Sleep Disorders

What are some examples of sleep disorders? What impact do these disorders have on behavior?

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...t associated disorders if present (e.g., breathing related sleep disorder). If associated with another mental (e.g., depression) or medical condition the symptoms of primary hypersomnia will often dissipate went the other condition improves.

(c) NARCOLEPSY: Narcolepsy is diagnosed when an individual has repeated sudden occurrences of sleep for a period of at least three months. To be diagnosed, at least one of the following must be present: cataplexy (brief episodes of sudden loss of muscle tone) and REM intrusions (REM sleep occurs at unexpected times and results in hallucinations or sleep paralysis). These symptoms can not be the result of another mental disorder, a medical condition, or the use of substances. (http://allpsych.com/disorders/sleep/hypersomnia.html)

Treatment:

(a) Self-Care at Home

* Sleep hygiene is very important. For example, many people have an improvement in their symptoms if they maintain a regular sleep schedule, usually seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

* Scheduled naps during the day also help. One study suggested that the optimal sleep pattern is a combination of scheduled nighttime sleep (such as from 11:00 pm to 7:30 am) and two 15-minute naps.

* Patient's with narcolepsy should also avoid heavy meals and alcohol (as it can interfere with sleep).

* Driving should be restricted when the patient feels sleepy.

* Children should be encouraged to participate in after-school activities and sports. A well-designed exercise program can be beneficial and stimulating.

* Parents should request school personnel to excuse the child from activities if he or she appears drowsy.

(b) Medical Treatment

The main focus of medical treatment is symptomatic relief of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy with stimulants of the central nervous system and antidepressants. Stimulants increase wakefulness, vigilance, and performance, while antidepressants reduce cataplectic attacks (http://www.emedicinehealth.com/narcolepsy/page5_em.htm).

II. PARASOMNIAS

PARASOMNIAS disorders include the following examples, along with a description of the affect of behavior and treatment suggestions:

(a) NIGHTMARE DISORDER behavioral criteria, according to DSM-IV-TR are:

A. Repeated awakenings from the major sleep period or naps with detailed recall of extended and extremely frightening dreams, usually involving threats to survival, security, or self-esteem. The awakenings generally occur during the second half of the sleep period.
B. On awakening from the frightening dreams, the person rapidly becomes oriented and alert (in contrast to the confusion and disorientation seen in Sleep Terror Disorder and some forms of epilepsy).
C. The dream experience, or the sleep disturbance resulting from the awakening, ...