Narcolepsy is the extreme and uncontrollable desire to fall asleep during the day. It is a neurological disorder that specifically affects the control of sleep. Signs of narcolepsy commonly appear between the ages of 15 and 25. However, narcolepsy can also become apparent during any stage of life. Narcolepsy is a very extreme condition, a step above simply not sleeping well.  There are a variety of symptoms that will cause attention to the fact that you may have narcolepsy.

Symptoms

  • Hypnagogic Hallucinations – This is when a person has vivid visions immediately after waking up or during the very beginning stages of sleep.
  • Cataplexy – When experiencing this symptom, loss of voluntary muscle and a feeling of weakness will be present. This usually is brought on by intense emotion that ranges from anger to laughter and results in the body collapsing or experiencing slurred speech.
  • Extreme Daytime Sleepiness – It will be hard to fight off sleep when experiencing this system. Those who suffer with narcolepsy will feel extreme exhaustion, depression and mental cloudiness.
  • Sleep Paralysis – This symptom is one of the scariest to experience. Upon falling asleep or in the process of waking up the body will not be able to move. This symptom usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes.

Causes

  • Hereditary Genes – Scientists have discovered that the genes responsible for controlling the chemicals in the brain that directly affect sleep cycles can cause narcolepsy.
  • Brain Abnormalities – REM sleep can be disturbed by brain abnormalities causing symptoms to appear.
  • Autoimmune Disorder – Researchers have found that autoimmune disorders mistakenly attack the body’s tissues and cells commonly causing symptoms of narcolepsy.

Video on diagnosing narcolepsy

Those who experience the symptoms of narcolepsy are encouraged to see their doctor. Sufferers should discuss symptoms with their doctor advise if there is a family history of narcolepsy to help pin point the cause. There is not a cure known at this time. However, therapy, lifestyle changes and medication can work together to improve narcolepsy symptoms and quality of life.

Top 3 Causes of Kids Snoring

It may be a very challenging task to have a sound sleep besides your partner who grumbles every night. And now you hear those cacophonic noises from your angelic toddler’s room. They might sound cute, but if your child is accustomed to produce such rasping noises every time he goes to bed, consult a doctor because there might be underlying problems sooner or later.

It may be hard to believe, but researchers say that habitual snoring affects about 12% children who are under 9 years of age. Find out what could be the reason behind those raucous noises from the list below:

  1. Mouth Anatomy: When the child snores, it is an indication that there is an upper airway resistance. When a child is sleeping the muscles relax, which makes the airway narrow. This results in snoring as the same amount of air should pass through the airway which is smaller. Though, there are few children who congenitally have extremely narrow windpipes and throats. These congenital conditions cause snoring.
  2. Obesity: It is one of the common causes of the narrow airways in children. Fats form in and around the throat and cause constricted and limited air passage. The stomach fat also causes disruptions in the diaphragm’s functioning that controls breathing.
  3. Adenoids and tonsillitis: Enlarged adenoids and tonsils are one of the common reasons that cause snoring in children and if left untreated, may lead to obstructive sleep apnea. The enlargement or swelling of the adenoids might be caused by cold and in case it is chronically swollen, it can be removed by a small surgery. If your child suffers from tonsillitis it can be cured by decongestants or antibiotics. In case of chronic tonsils, a small surgery is needed for removing it.

If you have figured the reason of the snoring of your kid, it is now time to consult a medical expert as snoring not only disrupts the sleep but also affects the heart and brain. Thus, as a parent, you must address this issue at the earliest.

Insomnia Affects The Daytime Functioning And Quality Of Life

Insomnia is a situation wherein the person experiences a persistent difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep. It is associated with impaired daytime functioning and distress. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and has a number of negative daytime symptoms and psychiatric disorders. The common consequences of insomnia include:

  1. Daytime sleepiness: Sleep deprivation is a critical factor and a big public safety hazard. Drowsiness slows the reaction time and cause car crash and fatal accidents.
  2. Makes you dumb: Sleep is very important for effective learning and thinking. Lack of sleep hurt the cognitive processes. Firstly, it impairs the attention, concentration, alertness, problem solving and reasoning. This makes it difficult to learn effectively. Secondly, at night the various sleep cycles play an important role in consolidating memories in the mind. If you are sleep deprived, it becomes difficult to remember what you learned and experienced.
  3. Serious health problems: Sleep disorder can put you at risk of major health problems like heart attack and erratic heartbeat. Chronic insomnia leads to high blood pressure and high heart rate which leads to heart failure.
  4. No or less sex drive: Sleep experts say that sleep deprived men and women report less interest in sex and lower libidos. The sleepiness, depleted energy and increased tension are to be blamed for it. For men who suffer from sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interferes with the sleep, and further adds to the sexual slump. Also, men with sleep apnea have low testosterone levels.

The other problems associated with insomnia that hinders the quality of life are depressed mood, fatigue, impaired cognition, lack of energy and increased irritability. All these together affect your performance and behavior with the people around you. So, the best way to live a normal lifestyle is by treating insomnia as soon as possible by trying a couple of home remedies and professional assistance.

3 Most Common Causes of Snoring Plus one Bonus

Snoring is one of the terms in the medical dictionary that explains the movement of the air through a narrow passage often causing vibration of the tissues in head and neck resulting in loud noises.

According to the stats, it is common in males approximately 45% as compared to females which is 30%. Though, snoring is not a life-threatening condition, it is an indicative of underlying health problems.

Below is a list of some common causes that leads to snoring:

  1. Long soft palate, enlarged tonsils, or uvula- The enlargement of any of these structures may occur due to infection or allergy. This will eventually cause obstruction of the airway passage and increased vibrations of soft tissues in the oral cavity resulting in snoring. Children with enlarged adenoids often snore while sleeping.
  2. Sleep apnea- Obstructive sleep apnea is a disturbing condition, wherein the muscles at the back of the throat relax for longer durations. This constricts he airflow into the lungs and increases the respiration to compensate oxygen loss. The increased airflow causes the relaxed mouth and throat tissues to vibrate and cause snoring. The sleep apnea might be caused because of the throat muscle weakness or the deformity of the throat.
  3. Obesity: Believe it or not, obesity also causes snoring. Wondering how? The extra weight of the flesh at the throat’s back force the airways to close and trigger the brain to increase the rate and depth of the respiration.

One Bonus

Aging also results in snoring as with the aging of the brain, its ability to control the muscles diminishes involuntarily. The relaxed throat muscles during the sleep, constricts the airways and cause the sleeper to snore.

Snoring has a tendency to worsen with increase in age if left untreated. So if any member in your family snores on a regular basis, help them consult a doctor as snorers are generally unaware of their problems.

 

Study Shows Insomnia Is A Major Problem

Millions of people struggle every night to fall asleep and yet you always wondered if you are the only one cursed in the world who isn’t sound asleep. Insomnia is a critical medical condition that must be treated with evidence-based medicine because it is linked to diabetes, hypertension and depression.

Insomnia needs to be taken seriously as about 25% of adults have sleeping problems and of them 10% have insomnia disorder. People who suffer from insomnia find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, there is a lack of restorative sleep and the daytime symptoms like mood disorders, trouble concentrating and fatigue.

Some of the problems associated with insomnia are:

  1. The risk of suffering from depression and anxiety.
  2. The risk of developing hypertension multiples as lack of sleep. This is because when you sleep, the heart rate and blood pressure normally dips by 10-20%, but if you sleep less, the heart rate and blood pressure increases over 24 hours. This puts additional strain on the cardiovascular system. With time, cardiovascular system becomes used to operating at elevated pressures all the time.
  3. The risk of developing diabetes and congestive heart failure in addition to the risk of death.
  4. The risk of alcohol or drug abuse is seven times more likely in comparison to normal people.
  5. The risk of recurrence is high. The study shows that in 70% cases insomnia recurs within a year and in 50% cases it reoccur up to three years.


Insomnia is a silent killer. To tackle this disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the safest methods in use. CBT doesn’t rely on drugs, but use techniques such as stimulus control, meditation, sleep restriction and education to promote better sleep. The other way to treat insomnia is by adopting sleep hygiene. It is essential to establish a regular bedtime routine, regulate mealtimes and fluid consumption and limit the consumption of caffeine.

Rest Assured Sleep Institute: The Place to Come for a Good Night’s Sleep

Insomnia is commonplace; for many, the night isn’t a time to rest but rather to toss and turn simply because they cannot fall asleep. The problem with insomnia is that if untreated it can interfere with the quality of life. Sleep is vital because it restores both the brain and the body. Lack of rest can lead to irritability, mood swings, poor cognition and more. As a result, your work will suffer and so will your relationships. Some of the people who come to us for help are at their wits end – they have lost jobs and marriages because they couldn’t sleep at night.

This doesn’t have to be the case for you. Once you come to us our professionals will do whatever it takes to help you get your life back together by ensuring that you sleep at night. The first thing that we do is send you for a physical; in many cases, a health problem could be the cause of lack of sleep. If you are healthy then we work with you to establish why you can’t sleep. We will talk about emotional problems that may be in the way and any anxieties that may be keeping you awake.

After we establish what is hindering your sleep we then work on ways to help you sleep better at night. We have a wide range of sleep aids to choose from so you can be sure that we will have one that will help you. We don’t leave it there; we are very keen to follow-up and see how you are doing. It isn’t uncommon for people to regress and fall back into insomnia after some time. If this happens to you we will find a way to help you sleep better once again.

Our intake is year round so you can come to us whenever you are ready. We work with both male and female adults. If you have any questions do not hesitate to get in touch with us for answers.

Is Surgery The Right Option To Cure Snoring? Do I Really Need It?

Surgery for snoring is rarely recommended. It is only considered in very severe situations and when all other treatments have been tried and failed. Before you take the big decision of palatal surgery to get rid of snoring, ensure that the problem of snoring originates from the palate as opposed to the tongue’s base. In case of nasal abnormalities, address them before you contemplate the palatal surgery.

Palatal surgery stops or reduces the compressibility of the area around the throat, which is thought to be responsible for snoring. The aim of the surgery is to reduce the tissue in this region. The surgeon may recommend sleep nasendoscopy before undertaking a deeper level of obstruction such as palatal surgery. Herein, the surgeon examines the upper airways using a narrow and flexible endoscope to see if collapsing occurs. This procedure is time consuming and costly.

There are different types of surgery to ameliorate snoring. What works best for you is determined by your surgeon keeping the cause and medical conditions in consideration. The different types of surgery to treat snoring are:

  1. Uvulopalatophyaryngoplasty: It involves removal of excessive soft tissue from the back of the throat to widen the upper airways. The adenoids, tonsils and other tissues may have to be removed to widen the airway and enhance the smooth airflow. This may help to reduce snoring.
  2. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty: A laser device is used to remove the tissue in the throat to widen the airways and stop the snoring.
  3. Nasal Polypectomy: This entails removing nasal polyps, which are round and soft tissues that may block the airflow within the nose.
  4. Adenoidectomy or Tonsillectomy: If you have enlarged adenoids or tonsils that may be blocking the airways while you sleep. This surgery is recommended to open the airways during the sleep and provide instant relief.
  5. Nasal Septoplasty: This procedure straightens and repairs the septum or tissues and bones that separate the two passages within the nose. This surgery is only performed if there is a nasal deformity present.
  6. Implantation of plastic cylinders: In this procedure, plastic cylinders are implanted onto the soft palate, helping them to stiffen. This prevents vibrating and therefore reduces the incidence of snoring and daytime sleepiness.
  7. Radiofrequency palatoplasty: In this procedure, an electrical current may be used to stiffen and shrink the uvula and soft palate (roof of the mouth). When both of these are stiffer, they vibrate less and lead to a better night’s sleep.
  8. Surgery on the bony structures: This surgery is recommended in the upper airways, encouraging air to flow freely. This may involve more than one surgery.

Before undertaking the surgery, keep in mind the following:

  • There may be some pain present after the surgery.
  • A sleep study must be carried out before opting for surgery.
  • Even if surgery may seem successful, the snoring may return.
  • Ensure that all diagnostic procedures are examined before opting for surgery. You need to rule out other sources of snoring before opting for palatal surgery.
  • Tongue based snoring cannot be helped by surgery.
  • Sleep apnea may develop down the road.
  • Surgery will not cure sleep apnea. CPAP therapy can treat this condition.
  • Surgery is not effective in cases of deep oropharynx (when the side walls have collapsed into each other).

Remember, to do a proper and careful research about the sleep clinic or doctors that will be involved in the snoring surgery. Choose the practitioner who is well experienced and has a high success track record.

 

Can’t Sleep: Can Be a Sleep Disorder

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to sleep again, no matter how tired you are or how hectic your day was? Or do you feel your mood, health and ability to perform daily tasks have altered or worsened? It can be sleeping disorder, insomnia with a risk of some serious underlying condition.

sleep disorders

Each one of us must have experienced this at one time or another. According to the Institute Of Medicine, 50-70 million Americans are affected by sleeping disorders that has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness, car crashes and behavioral problems. The following health problems are commonly associated with sleep disorders:

  1. Prolonged medical and physical conditions: There are many medical and physical conditions that can cause sleep disorder. Some of the common problems are:
  • Heartburn due to the acidity: Lying down in bed often worsens the heartburn, which is the result of the backup of stomach acid into the esophagus. Avoid the heartburn by abstaining from fatty or heavy food items, alcohol and coffee. Over the counter drugs can help you suppress acidity and aid sound sleep.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic patients find it difficult to sleep because of night sweats and urge to urinate frequently due to diabetes. This affects the sleep pattern and cause inconvenience.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: Arthritis pain makes it hard for people to fall asleep and resettle when they shift positions. Also, treatment with steroids often causes insomnia. You might feel the urge to take the pain killers before bedtime to relieve swelling and pain in your joints during the night, but it might result in sleep disorder.
  1. General mental disorders: People with depression or anxiety often find it difficult to fall asleep. Anxiety, panic attacks and depression often strike at night and it becomes very difficult to sleep. Further, the sleep loss exacerbates the problems and worsens the situation.
  2. Brain and nerve disorders: There are certain nerve and brain disorders that cause sleeplessness. People who suffer from epilepsy are prone to seizures twice more likely as people who suffer from insomnia. The brave wave disturbance causes seizures cause deficit in the slow-wave sleep. Over the time the anti-seizure drugs correct the sleep disturbances if used for long. Other nerve disorders that cause sleep disorder are tumors, strokes, headaches and Parkinson’s disease.

Do not accept poor sleep as a way of your life; instead seek a sleep medicine specialist help. Remember, sound sleep is a necessity and a key to up your potential, and not a luxury.

 

 

 

 

Different Types Of Treatments And Services Assured By Sleep Disorder Clinic

Are you frustrated most of the times throughout the day? Has your partner complained about your bringing down the house at night with your snoring? Then it is high time that you consult a medical practitioner as it is very critical to get a good night’s sleep for the healthy body and mind. It helps you to function properly, contributes to your health and promotes restorative functioning such as facial skin cell rejuvenation.

If your ability to sleep is affected by prolonged snoring and want to live a happy and healthy life, then you must consider the following treatments and services offered by sleep disorder clinics:

  1. Sleep program: There are many online interactive programs that benefit individuals who are experiencing insomnia, generally from 1 to 6 months. This is an alternative treatment to take sleep medications. People who have persistent insomnia, for more than six months may also benefit from this program. Individuals in this program will learn the lifestyle and sleep habits that will improve their sleep patterns. A good sleep program includes:
  • 6 weeks of effective sleep therapy
  • A daily sleep score and online sleep log
  • Recommendations for improving sleep on a regular basis
  • Activities that help to induce sleep
  • Personal goal/progress charts
  • Motivational tips
  • 6 unique relaxation practices
  1. PAP Therapy: Positive Airways Pressure testing is often recommended for individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This condition causes the upper airways to collapse during sleep. This prevents air from entering your lungs. The PAP device works by keeping the airways open via air pressure that is introduced, though a nose mask or similar apparatus. The air travels to the throat and into the upper airways. The quantity of air pressure is then measured by the pap machine in the sleep study. Two types of devices may be used in PAP therapy:
  2. CPAP or Continuous Positive Airways Pressure has been the most frequently used PAP devices. The Auto PAP can modify the pressure that is applied in the night to determine the absence or presence of respiratory disorders that are sleep-induced.
  3. Adaptive-Servo Ventilation is a positive airway pressure that constantly monitors a patient’s breathing patterns. A mask delivers air through the mouth or nose.  Both devices can be adjusted to different sizes to match the individual’s needs. The sleep technologist or specialist will do the fitting.
  4. PAP-Naps: This procedure occurs in the daytime and is offered to patients who are hesitant or resistant to undergoing diagnosis and treatment of a sleep-related breathing disorder, the PAP therapy. It involves a group or individual education, close follow up, sleep technician coaching, objective data monitoring and telephone calls. The PAP-Nap is an in-lab, cardio-respiratory, abbreviated recording monitored by a technologist. The goal is to improve a patient’s PAP compliance. Pap-Naps are offered in the setting of PAP therapy to patients who suffer from sleep breathing issues and are co-morbid with other conditions such as panic attacks, insomnia, and anxiety. The procedure may vary from 60 to 180 minutes, during which time the sleep technologist will provide individual counseling and coaching to help the patient overcome barriers to PAP therapy.
  5. Sleep Test: Many sleep disorders like sleep apnea requires an overnight observation in a sleep laboratory. During this sleep testing, electrodes placed on your head will record your brain activity, muscle activity and eye movement. Sensors are also placed on your chest, abdomen and nose monitor breathing patterns. On the night of the test, you will be asked to sleep at your usual bedtime. Individuals who suffer from narcolepsy may have to undergo a multiple sleep-latency test following the overnight sleep test. The sleep test provides a comprehensive and objective evaluation that will help medical professionals with a complete picture of your sleep patterns.


These sleep treatments and services offered at sleep disorder clinic needs to be chosen keeping the personal health and medical condition in consideration.

Three Types Of Sleep Disorders You Need To Know About

People frequently talk about spending restless nights because they cannot sleep well. But what most of us don’t realize is that frequent inability to sleep is a warning bell. It marks the onset of sleep disorder, a medical condition that affects the sleep patterns of an individual.

Sleep disorders can be grouped into three categories: lack of sleep or insomnia, excessive sleep and disturbed sleep. Read below to know more about each of them:

Lack of sleep

Insomnia is an inability to fall into the state of sleep. This is a common problem experienced by most people on an occasional basis. When it does happen, most people feel exhausted or tired and it disrupts daily routine. Insomnia may result from diet, emotional difficulties, stress, underlying disease, or other factors.

Individuals experiencing short term insomnia may be prescribed sleeping pills. For long term sufferers, sleeping pills may exacerbate the condition. For them, meditation or professional assistance is recommended.

Disturbed Sleep

Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep. A neurological disorder or mechanical malfunction in your windpipe may be the underlying factor. Age is another reason, because as you get older your muscle tone begins to relax, which may contribute to the collapsing of your windpipe.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where blocked air and loud snoring last for up to 60 seconds. The person may appear to be snorting or gasping for air due to the lack of oxygen. When this happens, the brain responds by tightening the muscles and opening the windpipe. Factors that contribute to sleep apnea include obesity, enlarged nostrils and narrow nasal passages. Smoking, alcohol and sedatives may worsen this condition. Long term effects of the windpipe, closing leads to oxygen deprivation. This is the primary trigger behind decreased mental function and morning headaches. Individuals suffering from sleep apnea are at an increased risk for developing stroke and heart disease.

The other common disturbed sleep disorders are REM sleep behavior disorder, restless legs syndrome and Periodic limb movement disorder. All these need to be addressed with the help of sleep clinics or experienced medical experts.

Excessive Sleep

Narcolepsy is a medical condition whereby a person falls asleep throughout the daytime, lasting from a minute to more than thirty minutes. These sleep attacks occur uncontrollably and can occur at any time, even when the person is busy with an activity. Narcoleptics demonstrate an abnormal sleep pattern. Their entry into REM sleep is premature without entering the normal sequence of sleep. This condition is genetic and has been associated with neurological disease and or brain damage.

The other excessive sleep disorders are Cataplexy, sleep paralysis and Hynagogic hallucinations.

man with sleep paralysis

All the sleep disorders must be dealt seriously as little carelessness can pose serious health and life risks. The best way to tackle the sleep disorder is to acknowledge that you are suffering from disorders and need assistance. This will ensure a health professional and personal life.

 

Top 3 Home Remedies For Curing Insomnia

It is 4:00 A.M. and still the sleep has not knocked your door, and you begin to feel helpless and worries as how will you work tomorrow? How will you cope up with a presentation at the meeting or how will you manage the kids, being sleep deprived?

On an average adult need seven to eight hours of sleep, but insomnia doesn’t let them sleep. Research shows that insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and over one-third of US population finds it difficult to sleep enough to function well throughout the day. Also, insomnia has a number of serious health risks associated like cardiovascular diseases, depression and anxiety. To deal with this serious issue, here are some home remedies for curing insomnia:

  1. Get comfortable: The sleep may elude if the bed is too soft or too hard or if the pillows are not right. To get proper sleep it is very important to sleep in a quieter room. As per the National Sleep Foundation the ideal sleep inducing environment is quiet, dark, comfortable and cool. Also, remember the bedroom is the place for sex and sleep and not for eating, work or arguing with your partner.
  2. Limit alcohol and caffeine: Though, alcohol can make you feel drowsy and put you to sleep, but you will wake up later in the night because of full bladder or a headache or stomach ache. Also, after the sedative effect of alcohol disappears, the rebound effect gives you a lot of trouble to sleep again. And caffeine on the other hand stimulates the brain and affects the sleeping pattern.
  3. Take little sugar: It is suggested to finish your meal at least two to three hours before the bedtime. But to get a sound sleep, a glass of milk and some cookies can do wonders. Eating sugary foods about thirty minutes before bedtime act as a sedative and induce sound sleep. Honey has the same effect like sugar. Add one tablespoon of honey to your cup of herbal tea or warm milk and enjoy a relaxed sleep.

Other home remedies that you must try are establishing a sleep pattern, exercise, adequate carbohydrates and meditation. The secret is to make the body and mind feel relaxed so that you can sleep.