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 cause.

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 every night?

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.