Sleep disorders are quite common in the general population and affect as many as 40 million people in the United States each year. Chronic sleep disorders can cause sleep deprivation and fragmentation and may negatively affect mood, health, longevity, and productivity. Sleep disorders may also contribute to other medical and psychiatric disorders, including depression, cardiac disease, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes.
Patients suffering with sleep disorders can find innovative, patient-centered care at the Sleep Disorders Service at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). As part of the Department of Neurology, the Sleep Disorders Service provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of all sleep disorders, with a special focus on the relationship between sleep disorders and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Each neurologist in the Sleep Disorders Service collaborates closely with a large team of clinical specialists to provide comprehensive care for every patient.
Treatment of sleep disorders at BWH
Sleep disorders treatment at BWH includes evaluation and care for:
- Central sleep apnea, a breathing disorder during sleep where the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the muscles to initiate breathing.
- Obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder which occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person's nose or mouth despite efforts to continue breathing.
- Circadian rhythm disorders (delayed sleep phase syndrome, shift work disorder).
- Disorders of primary sleep drive, such as narcolepsy, which causes excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness along with possible loss of muscle control, or idiopathic hypersomnia, which involves sleeping too much without an obvious cause.
- Insomnia, which may involve difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early in the morning, or not feeling refreshed after sleep.
- Parasomnias, such as sleep walking or REM sleep behavior disorders.
- Restless legs syndrome, in which a person experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs which may interfere with sleep.
Our services include diagnostic at-home tests and in-laboratories the tests, as well as treatments with dental appliances, individual cognitive and behavioral therapy, positive pressure therapy, and surgical options.