Understanding Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders prevent millions of people from enjoying a healthy night’s sleep, and if left untreated, they can have negative short- and long-term health impacts. Some of the sleep disorder warning signs include heavy snoring, constantly being tired despite sleeping long hours, and having trouble falling asleep. If you are struggling to enjoy a full night of sleep, you should consult with a physician to determine if you are suffering from a sleep disorder.

There are a wide variety of common sleep disorders, including:

  • Snoring – This is the result of vibrations in the throat and can cause sleep disruptions for both a person and his or her bed partner.
  • Insomnia – This is characterized by a chronic inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for long.
  • Restless legs syndrome – This nervous system disorder causes an urge to move the legs, interfering with sleep.
  • Sleep apnea – This disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing while asleep.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea – This occurs when muscles in your throat relax during sleep, causing breathing to repeatedly stop and start.

Parasomnias are another type of disorder that occur more often with children, and include bed-wetting, night terrors and sleepwalking. All of these sleep disorders can potentially have harmful health consequences. Short-term impacts can include anxiety, drowsiness, forgetfulness, and memory impairment, while long-term dangers consist of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and mood disorders.

At Tampa General Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center, we treat a full range of sleeping disorders for both children and adults and are accredited by the American Academies of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Our staff includes physicians who specialize in sleep disorder treatment, as well as specially trained nurses, therapists and technicians.

To schedule a sleep study, call (813) 844-7233 or e-mail radiologyscheduling@tgh.org