Obstructive sleep apnoea
Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) experience repetitive periods of partial or complete occlusion of their airway during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, waking unrefreshed, daytime tiredness and sometimes waking during the night choking or gasping for air. When untreated, obstructive sleep apnoea is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease
If the sleep-wake regulators in the brain do not function correctly, causing patients to be excessively sleepy and to have unusual manifestations of REM (dream) sleep, this is called Narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is often associated with a loss of muscle strength elicited by emotional factors such as laughter, anger or surprise
Periodic limb movement disorder
Patients with this condition (often unknowingly) kick or jerk their legs regularly during sleep. These abnormal leg movements may cause sleep-fragmentation and can lead to excessive daytime tiredness and disturbing others.
REM-sleep behaviour disorder
Patients with REM sleep behaviour disorder experience abnormal movements during REM (dream) sleep, such as “acting out dreams”. This is a rare condition caused by abnormalities in the brain’s behaviour when shifting between dream and non-dream states.
Sleep disorders in children
Sleep problems can affect children as well as adults. Children with a sleep disorder may suffer from snoring, waking unrefreshed, daytime sleepiness, hyperactivity and problems with memory, learning and concentration or have behavioural issues.