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Sleep Disorders Center > Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Examples of Sleep Disorders?

Sleep Disorders are a wide range of physical and psychological conditions that keep people from getting sufficient rest. Some of the common conditions we encounter at the Sleep Disorders Center include:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Individuals with OSA snore loudly, have repeated episodes of stoppage of breathing at night due to collapse or blockage of the airway. The OSA sufferer's sleep is repeatedly interrupted causing poor sleep at night and tiredness during the day.
  • Narcolepsy: Individuals with Narcolepsy have a condition causing severe daytime sleepiness and falling asleep at inappropriate times.
  • Insomnia: Individuals with Insomnia have an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep.
  • Periodic Leg Movements During Sleep: Jerky or active legs while sleeping may cause interrupted sleep.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Disorders?

You should consider seeking help if you experience these symptoms:

  • Frequent difficulty falling asleep in bed at night
  • Frequent awakening during sleep
  • Heavy snoring
  • Partner says you stop breathing during sleep
  • Dozing off while driving
  • Often waking with a headache
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Difficulty concentrating at work/school
  • Profuse sweating at night
  • Leg cramps or "crawling" feeling in legs
  • Restless legs that interfere with falling asleep.

How Common is Snoring?

Surveys from Europe and the U.S. show that snoring is two to three times more common among men than among women. At the age of 20, about 15 percent of men and 5 percent of woman snore regularly. By the age of 60, the percentages rise to 60-65 percent of men and 20-30 percent of women.

What is Sleep Apnea Syndrome?

A patient with sleep apnea may repeatedly stop breathing (apnea) for 10 to 20 seconds while asleep. This is typically caused by an airway (nose, mouth or throat) that is too narrow. Such individuals sleep poorly and feel tired and sleepy during the day.

How Common is Sleep Apnea Syndrome?

A large percentage of patients treated at the Sleep Disorders Center suffer from sleep apnea syndrome. Recent detailed surveys and follow-up testing in the U.S. indicate that about 4 percent of adult women and 9 percent of adult men have sleep apnea of at least a mild degree.

Does the Center Also Treat Children's Sleep Disorders?

A child, under the age of 17, should first be evaluated by a pediatrician before seeking services from the Sleep Disorders Center. The pediatrician will determine if a consultation or referral is needed for further evaluation.

For More Information

For information or pamphlets about sleep apnea, narcolepsy or sleep studies, call the Torrance Memorial Sleep Disorders Center at 310-517-4617.