Identifying and Treating Common Sleep Disorders

VIDEO | 06:00

According to Memorial Sloan Kettering psychologist Amy Lowery, many cancer patients and survivors experience ongoing sleep problems. Sleep apnea — which involves short pauses in breathing, loud snoring, and gasping for air — can have serious health consequences if left untreated. Your doctor may suggest using a specialized medical device to increase air flow, changing your sleep position, or even surgery to treat sleep apnea.

Other disorders, such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder, can disrupt sleep and cause mental and physical impairments. Treatments for these disorders include medications, exercise, and relaxation techniques. Light therapy may be used to help people with circadian rhythm disorders return to a normal sleep schedule.