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Sleep Disorders

If you have trouble falling asleep, staying awake, or sleeping through the night, you may be among the one-third of Americans estimated to have a sleep disorder. If not treated, a sleep disorder can lead to chronic fatigue, disorientation and the inability to accomplish everyday tasks.

Test Yourself:

Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

                               0 = Would never doze

                               1 = Slight chance of dozing

                               2 = Moderate chance of dozing

                               3 = High chance of dozing

Situation___________________________________________________________________________Chance of Dozing

Sitting and reading   0     1     2     3  
Watching TV   0     1     2     3  
Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g. a theater or a meeting)   0     1     2     3  
As a passenger riding in a car for an hour   0     1     2     3  
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit   0     1     2     3  
Sitting and talking to someone   0     1     2     3  
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol   0     1     2     3  
In a car stopped a few minutes in traffic   0     1     2     3  

Total Score (add all responses) ________________

If your score is 9 or above you should see your primary physician or sleep specialist for a full evaluation.

Common Sleep Disorders

Obstructive sleep apnea:

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea stop and start breathing several times while asleep. This may occur several hundred times a night, with each occurrence lasting several seconds. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can cause heavy snoring, morning headaches, sore throat or daytime drowsiness. If not properly treated, obstructive sleep apnea may result in irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart failure, lung disease and/or impotence.

Insomnia:

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep. It may be caused by psychological factors, such as depression or stress, sleep apnea syndrome, muscle twitches during sleep, or physical pain. Environmental factors such as lifestyle and personal crisis may also result in insomnia.

Periodic leg movement syndrome:

This condition involves leg muscle twitches that usually occur every 20 to 40 seconds during sleep. It leaves the patient feeling restless during the night or excessively tired and sleepy during the day, and can often lead to insomnia.

Narcolepsy:

A person with narcolepsy falls asleep involuntarily at different times throughout the day. He or she may fall asleep while driving, eating or talking. A narcoleptic may lose muscle control during an emotional experience such as crying or laughing. Narcolepsy can cause extreme frustration for the sufferer, and can lead to life-threatening situations

Support Groups are offered on the:
4th Tuesday of each month 6-7pm
St. Petersburg General Hospital
6500 38th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Auditorium B
Call 1-888-741-5122 to register

-Johns MW. A new method for measuring daytime sleepiness: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Sleep 1991;14(6):540-545