Sleep Apnea, RLS and PLMD
People tend to think that sleep problems are a part of life, and don't often think to discuss them with their doctor. But there are certain medical conditions that could be interfering with your sleep, and, since they happen during sleep, they will most often escape your notice.
Snoring isn't always just a nuisance. It could be a sign of a larger problem. According to the Sleep Research Society, sleep apnea occurs when airflow to the lungs is briefly blocked, most often in the throat, in repeated episodes of gasping, sometimes up to 50 times an hour. Snorting and gasping are the telltale signs. Obesity; the use of nicotine, alcohol or sedatives; hypothyroidism; sleeping on one's back; and excessive airway tissue are key factors. Sleep apnea can be dangerous to your health, so if you suspect your snoring may be sleep apnea, contact a doctor.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) sends odd, uncomfortable sensations deep within the leg muscles and knees, creating forceful urges to move, particularly at night. Sufferers may jerk themselves awake with leg spasms or kicking movements, preventing a restful night's sleep. Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) centers in the lower limbs and consists of spasms that can occur up to hundreds of times a night. The telltale signs of PLMD are crumpled bedcovers at the foot of the bed, along with kicking and jerking during sleep and unknowingly awakening many times during the night.
Remedy: If you suspect you might have any of the above sleep disorders, discuss them with your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can recommend a treatment to help get you back on the track to well-restedness.