|Course Name||Sleep Disorders|
Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Define and recognize manifestations of major sleep disorders.
- Identify the indications for formal sleep studies.
- Identify and explain current treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
- Identify the clues which lead to diagnosing the various types and causes of insomnia.
- Explain how and when to use available diagnostic tools for evaluating insomnia.
- Indicate which medication, behavioral therapy measure, or combination approach is effective for which type of insomnia.
- Demonstrate and explain the tools needed for adequate history taking in children with sleep disorders
- Describe how common sleep disorders seen in various pediatric age-groups.
- Explain how to help patients and their parents overcome sleep disorders.
Course InformationOver the past two decades, awareness and appreciation of sleep disorders and their effects have virtually exploded. Sleep is of the brain and for the brain. Although the functions of sleep remain unknown, it is clear that the organ responsible for generating sleep and the only organ served by sleep is the brain. Another indisputable fact is that sleep is vital for existence.
Much has been learned about the nature of sleep and wakefulness, and a wide variety of sleep disorders have been identified. When these disorders go unrecognized or untreated, the personal and societal consequences can be catastrophic. Therefore, it is important for practicing physicians to be aware of these disorders and to take sleep-wake complaints very seriously, particularly given the prevalence of sleep complaints among the general population.
In the first part of this four-part course, we underscore the serious nature of excessive daytime sleepiness, with emphasis on practical differential diagnosis and treatment. In the second part, we discuss how the ubiquitous complaint of insomnia can usually be managed in the primary care setting with gratifying results. In the third part, we try to demystify the fascinating conditions known as parasomnias, focusing on the fact that, contrary to popular opinion; these phenomena are usually not caused by underlying psychiatric or psychological problems. In the fourth and final part of the course, we examine the fact that sleep-wake complaints are far more prevalent in children than previously suspected and that proper diagnosis and treatment result in marked benefits for the patient and the entire family.
The take-home message from the combination of these sections of the course is that sleep-wake complaints are almost always caused by specific, identifiable, and--most important--treatable conditions. In most cases, patients do not have to suffer from hypersomnia, insomnia, or unusual behaviors arising from the sleep period, because help is at hand. Sleep disorder centers are a resource that can aid community physicians and patients. Many sleep-related complaints do not require formal sleep studies and can be managed quickly and economically with simple phone consultation between the primary care physician and the sleep medicine specialist.
Gratifyingly, most sleep-wake disorders are readily diagnosable and treatable. We hope that this course familiarizes healthcare professionals with the fundamentals of normal sleep and sleep disorders and provides guidance in recognizing and managing these common complaints.