October 1-7, 2012 is National Sleep Technologist Appreciation Week. We would like to thank our dedicated sleep technologists for the special care they extend to their patients and families undergoing testing in the sleep laboratory. Your dedication and passion for what you do is appreciated by the entire Aureus family.
For many people, sleep can be a major problem. Lack of sleep can result in many health issues. Sleep technologists play an integral part in assisting patients reach a diagnosis that can affect their health and quality of life. Some of the most common sleep disorders include:
- Primary insomnia: Chronic difficulty in falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep when no other cause if found for these symptoms.
- Bruxism: Involuntarily grinding or clenching of the teeth while sleeping.
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome: Inability to awaken and fall asleep at socially acceptable times but no problem with sleep maintenance, a disorder of circadian rhythms.
- Hypopnea syndrome: Abnormally shallow breathing or slow respiratory rate while sleeping.
- Narcolepsy: Excessive daytime sleepiness often culminating in falling asleep spontaneously by unwillingly at inappropriate times.
- Cataplaxy: A sudden weakness in the motor muscles that can result in collapse to the floor.
- Night Terror: Pavor nocturnus, sleep terror disorder: abrupt awakening from sleep with behavior consistent with terror.
- Somniphobia: A cause of sleep deprivation. Somniphobia is a dread/fear of falling asleep or going to bed. Signs of illness include anxiety and panic attacks during attempts to sleep and before it.
- Sleepwalking: Engaging in activites that are normally associated with wakefulness (such as eating or dressing), which may include walking, without the conscious knowledge of the subject.
- Rapid eye movement behavior disorder: Acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep, sometimes injuring bed partner or self (REM sleep disorder or RSD)
During the 20th century, the knowledge about sleep has increased rapidly and the medical community started paying attention to sleep disorders and the role and quality of sleep in other conditions. By the 1970s in the United States, clinics and laboratories devoted to the study of sleep and sleep disorders were opening.
Sleep Medicine is now a recognized subspecialty within internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and neurology in the United States. Certification in Sleep Medicine shows that the specialist: “has demonstrated expertise in the diagnosis and management of clinical conditions that occur during sleep, that disturb sleep, or that are affected by disturbances in the wake-sleep cycle. This Specialist is skilled in the analysis and interpretation of comprehensive polysomnography, and well-versed in emerging research and management of a sleep laboratory.”