Adults & Sleep Disorders: Only One in 10 Seeking Treatment
Jane was keeping her husband awake at night with her loud snoring. Each morning she got up feeling tired and disoriented, and it was a struggle for her to keep from falling asleep while driving.
After more than a year, Jane, 42, a mother of two, finally sought help for what she thought was just a sinus problem. Her doctor referred her to The RWJ Comprehensive Sleep Center, where she was diagnosed with sleep apnea. She now sleeps with a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) that helps her wake up fully rested each day.
"It has made such a tremendous difference in my life," Jane says. "I wish I had sought treatment sooner." According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, more than one-half of all adults in the United States report frequent sleep problems. However, only one out of 10 of those surveyed have been diagnosed.
If untreated, sleep disorders can lead to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, memory lapses, headaches and daytime sleepiness. They also can interfere with your daily activities, job performance and relationships. It is important that everyone pay closer attention to any symptoms that disturb their sleep and discuss those symptoms with a health care provider.
Signs of a sleep disorder include:
- Loud, persistent snoring
- Brief periods of breathing and/or choking or gasping during sleep
- Waking during sleep
- Restless sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Personality changes/disorders
- Frequent night-time urination
- Muscle spasms and twitching
- Loss of concentration
- Morning headaches
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times
A sleep study may be needed to evaluate sleeping patterns and diagnose a sleep disorder. The RWJ Comprehensive Sleep Center offers the latest technologies to diagnose and treats a wide range of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy. Patients spend a night in a bedroom suite and their sleep patterns are monitored to pinpoint the cause of their sleep disturbances. All staff members are specially trained polysomnographers who are licensed respiratory care practitioners.