Find out more about the sleep disorder services we offer below
What is a Sleep Disorder?
There are more than 100 sleep disorders described in the medical literature. Sleep disorders may manifest in many ways including you not getting enough sleep, sleeping too much, getting poor quality sleep or sleeping at abnormal times. Sleep related breathing disorders affect your breathing in the sleep, while sleep related movement disorders affect the neurological system. Many people may have abnormal behaviors in sleep (parasomnias) or seizures manifesting only during their sleep. Some sleep disorders may manifest as abnormal experiences around sleep wake transition (hallucinations and paralysis) or during sleep (nightmares). Sleep disorders affect or are affected by almost all psychiatric disorders and most medical and neurological disorders. Untreated sleep disorders are related to increased risk of accidents, memory loss, learning disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and cancers among other complications.
Postmenopausal women are at an especially high risk of obstructive sleep apnea as a cause of insomnia. Studies have indicated that more than 40% patients with insomnia have obstructive sleep apnea. To treat insomnia, then, we need to understand what is causing the difficulty in sleeping, and working to resolve that condition
Some common causes of insomnia include:
- Sinus or breathing problems, like allergies or asthma
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as reflux
- Chronic pain conditions
- Certain medications
- Certain psychological conditions
Some people even experience insomnia as a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Although they believe they are awake throughout the early part of the night, they are actually falling asleep and then waking back up from the Apnea episodes. Because they are asleep so briefly, their brain doesn’t register the change in state.
Mayo Clinic describes Insomnia's symptoms as the following:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
The first step for treating insomnia is to find out what’s causing it. To do that, the doctors at Prana Healthcare will talk to you about your sleep habits and hygiene, your daily routine, any medications you take or co-occurring health conditions that you are managing. We may recommend an overnight sleep study in our sleep laboratory, depending on what we find during your initial consultation.
Popular culture has developed an image of people with narcolepsy as those who sleep all the time. In fact, people with narcolepsy generally do not sleep more than typical people. What happens instead is that their brains are unable to control the boundaries between wake and sleep states.
Essentially, when falling into sleep, people with narcolepsy do not pass through the stage of light sleep, where their brains do not dream. They pass immediately into REM sleep, the dreaming state, and experience fragments of REM sleep throughout their waking hours.
Narcolepsy isn’t dangerous on its own; the danger lies in what can happen if a person experiences fragments of REM sleep while driving or operating heavy machinery, for example. The symptoms themselves can also be very disturbing, especially if someone frequently experiences hallucinations and sleep paralysis upon waking or falling asleep.
The exact causes of Narcolepsy are mostly unknown. To help identify potential issues with your sleep schedule, reach out to us!
According to the Narcolepsy Network, one in every two thousand people struggles with narcolepsy. There are several common symptoms of narcolepsy, including:
- Cataplexy, where a person collapses from a strong emotion, despite remaining conscious
- Sleep Paralysis
We have substantial experience in correct diagnosis and treatment of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy can mimic ADHD, depression, psychiatric, and neurological disorders. Prana Health specializes in evaluating and treating both adult and pediatric narcolepsy patients. We perform multiple sleep latency test and can order CSF hypocretin when required. Narcolepsy can be treated with a wide variety of medications and we can help evaluate what medications are best suited for you or your child.
Difficulty With CPAP
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, you have probably heard how important it is to treat your sleep disorder. Not only do you want to get a better night’s rest, you also need to reduce the risk of developing one of the many health conditions that are caused or worsened by untreated OSA, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.
Helping patients get used to their CPAP has become something of a sub-specialty of Dr. Kakkar’s. He has written articles, contributed to book chapters, and is even developing software all focused on helping patients get used to their CPAP.
Remember that with time, practice and appropriate follow-up, CPAPs work for almost every patient. If you’re struggling to make yours work, please contact us right away. We want to help you get a better night’s sleep, and that means more than just diagnosing your condition; we want to help you treat it, so that you can get back to feeling like yourself. Don’t suffer in silence; tell us what’s going on so that we can help!
Dr. Kakkar follows all patients with CPAP personally and ensures that they are able to use it. If CPAP fails, alternative treatments to CPAP are available and we will be more than happy to discuss what is likely to be most successful for you.