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Types of Sleep Disorders

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Types of Sleep Disorders

There are more than 80 different types of sleep disorders, most of which can be classified as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep rhythm problems or sleep-disruptive disorders. Specific types treated at Newton Medical Center’s Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Center include:

  • Snoring – Best recognized as a loud, hoarse breathing sound that occurs during sleep, snoring can be caused by abnormalities of the nose and throat, such as nasal polyps, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or a deviated nasal septum. Although common, snoring may also be a symptom of sleep apnea.

  • Sleep apnea – People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes as many as hundreds of times, for a minute or longer. There are three types:

    • Obstructive sleep apnea – This is the most common apnea and is often caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep.

    • Central sleep apnea – The airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.

    • Mixed apnea – This condition is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

  • Narcolepsy – A disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden sleep attacks, insomnia and dream-like hallucinations.

  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) – This condition causes uncomfortable leg sensations, such as a creeping or crawling feeling, burning, tingling or cramping that occur continually while the body is at rest.

  • Periodic Leg Movements in Sleep (PLMS) – A disorder in which the legs twitch or go through repetitive movements every 20 to 40 seconds during episodes lasting a few minutes to several hours while sleeping. Patients are often unaware that this is happening, but complain of symptoms such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness or feeling tired upon waking.

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