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Sleep Apnea: Snoring Can Be Hazardous To Your Health!
Sleep Apnea is characterized by loud irregular snoring snorting frequent awakenings for no apparent reason and waking up gasping for breathe. A person with sleep apnea can stop breathing several hundred times per night and episodes may last from 10 to 60 seconds, causing oxygen levels to drop dramatically. In many cases the person is unaware their symptoms. Day time symptoms may include excessive sleepiness, falling asleep inappropriately, high blood pressure, concentration difficulties and morning headaches. In severe cases, sleep apnea has been associated with strokes, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Narcolepsy is characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks during the day, extreme sleepiness, falling asleep during an activity, losing muscle tone due to feeling of anger, suprise, amusement or stress. This condition can be especially dangerous if the event occurs while the person is driving or operating heavy machinery.
Insomnia: The Symptom
Dificulty in initiating or maintaining sleep is the primary complaint of insomnia and may actually be a result of sleep apnea or myoclonus. In many cases it can be caused by a physical disorder, regular use of sleep medications, alchol or drug abuse. Once the cause is identified treatment can be initiated.
Epileptic seizures can occur when a person is awake or asleep, but seizures sometimes occur only during sleep. Such seizures must be differentiated from other events during sleep.
Periodic Limb Movements (PLM) Restless Leg Syndrome
Conditions characterized by involuntary leg movement or leg jerks occurring frequently during the night or the uncontrollable need to move or walk off the leg cramps can be caused by nocturnal myoclonus or restless leg syndrome. These conditions can prevent a person from achieving a good night's sleep and can cause complaints of insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness.