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What is a Sleep Disorder?

As a diagnostic tool, an overnight sleep study can aid in the diagnosis of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Recent estimates suggest that 40-70 million Americans experience either chronic or intermittent sleep-related problems. Patients who are referred for a sleep study often complain of the following:

  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up suddenly in the night gasping for breath
  • A gradual loss of energy over time, or feeling of lethargy during the day (while at work, driving, watching television, etc.)

Most often it is the person's spouse/partner who calls attention to the problem. They may be awakened by the loud snoring or gasps for air by their spouse, and they may observe frequent leg kicking motions. These may be symptoms of sleep apnea. Consequences of untreated sleep apnea can include high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and even depression.

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