Top 3 Warning Signs of a Sleep Disorder

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Living with excessive daytime sleepiness can make life miserable. Insufficient or inadequate sleep can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning and be productive at school or work. In a recent study, researchers discovered that sleep deprivation can cause instability in the immune system. Dr. Dan Naim of the Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute provides insight about symptoms of sleep disorders and the importance of finding a treatment method.

By keeping a sleep diary for several weeks, you can identify the symptoms you experience and discuss them with your primary care doctor, who may order tests to rule out other conditions contributing to your sleep disturbances

A variety of sleep problems have a domino effect as they impact personal well-being and work productivity, while diminishing alertness, health, and safety. As many as 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems, according to the National Institutes of Health. Left untreated, these sleep disorders involving insufficient or inadequate sleep can create or worsen depression, high blood pressure, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Los Angeles Sleep Specialist Dr. Dan Naim discusses how to identify the symptoms of sleep disorders and when to seek help.

1.    Waking up too early in the morning and feeling moody and unable to concentrate.

This may be a sign of insomnia, which can be either short-term or last a long time, if it is chronic. Chronic insomnia affects sleep at least three nights a week and lasts a month or longer. The main symptoms of insomnia are difficulty falling asleep, repetitively waking up at night, and feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Insomnia can lead to lowered productivity from decreased alertness, which can result in accident at work or while driving. Sleep hygiene education can be utilized to teach better sleep practices, and in some cases, medication may be prescribed.

2.    Having a dry mouth or sore throat when waking up and feeling exhausted during the day, even after sleeping the entire night.

“Mouth breathing or snoring at night are a sign that you aren’t getting enough air and you aren’t fully relaxed, which is an indicator of sleep apnea ,” said Dr. Naim. “Although the majority of people snore occasionally, up to 40 percent of people snore almost every night.” If a bed partner has observed pauses in breathing and is disturbed by loud snoring, is likely the cause. These pauses, or “apneas”, are the result of a blocked airway. Usually the sufferer will be unaware of the pauses in breathing and not remember waking up to gasp for air, even if it happens hundreds of times a night. Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed definitively with a sleep study.

3.    Finding blankets on the floor in the morning or being tangled in the covers.

Also a problem during the day, restless leg syndrome or periodic limb movement disorder is marked by the overwhelming urge to move the legs, sometimes accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. An underlying condition may contribute to the problem, such as anemia, thyroid disease, or kidney problems. Medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease can relieve symptoms and eliminate muscle jerks.

“By keeping a sleep diary for several weeks, you can identify the symptoms you experience and discuss them with your primary care doctor, who may order tests to rule out other conditions contributing to your sleep disturbances,” said Dr. Naim. “You may be referred to a sleep disorder clinic if it is suspected that you have a sleep disorder, which can be determined through a sleep study. Sleep studies are multiple-component tests which electronically transmit and record physical activities while you sleep.”


About Dr. Dan Naim
Dr. Dan I. Naim is Board-Certified in the fields of Internal Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine. He completed medical school at the Drexel University College of Medicine and went on to fellowship-training in Internal Medicine at the UCLA-VA Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Naim completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Naim states that his interest in sleep medicine grew as he learned how the role of disturbed sleep could not only impair the quality of someone’s life, but also lead to extensive health problems. His time working in critical care has also shown him how a sleep disorder can lead to hospitalizations in the Intensive Care Unit if the disorder is left untreated. He believes deeply in patient care and education and fostering a partnership with his patients in order for them to achieve the best medical care possible.

About Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute
Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute has a team of highly trained specialists who use the most advanced medical technologies available to effectively diagnose sleep disorders. The team of dedicated professionals treats snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia and other sleep-related problems in a comfortable, professional and friendly environment. To learn more, call (818) 343-1569 or visit

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