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There are many treatments available for a variety of sleep disorders once diagnosed. Because of this, this page will provide an overview of common treatments for some of the more familiar sleep disorders.
Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy. Also referred to as CPAP, this treatment involves wearing a mask at night which is connected to a small machine which blows pressurized air into the mask. The person breathes in and out normally, but the pressurized air they breathe works as a pneumatic split to hold the airway open so they can breathe properly.
Surgery. There are many types of surgical procedures that can help alleviate OSA. Most are geared towards removing or repositioning tissues in the airway to open the airway as much as possible, therefore helping to prevent occlusion.
Oral Appliance. This device resembles a bite guard, but acts to reposition the lower jaw forward, therefore helping to open up the airway. Some devices also work to keep the tongue from occluding the airway.
- Practicing good sleep hygiene
- Addressing depression via therapy or medication, if that is a factor
- Changing medications that may cause insomnia
- Behavioral Therapy - Learning methods to take ones mind of sleeping problems, trying to sleep only when very tired, etc.
- Prescribing medications to help you sleep, though this is only a short term fix.
Prescription medications are effective in controlling the excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hallucinations, and sleep disruptions. Medications typically include stimulants to combat the sleepiness and antidepressants to combat the cataplexy and paralysis. Drugs to suppress REM sleep (dreaming) may also be prescribed.
Treatment for Narcolepsy also requires adjustments in lifestyle and environment, including proper sleep hygiene (practicing good sleep habits) and regular and scheduled exercise and naps.
Treatment of PLMD/RLS often requires medication (such as Requip)
If the source of the problem is a medical condition (such as anemia), then treating that condition can sometimes alleviate the PLMD/RLS.
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