Getting Help for Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy symptoms include excessive sleepiness and random muscle paralysis. Fortunately, this challenging sleep disorder can be controlled with medication, enabling patients to live productive lives.

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate a normal sleep-wake cycle. If you have narcolepsy, you may fall asleep quickly at inappropriate times of the day and wake up during the night when you want to sleep.

“People with narcolepsy are constantly slipping between being awake and REM [dream] sleep,” ...

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Nightmares and Sleep Terrors: Should You Be Concerned?

While common in kids age 6 and under, nightmares and sleep terrors can signal a more serious condition. Discover the warning signs.

Nightmares and night terrors can occur in both adults and children, although children are more often affected. A number of factors can cause such sleep disorders, including:

“Nathan’s night terrors occur when he is overtired or has had a really busy day or busy weekend,” says Thorson. In addition, night terrors tend to run in families, so there probably ...

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What’s Behind Your Child’s Nightmares and Sleep Terrors?

Is your child having a nightmare or a night terror? Learn the difference between the two sleep disruptions and what to do — and not do — to help your child.

Most children will experience a nightmare from time to time — a scary dream that causes them to wake up in the middle of the night. But if you hear a bloodcurdling scream and find your child in a state of panic with a glazed look in their eyes, ...

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The Dangers of REM Behavior Disorder

Kicking, punching, hitting, grabbing, and leaping out of bed during deep REM sleep may be signs of REM behavior disorder. Learn who gets it and how it is treated.

You expect your dreams to exist only in your mind while your body rests. But for people with REM (rapid eye movement) behavior disorder, dreaming is much more than mental. It’s a physical and sometimes violent event. REM behavior disorder is a sleep disorder characterized by intense physical activity during REM sleep. ...

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When to Worry About Bedwetting

Bedwetting during sleep is common in young kids and considered normal up to age 6. Still troubled? Here’s what you need to know.

Bedwetting, also called nocturnal enuresis, is a common condition affecting some five million children in the United States — it’s more common in boys than girls. “Doctors don’t consider children to be ‘bedwetters’ unless they wet the bed at night after age 6,” explains Howard J. Bennett, MD, a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and author of several health-related ...

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Nocturnal Eating Sleep Disorders

Do you wake in the night and eat? Sleep eating is more common than you think, but it is treatable.

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, people who eat when most of us are sleeping, may have a nocturnal eating disorder or NED. Nocturnal eating disorders affect from 1 percent to 3 percent of the general population and are considered to be both an eating disorder and a sleep disorder.

There are two types of these eating disorders, nocturnal eating syndrome (NES) and ...

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All About Sleepwalking

Most children will outgrow sleepwalking and require no treatment for the sleep disorder. But make sure to keep the sleepwalker’s surroundings safe to prevent injury.

Sleepwalking, also called somnambulism, is a sleep disorder that holds a lot of fascination. After all, sleepwalkers can perform everyday activities while they’re asleep and usually will not have any recollection of it the next day. Sleepwalkers may talk, walk, or even drive a car.

Sleepwalking affects roughly 1 percent to 15 percent of the general ...

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14 Ways to Prevent Jet Lag

Jet lag and travel often go hand in hand, but you can take steps to lessen that jet-lagged feeling. Here’s how.

Most people who travel long distances across time zones experience jet lag, a temporary sleep disorder that occurs when your body’s “biological clock” gets out of whack.

Randall Foster, president and CEO of Vumii, a global security and surveillance company based in Atlanta, knows firsthand what it’s like to be jet-lagged. His work has him crossing multiple time zones ...

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What Is Periodic Limb Movement Disorder?

If you can barely wake up in the morning and your bed looks like a battle zone, you may want to ask your doctor about periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

It’s bad enough when a sleep condition causes fatigue and disrupted sleep; it’s even worse when that disease starts destroying household linens. Such was the case with a 65-year-old Swiss woman who frequently, and unknowingly, moved her legs while sleeping. In fact, she was so active at night that she rubbed ...

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What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome?

Possible causes of RLS range from genetics to diet.

Do your legs refuse to stay still at night — so much so that they interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep? You may be one of the more than 12 million adults in the United States who have restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurologic sensorimotor disorder that causes bothersome “creepy-crawly” sensations or a sudden urge to move your limbs.

In most cases, the cause of RLS is unknown (referred ...

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