The Sleep Disorders Center at LeConte Medical Center is proudly the only hospital-based Sleep Center in Sevier County offering comprehensive sleep care to our community. If you think that you, or someone you love, may be suffering from a Sleep Disorder, speak to your primary care physician about a referral the Sleep Disorders Center. Medical DirectorThomas G. Higgins, MD, is gladly accepting new patients. Call us today at 865.446.7625 for more information or to make an appointment!
Sleep Disorders can affect overall health, and some may be life threatening. In addition to daytime sleepiness and fatigue,
certain disorders may cause high blood pressure and serious heart problems. Sufferers often experience more illness, more accidents, reduced job performance, and strained relationships. Take our Sleep Quiz! Common symptoms of sleep disorders include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headache
- Sexual dysfunction
- Learning and memory difficulties
- Falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or while driving (Untreated sleep apnea patients are 3 times more likely to have car accidents)
- Increased risk for irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke (High blood pressure is present in 50 percent of those who suffer from sleep apnea)
Types Of Sleep Disorders
There are more than 84 different types of sleep disorders, most of which can be diagnosed and treated with the aid of a sleep study. Following are a few of the most common:
- Chronic fatigue: a disorder that produces an ongoing feeling of tiredness, malaise, sleepiness, boredom, or depression; has various causes and is sometimes associated with a sleep disorder.
- Insomnia: the most common sleep disorder; described as the inability to initiate or maintain sleep and is associated with daytime fatigue and sleepiness; often the result of stress, illness, environmental factors, or other conditions that throw off a normal sleep schedule
- Narcolepsy: a disorder that manifests itself through excessive daytime sleepiness, uncontrollable sleep attacks and muscle weakness triggered by sudden emotional reactions such as laughter or fear; sometimes accompanied by vivid dreamlike scenes or paralysis upon falling asleep or waking.
- Parasomnias: a disorder that may include nightmares, chest pain, night terrors, sleepwalking and sleep talking; most common in childhood and sometimes worsens during adolescence and adulthood.
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS): neurological movement disorder characterized by abnormal, uncomfortable stinging in the legs that typically occurs or worsens when a person is at rest; a near-constant "pins and needles" feeling that results in constant moving of the legs and prevents a restful sleep.
- Sleep apnea: a disorder that occurs when air cannot flow in or out of a person's nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue; caused by mechanical and structural problems in the airway that cause interruptions in breathing (i.e., throat muscles and tongue relax, excessive amount of tissue in the airway); results in choking sensations during sleep and is almost always accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes.
- Sleep/Wake Cycle Disorders: a disorder accompanied by symptoms of insomnia or sleepiness at inappropriate times; associated with patients who work rotating schedules, suffer from jet lag, or have insufficient sleep syndrome; can become progressive and chronic, but can be treated with medication and therapy.