia is due to a temporary change in the sleep/wake schedule, as with jet lag, the person’s biological clock will often revert to normal on its own. The occasional use of short-acting sleeping pills may improve sleep and daytime alertness. As with all drugs, there are potential side effects. The use of over-the-counter sleep medicines is not usually recommended for the treatment of insomnia.
Recommended treatments for chronic insomnia include:
WHAT IS BRUXISM (TEETH GRINDING)? [ TOP ]
Bruxism or teeth grinding is a condition that is caused by the involuntary movement of jaw muscles and joints that grind or clench the upper and lower teeth together throughout the day or during sleep. In patients with sleep-related bruxism, the problem is harder to correct because of the various stages of sleep that cause repeated patterns of involuntary clenching and grinding of jaw muscles and joints that can cause severe and permanent damage to healthy teeth. The factors that increase the risk for developing sleep bruxism include obstructive sleep apnea, loud snoring, alcohol use, caffeine, and smoking.
What Are Teeth Grinding Symptoms?
The most common symptoms related to sleep bruxism include facial pain, headaches, and worn down teeth. If left uncorrected, prolonged grinding of teeth can cause severe damage to tooth nerves and enamel can trigger sharp painful discomfort.
Among some of the other teeth grinding symptoms include:
How is Teeth Grinding Diagnosed?
Sleep-related bruxism can be diagnosed by conducting an oral exam to evaluate damage caused by prolonged grinding of teeth. During this examination, a doctor can evaluate potential damage by checking for tenderness in the jaw muscles, dental abnormalities like broken or missing teeth and poor tooth alignment, and by administering an X-ray to examine the underlying bone and inside of the cheek for abnormalities.
What Treatments Are Available for Sleep-Related Bruxism?
Diagnosing what causes teeth grinding can help determine the best treatment option. Depending on the root cause, treatments for bruxism include:
WHAT IS SLEEP EATING? [ TOP ]
Sleep eating is a disorder that causes abnormal nocturnal behavior where individuals eat and drink excessively while being unconscious. This disorder can occur multiple times during periods of rest, and patients can either recall the event vaguely or have no recollection of the behavior after waking up. This sleep-related eating disorder can affect women and men of all ages, but it is more common in younger women with eating disorders. Getting treatment for sleep eating can prevent patients from ingesting potentially dangerous chemicals or inedible food that can lead to hospitalizations.
What Causes Sleep Eating?
There are various contributing factors that can lead to this sleeprelated
Among some of the other risk factors for developing sleep eating disorder include:
• Sleep Apnea
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Eating?
Patients who eat during their sleep may not have a full recollection of the event upon waking up, however, there are key indicators that can signal the symptoms of the disorder. One way to determine if you are eating in your sleep is by inspecting the fridge and surround areas for food particles and food packaging upon waking up. Patients who sleep eat often leave food containers open, or will leave behind half-eaten food items on counters, refrigerators, or garbage cans. There are also physical symptoms associated with sleep eating that include:
How is Sleep Eating Diagnosed?
Providing a diagnosis involves a clinical interview with the patient to assess the severity of the disorder. Other methods involve an overnight stay to analyze abnormal brain activity for sleeping patterns, and assessing other related health conditions to determine the best sleep eating treatment based on the condition and clinical profile of the patient.
How is Sleep Eating Treated?
An approach to sleep eating disorder treatment involves recommended sleep medications that help the patient remain asleep throughout the sleep cycle. In addition to medications, patients can undergo therapies that target stress factors that may be causing the abnormal behavior such as relaxation training, or improving poor sleep hygiene habits such as drinking alcohol before sleeping.
WHAT IS SOMNAMBULISM/SLEEP WALKING? [ TOP ]
Somnambulism, better known as sleepwalking, is a sleep disorder that causes involuntary complex body movements during a deep stage ofsleep. Other than walking, patients often perform involuntary tasks such as sitting at the edge of the bed or talking, all while being unconscious. Though this disorder mainly affects children, adults can also develop this disorder if they are stressed or sleep deprived, putting a strain on healthy sleeping patterns and everyday life.
What Causes Sleep Walking?
Sleepwalking in children is linked to the brain’s inability to control sleep and wake cycles. This occurs because of an arousal caused by non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
Some common causes of the sleepwalking disorder can include:
Some of the Most Common Symptoms Include:
How Is This Disorder Diagnosed?
The disorder can be diagnosed by administering an electroencephalogram (EEG) on a patient to analyzes abnormal sleep patterns. The EEG is placed on the scalp of the patient using wires, and a computer records brain abnormal wavelength while the patient sleeps in a controlled environment. If there are significant irregularities in brain activity during sleep, paired with physical symptoms, a patient can have an accurate diagnosis.
How Is Somnambulism Treated?
There is no direct treatment for this disorder, however, improving sleep hygiene and making recommended changes can help correct the disorder. Addressing existing conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, seizures, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia can help reduce the reoccurrence of this disorder. A doctor may recommend sleep medications or sedatives that prevent patients from performing hazardous tasks during rest.
WHAT ARE NIGHT TERRORS? [ TOP ]
Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are episodes of fear, flailing, and screaming while asleep. A person who experiences a night terror might also have an elevated heart rate, sweat excessively, breathe heavily, sit up in bed, stare wide-eyed, or sleepwalk. It may be difficult to console the person experiencing the night terror, especially if they are a young child. In adults, symptoms of night terrors may also include parasomnias such as running out of the house or engaging in violent behavior.
What Causes Night Terrors?
Night terrors are caused by an over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS). It isn’t always possible to pinpoint the reason for this over-arousal, but this disorder may sometimes occur in young children because the CNS is still maturing. Night terrors may be more likely to occur when a child is overtired, starting a new medication, or sleeping in a new place. Night terror symptoms may be more likely to occur during periods of stress or fatigue in adults.
Is Treatment Required for Night Terrors?
In most cases, treatment for night terrors is unnecessary due to the relative infrequency of the episodes. If your child occasionally experiences night terrors, it is best not to wake them, as this can cause confusion and agitation. Instead, supervise them until the episode passes to make sure that they don’t injure themselves while thrashing around. If your child sleepwalks, make sure their sleeping environment is safe (for example, place a safety gate in front of stairs and keep windows locked).
If you or your child is experiencing night terrors so often that daytime tiredness is a regular issue, it’s time to seek treatment. Once we have diagnosed your condition, we can begin treatment. In rare cases, we may prescribe medications under close supervision. However, we usually start by trying other holistic treatment methods, such as educating our patients about behavioral changes they can make to sleep better or discussing relaxation techniques they can try before going to bed. We will schedule follow-up appointments as needed to determine how well the treatment is working and whether or not another course of treatment is necessary.
WHAT IS A SLEEP STUDY? [ TOP ]
If you have trouble falling and staying asleep or if you have trouble functioning during the day because of fatigue, you may be a good candidate for a sleep study at our lab. Sleep studies are non-invasive and completely painless. The sleep lab is set up with private, attractively designed rooms for patients, and a technologist will gather data from sensors that are gently applied to your skin. During the study, the technologist will stay in a centralized control room to measure body functions such as heart rate, eye movements, breathing patterns, brain waves, oxygen levels, apneahypopnea index, and leg movements. This data will allow your sleep specialist to diagnose your condition and initiate treatment. Participating in a sleep evaluation is the best way to determine if you have a disorder such as sleep apnea, and once you have received a diagnosis, your certified sleep doctor will be able to recommend a treatment plan.
How Do I Know If I Should Make an Appointment?
The National Institutes of Health estimates that 50 to 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders or intermittent sleep problems that affect their health. We can perform a variety of sleep tests and are also able to diagnose and treat other conditions, such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and parasomnias (behaviors that occur while asleep, e.g. sleepwalking).
What Can I Expect from a Sleep Disorder Test?
You will arrive at our lab between 7pm and 9pm and meet with a welltrained technologist, who will show you the study bedroom and go over the study process. A technologist will then spend about 45 minutes attaching sensors to your head, chest, abdomen, and legs. This process does not hurt at all, and the wires are long enough for you to comfortably move around the bed. The setup will also allow you to get up and use the restroom during the night as often as necessary. If you are not tired after having the sensors attached, you are welcome to watch TV or read until the time that you normally go to bed. When you do start to feel tired, talk to the technologist so that they can help you get ready to sleep. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, the technologist may provide you with a sleep medication. The study will conclude around 6am. A technologist will remove the sensors and provide you with coffee and a snack if you would like it. At this point, you will be free to leave.
Can I Take the Test at Home?
In some cases, it is possible to take a sleep apnea test from the comfort of your home. This test doesn’t measure as many signals as the lab study but may be sufficient for diagnosis, so you’ll need to talk to your sleep doctor to determine if it’s the right option for you. If it is a feasible option, your doctor will teach you how to use a test device that will measure your heart rate, oxygen levels, airflow, and chest movement while you sleep. You’ll be able to use this device for 1-2 nights at home before returning it to the office and having the lab technologists review your data.
How Do I Get My Results?
Our doctors at Ascent Sleep & Weight will need to review the results of your study before contacting you. At this point, we’ll notify you so that you can make an appointment to come back to our office or have the results sent to your referring physician. We will then be able to talk to you about a treatment plan and ongoing care options.
WHAT IS CPAP? [ TOP ]
Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy is an effective solution that helps patients with sleep apnea achieve quality sleep by delivering a pressurized supply of oxygen throughout the night. When used routinely, CPAP can help improve the overall quality of sleep and minimize daytime symptoms such as early morning headaches, excessive daytime fatigue, poor concentration, depression, irritability, and sleepiness during normal day routine activities.
How do I know if I need CPAP?
We offer a comprehensive approach to the treatment and care of patients with sleep apnea. One of the most effective ways to determine if you have sleep apnea is by participating in a sleep study that helps measure: heart rate, eye movements, breathing patterns, brain waves, oxygen levels, apnea-hypopnea index, and leg movements. The data collected from your sleep study will help our team determine the type and severity of sleep apnea you have.
How does CPAP fitting work?
After a sleep apnea diagnosis is made, your journey to better sleep starts with a CPAP specialist that will help you select a mask for yourcomfort, understand how the machine functions, and explain how to use your device effectively. One of the most important components of your new machine is the mask. As part of our service, our team will help fit you with a variety of mask designs to determine which option best fits the size of your face and offers optimal comfort while you sleep. After completing our device training and mask fitting, you can take your unit home with you the same day. If you have any questions or concerns once you arrive home, our sleep experts are available by phone to help guide you through the process.
The success of your treatment is our priority, that’s why we make it easy to maintain and replace critical components of your device wherever you’re located. Our knowledgeable CPAP specialists can provide cleaning instructions, as well as a maintenance schedule to keep your machine functioning optimally throughout your sleep apnea treatment.
PAGE 1 | PAGE 2