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sleep disorders: insomnia, sleep apnea , restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy

sleep disorders, insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy

Common sleep disorders: insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndome and narcolepsy diagnosed and treatment options discussed!


Insomnia is defined by trouble falling or staying asleep at least three nights a week for three months or longer. Its signs are first of all daytime fatigue, moodiness, problem with attention and memory. Another is  anxiety about sleep. It is caused by stress,depression, alcohol and/or caffeine use, substance abuse or irregular sleep schedule.

The treatment of choice is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, also known as CBT-I. Check this fantastic link, from a Quebec based  company  called HALEO : Online behavioral cognitive therapy application. 

The benefits of the therapy are often seen in four to six sessions.  If you prefer another option you can try next  prescription med like zolpidem (Ambien) eszopiclone (Lunesta), or trazodone may help, but seek the guidance of a doctor.


Sleep apnea is defined by breathing pauses of 10 or more seconds in bed. About one in four adults ages 30 to 70 have it
Its signs are first of all loud, frequent snoring, choking or gasping sounds, a.m.headaches and unrefreshing sleep. The main causes are overweight, older age, narrow neck/throat, alcohol use, smoking and the use of narcotic pain Meds.
The treatment of choice is consequently weight control, cessation of smoking and/or drinking, sleeping on your side, raising your upper body with a wedge pillow when sleeping on your back.

For a more efficatious treatment, try continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device,used while sleeping to deliver gentle air pressure via a mask to keep your airway open. Another alternative would be an oral sleep device such as Somnomed, Panthera, Prosomnus. These appliance are comfortable that alleviate snoring and sypmtoms of obstructive sleep apnea.

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Micro2 Prosomnus apliance and Somnomed appliance

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Panthera appliance


At Prisma Dentists we are an AADSM acredited facility that provide all above mentioned oral appliances for mild to moderate apneic patients and for the severe patients who are not tolerant to CPAP therapy.



RLS is defined by a neurological disorder causing an uncomfortable leg sensation when sitting or lying down.
Its signs are first of all itching,crawling and burning or throbbing that worsens at night,creating the urge to move your legs.

Its main causes are low iron, diabetes and  the use of certain Meds(antidepressants, antihistamines). Sometimes the cause is unknown.
the first line of treatment is iron supplements if needed, stretching and massage. In addition moderate exercise, reducing caffeine or alcohol and quitting smoking are especially relevant.  A more efficatious treatment is an anticonvulsant (gabapentin)or dopaminergic agent(pramipexole). Note: meds treat symptoms but not the problem.


It is defined by the loss of control of the  brain  sleep-wake cycles. Sudden sleep attacks can occur. The signs are extreme daytime sleepiness; hallucinations when falling asleep; sleep paralysis. It is caused by a deficiency in hypocretin (neurotransmitter involved in sleep wake cycle); sometimes unknown.

Try first scheduled naps; exercices; no caffeine, alcohol,nicotine, or heavy meals; consulting a behavioral sleep medecine specialist. For a more efficatious treatment your physician might prescribe some antidepressants, stimulants or sodium oxybate (Xyrem) Note: Med treats symptoms but not the problem.

If you have any concerns about your sleep quality we will be pleased to refer you to a sleep physician. For a consultation please call us at 514-739-0097 or by email:

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