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Sleep Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Possible sleep disorder?

This is a long question, but please bear with me:

So, this is actually a question regarding my mom, but it's something that both my dad and I have been noticing and we want to make sure there is nothing more serious going on. For about 3 or 4 years now, my mom has been going to bed really late at night, around 2 or 3am. Although the there are some exceptions, she normally doesn't sleep that late in the morning, but a lot of times she'll get really tired after eating breakfast and fall back asleep (it's kind of one of our "mother-daughter traditions" to watch the morning new or the Today Show, so she normally falls back asleep when we're watching that). For a while, I thought there was just something wrong with her sleep cycle, but I've seen her go to bed and wake up fairly early (sometimes even several days in a row) and it hasn't seemed to fix the problem in the long term.

Another one of her odd sleep behaviors is HOW she actually falls asleep and what happens after she does. My dad has told me about it and I've even experience it for myself when my mom and I had to share a bed while visiting a relative. First of all, she is extremely restless while she falls asleep. I don't mean she tosses and turns all night; what I mean is she twitches or fidgets a lot. It could be anything from a simple twitching of her fingers to elaborate actions such as moving her fingers like she's typing on a keyboard or trying to grab and turn a door handle. When I had to share a bed with her it made it almost impossible for me to sleep, so I have no idea how my dad does it. She'll also talk and mumble as she's falling asleep. It's almost like she's already started dreaming within a few seconds of going to asleep (although there've been several instances where she'll "twitch" but then claim she was still awake and doesn't remember doing it).

Does this sound like any sort of sleep disorder? If so, is it serious? I'm worried that she's not getting enough sleep (which is also disrupting my dad's sleep since she's up so late).
1 Responses
Avatar universal
It's not normal sleep.  She should see a doctor, and I'll be shocked if the doctor doesn't think she needs a sleep study.  What you're describing has a lot of the features of restless legs syndrome (RLS), but it's more complex.  I don't know what her diagnosis will end up being, but she's got something going on that's not normal sleep.  As to whether it's serious, that depends on the diagnosis.  Untreated sleep apnea is serious in the sense that it's associated with a higher than normal rate of cardiac events.  It can shorten your life.  RLS tends more to ruin your quality of life, rather than the quantity, but any sleep disorder can be dangerous if lack of sleep causes someone to have an accident. Good luck.
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