Sleep Disorder FAQ
My snoring is disrupting my bed partner's sleep. What can I do about it?
Snoring is relatively common, particularly in men who are middle-aged or
older, but it can occur at all ages and in both sexes. Snoring implies
that the upper airway is narrowed, and that the soft tissues are vibrating,
making the sound. The treatment of snoring is determined by identifying
The major concern is whether this snoring is indicative of breathing problems
during sleep, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in which the airway collapses
during sleep, blocking air from reaching the lungs. This might be noted
as pauses in the snoring sound, sometimes associated with choking episodes
during sleep. These individuals are often very sleepy during the day because
of the poor quality of sleep.
Factors which can contribute to snoring include nasal and/or sinus congestion,
use of sedative medications or alcohol near bedtime, and being overweight.
Changing these factors can improve snoring in many people, but are sometimes
not sufficient to bring satisfactory results. Severe snoring can sometimes
benefit from upper airway surgery.
Sleep apnea can have serious effects on cardiac function. warning sound.
If you or your bed partner notice any of the above findings, ask your
physician about evaluating this at the Voltmer Sleep Center. Effective
treatments are available.
Why am I so sleepy during the day, even though I get 6-8 hours of sleep
First of all, sleeping six (6) hours is not enough for most people. To
answer this question of sleep quantity, you should try going to bed 1-2
hours earlier for at least four nights in a row to pay back any "sleep
debt" that you may have accumulated. Sleep problems such as sleep apnea
and periodic leg movements can result in un-refreshing sleep.
If this sleep schedule does not improve your daytime alertness, it may
be necessary to have a sleep study done at Hoag Sleep Disorders Center
to evaluate the quality of your sleep.
Why do I often have trouble falling back to sleep when I awaken at night?
It is normal to awaken several times at night. Many people simply roll
over in bed or make a quick trip to the bathroom, and can return to sleep
easily. When stresses are occurring in one’s life, thoughts may
enter your mind that make it difficult to return to sleep. Addressing
those stresses during the day can result in a better quality of sleep.
Alternatively, learning techniques to keep your mind free of those stresses
when you awaken at night can also be of help. It is also important to
avoid caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants before bedtime.
What can I do to "turn off my mind" so I can fall asleep at night?
It is often hard to relax at the end of a busy day. This might be helped
by performing relaxation activities prior to bedtime, such as reading
or listening to music or meditating. It is also important to avoid caffeine,
nicotine and other stimulants within six hours of bedtime. Some people
can benefit by writing down their worries, saving them to address the
next day. Persistent difficulty in falling asleep (Insomnia) can sometimes
be aided by nighttime medications and/or behavior modification techniques.
Why do my legs jump and fidget, making it difficult for me to fall asleep?
This might be a symptom of
Restless Leg Syndrome
, an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that occurs near bedtime, often
relieved simply by moving the legs. This is a common problem, and generally
is not associated with any medical disorder, except that it sometimes
is more common during pregnancy.
Restless Leg Syndrome is often associated with brief involuntary leg movements
during sleep, called Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. The person may not
be aware that his/her legs are moving during sleep. The movements can
disturb the quality of sleep, leading to unrefreshing sleep and daytime
sleepiness. This diagnosis generally is determined by conducting an all-night
sleep study in a qualified sleep disorders center.