Sleep Disorder Treatment
We spend a third of our lives asleep. It has been established that we need seven to eight hours on average per day for our sleep to be restorative but sometimes we do not manage to sleep this long or the quality of sleep is inadequate. In this case we are dealing with sleep disorders, which can affect quality of life. Sleep disorders can trigger mood swings and in some cases they are a risk factor for cardiovascular and brain diseases.
At Clínica Planas, we take the patient’s full medical history and analyze the sleep disorder on an individual basis, using specific tests in order to determine the correct diagnoses.
It is vital to analyze the number of hours of sleep and/or whether the patient works at night or has frequent changes in their working schedule, since sometimes this can cause tiredness and a feeling of not having had enough sleep. However, sometimes the patient clearly describes symptoms such as a difficulty in falling asleep and /or maintaining sleep, sometimes due to work or personal stress. In these cases, we are dealing an insomnia disease.
In order to diagnose sleep disorders, besides taking the medical history, the patient should undergo a complete night of observation via polysomnography or a respiratory polygraph.
Respiratory polygraph: A respiratory polygraph test is used to register whether the patient suffers apneas and additional oxygen desaturations (pulse oxymetry) or snoring. A respiratory polygraph can also register the breathing process so as to distinguish between obstructive and central sleep apnoeas.
Complete polysomnography: If we need to register sleep quality and also evaluate whether leg movement is also occurring, we take a complete polysomnography. This involves a respiratory polygraph along with additional monitoring of other body functions including muscle or skeletal muscle activation, brain activity, eye movements and electromyography (jaw activity).
Both tests are non-invasive and painless. They are carried out at night, so patients are usually hospitalized in the evening and discharged the following morning.
Sleep Apnoea /Hypopnea Disorder
This disorder affects patients who suffering from tiredness even though they are sleeping for seven hours at night. Affected patients usually snore and suffer apneas at night. Symptoms are sleepiness during the day, headaches and sometimes, slow reaction times and poor memory. The patient also feels that he has not had a restorative sleep during the night. It has been proved that sleep apnoea is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, ischemic vascular disease and arrhythmias. Some studies show that people with sleep apnoea are between two and seven times more likely to suffer traffic accidents.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Patients suffer motor restlessness, causing discomfort that is described as itching or even pain on the calves or on legs in general. These symptoms can occur during sleep, causing the patient to wake. The consequence is tiredness during the day and a feeling of not having had a restorative sleep.