Are There Sleep Disorders That Aren’t Apnea?

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Although references to sleep apnea in Edmonton abound (true, it is a common sleep disorder), other sleep disorders may have similar symptoms where sleep deprivation is a factor. At Viva Dental Wellness, our dental clinic in Edmonton, we understand that the quality of our sleep has tremendous impact on the way that we emotionally relate to others and how we feel physically.  Whether you need snoring treatment in Edmonton or further diagnosis, our Windermere dentist is passionate about restoring quality of life in our sleep-deprived patients.

Lack of sleep results in disruptions in many systems in our body. When we haven’t had quality sleep, we will struggle to concentrate and understand new concepts, and may find we become forgetful. Combined with our lack of memory, we find ourselves with less frustration tolerance and a lesser ability to control our emotions. When we chronically lack sleep, we can lack self-awareness and our relationships can suffer as a result. You don’t have to suffer alone – talk to your dentist in Windermere about your sleep challenges and how they’re affecting your overall health.

Sleep-Wake Disorders

Doctors assess sleep disorders based on the quality of the sleep a patient is getting, how much of it they’re getting and the duration of each of their sleep cycles. Sleep disorders are generally one of three:

Parasomnias

This category of sleep disorder involves abnormalities in the way a patient moves, behaves, feels, perceives and dreams throughout any of their sleep cycles. This includes things like confusion, sleepwalking, sleep paralysis and bed-wetting. Patients with night terrors are included in this category, with patients screaming out in their sleep for up to several minutes at a time without any recollection of the imagery that provoked it.

Narcolepsy

This category of sleep disorders is neurological and produces an extreme urge to sleep when the environment is conducive to relaxing but may also involve frequent interruptions in sleep. Patients with narcolepsy are often tired most of the day after waking.

Narcolepsy with Cataplexy (Type 1)

This kind of narcolepsy causes the patient to lose function of their muscles for a brief period. Often, this follows a period of panic, anger or fear. The inability to mobilize muscles may be restricted to select muscles (like one eye) or it can affect many muscles. Although cataplexy can be frightening for the patient, they do not lose consciousness and the condition typically resolves within moments. Often patients show low numbers in their hypocretin hormone levels or remain very sleepy throughout the day.

Narcolepsy Without Cataplexy (Type 2)

If cataplexy is not present, hypocretin levels are typically normal. These patients will not experience muscle weakness with emotional highs and lows.

Restless Leg Syndrome

When patients complain of their legs needing to move constantly in order to be comfortable, their doctors will review whether they meet the criteria for RLS. This condition affects more than 30% of pregnant women and is often tied to a lack of iron folate in the diet in the last trimester. Although most prevalent in pregnant women, RLS can affect anyone.

How do I find the best dentist in Edmonton or the best dental clinic to help me diagnose my sleep disorder?

Start by determining the criteria that you have for your search. You may want to consider things like your schedule (appointment time of day required) or whether you require a dentist in south Edmonton or elsewhere. Do you already have a family dentist in Edmonton or will you be joining this clinic as a long-term patient? If you intend to join the practice, it is important to ask whether they are taking new patients at the time.

It is difficult for me to travel. Will a dentist near me or a dental office near me be able to help?

We recommend doing your research about your provider before you invest time in booking. You can start by typing in specific search questions like “dental clinic near me” and looking for sleep disorder treatment on their website, or enter “sleep apnea dentist southside Edmonton” as examples. Search engines are a great way to gather information about the dental services in your area to determine which will best suit you. Our dental clinic in Windermere is home to the Snore Center – an important part of our business that helps restore valuable rest cycles to patients suffering with sleep apnea. We recommend that patients bring a sleep journal that outlines a minimum of two weeks of wake up and sleep times recorded as well as symptoms upon waking such as dry mouth, headache, neck or shoulder pain and jaw pain. A full list of your regular and sleep medications, if applicable, will provide important information necessary for your assessment.

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