Rare Sleep Disorders

By now, most everyone has heard of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and (of course) snoring. However, there are some other, lesser-known sleep disorders that don’t get as much attention as these do but can be just as worrisome. You may be wondering what you can do about an unusual sleep disorder that you or a loved one has and if it is time to see a doctor about it. 

Unusual sleep disorders

Any one of these sleep disorders can cause you to worry: 

  1. Sleep terrors. Very often, children are the ones who suffer with sleep terrors, but they can happen to people of any age. A person with sleep terrors may scream, yell, and appear not just agitated but terrified. The most you can do is to try to soothe the person back to sleep.
  2. Sleepwalking. This is also more common in children than in adults. Interestingly, it runs in families. Despite what the old wives’ tale says, it is not dangerous to wake up someone who is sleepwalking. In fact, you should wake them up so that they don’t end up hurting themselves.
  3. Sleep paralysis. This also runs in families, and it can be quite disturbing. During the dreaming phase of sleep, your muscles are paralyzed – it is your brain’s way of protecting the body by preventing it from acting out dreams. In sleep paralysis, you are awake but you are still technically in the dreaming phase, so you can’t move. This can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. If this happens a lot, you should see a doctor.
  4. Exploding head disorder. This sounds bizarre and can be very frightening, but it is actually not painful or dangerous. In this disorder, a loud noise (such as an explosion) is heard right when a person is about to drop off to sleep. If you have this rare disorder, you should see your doctor – not only can it be very disturbing, but in time it may lead you to avoid sleeping.

Whether you have sleep apnea or a less common sleep disorder, Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT, can help. Call 203-245-0412 for an appointment today!

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