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Sleep Disorder Terminology
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from one of many sleep disorders, a sleep center can help diagnose and treat the problem. Before you visit a sleep disorder center, however, consider the following key terms and definitions to better communicate with the staff.
Sleep Apnea - Sleep apnea is when an individual experiences a disruption in breathing while asleep. There are several different kinds, but often snoring and pauses between breaths are important symptoms to watch for. Apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study.
Insomnia - Insomnia can be relatively minor or quite severe within an individual, and can have many triggers or causes. The end result, however, is always difficulty both falling asleep and staying asleep despite tiredness and fatigue. Sleep deprivation can have serious physiological and psychological effects and is often treated with sleeping pills.
Night Terrors - Night terrors are categorized as violent, problematic episodes similar to nightmares. They are often physical, however, and the individual will spend a significant amount of time screaming, yelling, or sleepwalking and yet recall little to nothing in the morning.
GERD - GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease and is common in very young and very old patients. Acid from the stomach works upward through the esophagus and causes sleep deprivation. Snoring is sometimes a symptom of GERD. The condition can be treated with a pill.
Narcolepsy - This condition is categorized by the inability to stay awake during periods of typical wakefulness. Narcoleptics, for example, can fall asleep while eating food or taking a shower.
Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, REM, insomnia, sleepwalking and narcolepsy, cause restless nights for those diagnosed with these diseases. Fortunately, there is treatment available, usually in a medical clinic, from a physician or specialist that is an expert in curing these problems through prescribed medication and other remedies.
Apnea, narcolepsy, and insomnia are three of the most common disorders, as research indicates. It is important to seek immediate care from a doctor in the event of the following symptoms occurring often like excessive snoring, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, being disturbed by constant terror from nightmares, or anything more serious that could lead to paralysis if not properly treated by a physician.
While paralysis may not be the result of most sleep disorders, it should be noted that it is still a major health concern that negatively affects millions of people. There are plenty of resources with excellent information on how to cure these frustrating diseases. Consult with a doctor or physician when and if problems begin to arise.
Everyone wants to be able to get a good night's sleep, but many struggle at doing so for reasons completely out of their control. Fixing these problems is not simple. In fact, it could take years of proper treatment to have these troubles fully cured.
Think of a fighting a sleep disorder in terms of a race. While it would be nice to beat it right away, it is best to win the race one leg at a time. With this philosophy, there will be less frustrations if there is no immediate cure, but a sense of relief that will come once there is.