Understanding Sleep Disorders

Sleep is a complex neurological function that may be affected by a number of factors, including body chemistry, body composition, drug interactions, etc. Imbalances and congenital conditions may lead to sleep disorders.

Types of Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are classified by when they occur or how they differ from a normal sleep cycle. Types of sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnias – sleep disorders that result in people getting too little sleep
  • Hypersomnias – sleep disorders in which people feel excessively tired, fall asleep at “off” times (e.g. narcolepsy) or sleep longer than normal people their age
  • Parasomnias – behaviors or experiences that happen while you sleep, such as nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking and sleep paralysis
  • Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders – sleep disorders that present as difficulty breathing while you sleep
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders – sleep disorders in which a person’s daily sleep cycle does not align with natural light/dark times (this sleep disorder can be caused by shift work)
  • Sleep Movement Disorders – sleep disorders that entail unwanted movement while sleeping, such as teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism) and periodic limb movement

Some sleep problems can resolve on their own, which is often the case for childhood sleep disorders. However, some sleep disorders are neurological issues that require a specialist’s care.

How Sleep Disorders Are Diagnosed

Sleep disorders may be diagnosed based on medical history and/or symptoms alone. However, most sleep disorders require further data gathering, which may include a sleep journal and/or sleep study.

Scheduling a consultation with a sleep specialist is the first step towards diagnosis and effective treatment.

If you are experiencing a sleep problem, contact Neurology & Sleep Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Senthil Ramasamy is dual-certified in neurology and sleep medicine, making him uniquely qualified to treat any type of sleep disorder.

Take the first step toward diagnosing and treating your sleep disorder. Call Neurology & Sleep Medicine to schedule a consultation.

Sleep: The Foundation of Your Health—We Can Strengthen It.


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