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About Sleep Disorders

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What Is a Sleep Disorder?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 50 million Americans will experience a sleep disorder in their lifetime, and the prevalence of sleep disorders increases with age. At the Sleep Disorders Institute at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), our experienced physicians and technical staff perform a full range of sleep studies to help diagnose and treat sleep disorders. For more information about our sleep study tests, contact us today.

Sleep Disorders

By definition, a sleep disorder is any condition that disrupts sleep or interferes with the quality of sleep. Oftentimes, sleep disorders can negatively affect day-to-day functioning and/or overall health. These conditions also put sufferers at risk for fatigue-related accidents and can lead to psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Because of the significant health consequences of sleep disorders, it’s important for those with chronic sleep issues to seek medical attention.

Types of Sleep Disorders

The International Classification of Sleep Disorders lists over 80 sleep disorders, and even more are currently being researched. Some of the most common sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia affects approximately 10% of U.S. adults. This sleep disorder is characterized by difficulty falling and staying asleep. It can also cause daytime problems, such as fatigue and drowsiness.
  • Sleep apnea occurs when a person experiences breathing interruptions during sleep. There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Both are considered serious sleep disorders, especially when a person’s airflow stops repeatedly. Sleep apnea is believed to affect between 4-7% of men and 2-5% of women.
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs. It can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep and is often coupled with daytime sleepiness and irritability.
  • Narcolepsy, a neurological disorder, affects an individual’s ability to regulate between sleep and wakefulness cycles. It’s marked by excessive sleepiness, sleep attacks, and for some, loss of muscle control.

If you believe you may have a sleep disorder, talk to your primary care physician about your symptoms. He or she may refer you to the Sleep Disorders Institute for a sleep study. To learn more about our sleep tests, call us today at (844)-934-CARE (2273).