Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders

Sleep is a complex physiologic state.

• Common difficulty in sleeping or disturbance in sleep pattern  insufficient sleep; common symptom associated with wide range of underlying conditions
• More common with advancing age and in females
• initial insomnia – difficulty getting to sleep
• treatment – depends on cause

• syndrome of recurrent attacks of irresistible sleep with sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy) – tend to fall asleep at anytime, not just when understimulated
• believed to result from the intrusion of the REM state into an awake state
• periods of sleep are generally short and can be woken easily – usually feel refreshed after waking
• unknown cause; high association with HLA-DRW2
• treatment – stimulant drugs (eg dexamphetamine)

Sleep Apnoea:
breathing stops during sleep for a brief time (>10secs)
two types – obstructive sleep apnoea (airway is obstructed) and central sleep apnoea (loss of sensitivity of central respiratory control mechanisms)
affects 2-4% of adults; obesity is a major risk factor
most common cause is airway obstruction

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