′100 Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Sleep Disorders′ by Dr Chokroverty, an expert on the topic will offer answers to the most common concerns expressed by patients suffering from a sleep disorder; provides essential information about the disorder – what it is and what it does to you – and most important, how best to treat the condition (will include a substantial discussion of prevailing drugs, as well as non–pharmaceutical therapies).
2. Why do we sleep?.
3. What is my sleep requirement?.
4. What happens if I am sleep–deprived?.
5. Can a person either become sick or die after complete sleep deprivation?.
6. Why do some people go to sleep earlier and others go to sleep late?.
7. How does sunrise or sunset control our sleep–wake habits?.
8. Why does pain cause sleeplessness?.
9. Why do we dream?.
10. Can certain medications cause excessive dreams?.
11. Do frequent dreams interfere with sleep?.
12. How common are sleep problems?.
13. Are sleep disorders serious problems?.
14. What are common sleep problems?.
15. Is snoring a nuisance or a problem?.
16. My bed partner snores loudly, driving me crazy. He makes noises like a freight train. He also feels sleepy in the daytime. Should he use a snore guard or see a doctor?.
17. Is snoring related to any physical defect, and can snoring cause any physical illness or memory impairment?.
18. Why does snoring become worse after I drink alcohol?.
19. I am a 60–year old man who falls asleep in the daytime in inappropriate places and under inappropriate circumstances. I have almost been in two car accidents because of this problem. Should I see my primary physician or a sleep specialist?.
20. What is sleep apnea?.
21. Can sleep apnea run in the family?.
22. My friend told me that sleep apnea is a serious condition, which may cause stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Is my friend correct?.
23. I have heard that people with sleep apnea may die suddenly in the middle of the night. Is this true?.
24. My sleep specialist diagnosed sleep apnea for my daytime sleepiness and snoring, and suggested that I use a nasal mask, which will deliver air from the outside at a positive pressure to keep my upper airway passage open. What is this device supposed to do?.
25. What are some problems associated with the use of a mask delivering positive airway pressure continuously?.
26. I am a 40–year–old single woman. I can fall asleep easily but wake up between 3.00 and 4.00 AM and cannot get back to sleep again. What should I do?.
27. I toss and turn in bed and it takes me two to three hours to go to sleep. In the daytime, I feel irritable and tired. What is happening to me?.
28. What causes temporary and long–standing sleeplessness?.
29. Can sleeplessness interfere with memory, intellect, and creativity?.
30. What can I do for my sleeplessness?.
31. Can sleeplessness lead to psychological or psychiatric problems, cause someone to develop a psychopathic personality, or even lead a person to commit murder and practice violent behavior?.
32. Since adolescence, I have been falling asleep at class, at work, and while driving. My primary care physician told me I may have narcolepsy. What is narcolepsy?.
33. I suffer from irresistible sleep attacks. Also, on hearing a joke, I tend to go limp momentarily without loss of consciousness. My doctor told me I may have cataplexy. What is cataplexy?.
34. Can narcolepsy run in the family?.
35. How is narcolepsy diagnosed?.
36. How is narcolepsy?.
37. I am a 65–year–old man. I have terrible feelings in my legs when I am in bed preparing to go to sleep. I must keep moving my legs or get out of bed and walk around to get relief. This condition is driving me crazy and preventing me from getting to sleep. Some doctors told me that is it psychological. Is that true?.
38. My husband tells me that I keep moving my legs during sleep. In the daytime, I feel tired and irritable. I do not seem to have quality sleep at night. Do I have RLS?.
39. Does RLS run in the family?.
40. What is the cause of RLS?.
41. How does a sleep specialist diagnose a sleep problem?.
42. What are some important laboratory tests for evaluating sleep problems?.
43. What is an overnight sleep study? Is it uncomfortable?.
44. What is multiple daytime sleep study?.
45. I have difficulty getting to sleep and many times I wake up in the middle of the night. I am an anxious–type person and periodically go into a phase of depression. Can anxiety and depression cause sleep problems?.
46. I am a 30–year–old woman who has been suffering from depression for a long time. This depression is particularly notable during the winter; during the summer, I feel fine. I have terrible sleep problems during the winter. What can I do?.
47. I am a 20–year–old woman. I wake up in the middle of the night to eat and drink. Is this behavior abnormal?.
48. My cousin has bipolar depression and takes a variety of medications. He is always falling asleep in the daytime. Can these medications cause sleep problems?.
49. My father has angina and heart failure. His sleep at night is very disturbed. Can it be due to heart problems?.
50. I have acid regurgitation, which wakes me up frequently at night, disturbing my sleep. What shall I do?.
51. I have been excessively sleepy in the daytime. I wake up frequently at night. My doctor took a blood test and told me that I had low functioning of the thyroid gland. Can my excessive sleepiness be due to thyroid problems and, if so, can it be treated?.
52. I always feel tired and fatigued. I also suffer from aches and pains all over my body and certain spots are tender to the touch. I have difficulty sleeping. My friend has heard of conditions called fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Is it possible that I have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, and do these conditions cause sleep disturbance?.
53. I suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis. I have been experiencing sleep problems lately. Can my sleep problems be due to my lung disease?.
54. I suffer from allergy and bronchial asthma. Can these conditions be responsible for my sleep difficulty?.
55. I have Lyme disease. Can it cause sleep disturbances?.
56. I had paralytic poliomyelitis as a young adult and made a reasonably good recovery from my paralysis. Now at the age of 60, I am again experiencing weakness of my previously paralyzed leg and am also feeling some weakness in other extremities. In addition, I have aches and pains and sleep problems. Am I developing postpolio syndrome?.
57. My friend suffers from Lou Gehrig′s disease. He is having lots of sleep and breathing difficulties. Should he see a sleep specialist?.
58. I have been told that stroke may cause sleep disorders and sleep apnea? Is this true?.
59. I am a diabetic and am experiencing tingling and numbness in my legs. My doctor told me that I have nerve disease related to uncontrollable diabetes mellitus. Can this condition be responsible for my disturbed sleep?.
60. I have Parkinson′s disease and am taking medications for this condition. Lately I have been experiencing sleep difficulties. Can my sleep problem be due to Parkinson′s disease or the medications used to treat Parkinson′s disease?.
61. My father, who is 71, suffers from Alzheimer′s disease. At night, he is agitated and screams and shouts later at night. Is this problem due to Alzheimer′s disease or is he developing another disorder?.
62. My cousin, aged 30, has been suffering from a muscle disorder since the age of 20. Now, he is always sleeping in the daytime. Can muscle disease cause sleep problems?.
63. My husband, aged 65, is a perfect gentleman in the daytime. Lately, however, he has begun to behave in an obnoxious manner in the middle to late part of the night. He will kick me, thrash about in bed, and scream loudly. Is he developing a dreadful psychiatric illness?.
64. My daughter, aged 15, grinds her teeth at night. Is that normal?.
65. My son, aged 10 years, wakes up at approximately 45 to 60 minutes after going to sleep. He looks confused and then attempts to get out of bed, sometimes walking toward the door and going to the living room. Is sleep walking normal for his age?.
66. My 12–year–old daughter falls asleep normally. Approximately 45 to 60 minutes later, she sits up in bed with a vacant and confused appearance. She then stands up in bed and screams loudly. Sometimes, she exhibits thrashing movements of her limbs. Does my daughter suffer from an epileptic seizure or an abnormal sleep disorder?.
67. I am concerned about my son, aged 1, who has head banging and rocking movements of his body during sleep. Is this an abnormal sleep disorder?.
68. I am a 22–year–old man. On some night, especially if I had a stressful day, I get sudden jerking movements of the legs with a sensation of falling as I am about to go to sleep. I am concerned about these symptoms. Am I having a nocturnal seizure or developing a serious neurological illness?.
69. I am having episodes where I cannot move one side of my entire body, arm, or leg at sleep onset or on awakening. These episodes last only a few minutes. I am frightened. Are these events forerunners of a sinister neurological illness?.
70. Can a person remember what happens during sleep talking?.
71. I wake up with terrible leg cramps in the middle of the night. What should I do?.
72. Can one perform complex acts and behave violently or even commit murder during sleep walking episodes?.
73. Is the sleep pattern different in normal elderly people?.
74. What are some sleep problems in old age?.
75. Why do I feel bad for days after flying from New York City to Hong Kong and then back to New York City?.
76. Can anything be done for jet lag symptoms?.
77. All my life, I have experienced difficulty getting to sleep. I go to sleep between 3.00 and 5.00 AM and wake up between 10.00 AM and 1.00 PM. If I have to wake up early, I cannot function adequately. Why is my sleep pattern different from that of the average person?.
78. Should I take over–the–counter sleeping pills for my sleeplessness?.
79. Should I take melatonin for my sleep problem?.
80. Are there any common–sense measures that I can follow for my sleep problem?.
81. I have been taking sleeping pills for months. Although they once helped me, they no longer work. Should I increase my consumption of the pills or should I try something else?.
82. Is it harmful if someone sleeps more than his or her usual requirement of sleep? In other words, does an excessive amount of sleep cause any adverse effects on the human mind and body?.
83. Why do people sleep at night and not in the daytime? Does a person need to sleep at certain times of the day and night?.
84. Are sleep and physical illness related? In other words, do fever and other illnesses alter sleep and, if so, what is the mechanism involved?.
85. Why is it bad to perform physical exercise close to bedtime? Conversely, performing yoga, meditation, or relaxation exercises close to bedtime is conducive to sleep. Why?.
86. Can medications cause excessive sleepiness or sleeplessness?.
87. Do night shift workers suffer from physical illness?.
88. Why do women have sleep disturbances immediately before and after their menstrual cycles?.
89. Why do pregnant women and women who have just given birth suffer from sleep disturbances?.
90. Does menopause interfere with sleep and, if so, how and why?.
91. Is there a relationship between certain foods and drinks and sleep?.
92. How does a warm bath promote a good night′s sleep?.
93. Why can′t I use sleeping medications for sleeplessness for a long time?.
94. Does a relationship exist among sleep, the bed and pillows, and environmental light, sound, temperature, and humidity?.
95. My friend has been using herbal products for sleeplessness. Should I use alternative medicines such as ginkoba, valerian root, and other herbal products?.
96. As we grow older, cells in different body organs, including the brain, progressively decay. If the brain controls sleep, then why is the sleep requirement not decreased in old age?.
97. Does sleep disturbance affect organs in the body?.
98. I heave heard that people often have heart attacks, stroke, or even die in their sleep during the early hours of the morning. Is this true and, if so, why?.
99. Is sudden infant death syndrome (crib death) a special type of sleep–related breathing disorder?.
100. Where can I find more information about sleep and dreams?
––Mark W. Mahowald, MD,
Director, Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, Hennepin County Medical Center; Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School