Other Sleep Disorders

Sleep specialists diagnose and treat the full spectrum of sleep disorders for adults and children

While sleep apnea and insomnia are well-known sleep disorders, there are other conditions that contribute to poor quality sleep. The following is a sample of other sleep disorders we diagnose and treat:

Parasomnias

A parasomnia is any sleep-related behavior. Parasomnia may include sleepwalking, sleep talking, or night terrors. These sleep behaviors are especially common in children. A polysomnagram, or sleep study may be beneficial if these behaviors become disruptive or dangerous to the individual or other household members.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder.  Individuals with narcolepsy have difficulty staying awake. They often deal with chronic sleepiness and fall asleep abruptly at inappropriate times during the day.  They may experience something called cataplexy, a sudden muscular weakness brought on by strong emotion such as anger, surprise, laughter, or sadness.  

Two other symptoms often associated with narcolepsy include:

  • Hypnagogic hallucinations – vivid vision, which occur just upon falling asleep or awakening
  • Sleep paralysis – a feeling of being unable to move when falling asleep or awakening

Testing to diagnose narcolepsy, as well as to rule out other sleep disorders, may include one or more of the following:

  • Polysomnagram – a night sleep study to measure multiple body function interactions.
  • Multiple Sleep Latency test - to determine how quickly you fall asleep during the day
  • Hypocretin test – hypocretin is a brain chemical that regulates REM sleep. Many individuals with narcolepsy have low levels of this chemical.  A spinal tap is sometimes performed to obtain a sample of spinal fluid.

There is no known cure for narcolepsy. Medication can be prescribed to manage symptoms.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Delayed Sleep Phase and Jet Lag are two examples of circadian rhythm disorders in which your body clock becomes out of sync with normal sleeping patterns.

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