Sleep disorders have many different causes and symptoms. Some people have a hard time sleeping, while others sleep at inappropriate times. Some problems are temporary, while others are chronic.
Symptoms include:
  • Snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness even after seven to nine hours of sleep
  • Been observed to stop breathing during sleep
  • Periodic limb movements
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Sudden muscle weakness when angry or excited
  • Paralysis upon awakening or when falling asleep
  • Nightmares or bad dreams
  • Sleepwalking
  • Acting out dreams


The first step in treating a sleep disorder may require an overnight sleep study known as a polysomnogram. This evaluation includes: 
  • EEG: Monitors brain wave activity to determine sleep stages and awakenings.
  • EKG: Records heart activity to monitor for abnormalities.
  • EOG: Electrooculography monitors eye movement activity.
  • EMG: Electromyography to monitor abnormal limb movements and sleep behaviors.
Other types of testing:
  • MSLT: Monitors sleep onset and sleep stages during four to five naps. A sleep study is done before this test for accurate diagnosis.
  • MWT: Monitors ability to stay awake in extreme circumstances.
  • CPAP: Oxygen levels and breathing are assessed to determine abnormalities that may indicate a sleep disorder.