Sleep Disorders

Where can I go for help?

Sleep disorders are more common than generally realized. Approximately 10% to 15% of the population have sleep related problems. Early identification and proper treatment depend on being alerted to characteristic signs and symptoms. The sleep disorders specialists at Michigan Neurology Associates are familiar with all types of sleep problems. Your sleep complaint will be addressed in a  professional manner from the initial consultation through appropriate testing, treatment and follow up care.

There are several types of sleep disorders. The most impairing are those characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness such as:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Primary Central Nervous System Hypersomnia

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSAS)

This disorder affects approximately 12 million Americans. It is more common in men than women. With OSAS, the patient will usually stop breathing for short periods of time. A narrowed airway is the most common cause. This sleep problem is most common in patients with weight gain, nasal, or throat problems. The patient may complain of increasingly restless or fragmented sleep, awakening unrefreshed from sleep, or morning headaches. This condition is very treatable and may include use of a supplemental breathing mask (CPAP), weight reduction, throat or nasal surgery.


One in every 1000 persons is affected by this disease. It generally appears in the second decade of life. One may present with excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy (sudden attacks of weakness), sleep paralysis, and vivid dreaming. Treatment consists of medication, scheduled naps and optimizing night time sleep. This is a lifelong disorder and accurate diagnosis is essential.

Primary Central Nervous System (CNS) Hypersomnia

This disorder is characterized by chronic unexplained excessive daytime sleepiness and is often familial. Treatment is available.


Some patients with insomnia cannot 1) fall asleep at night, 2) have difficulty staying asleep and 3) often wake up too early and cannot return to sleep. Disturbance with nocturnal sleep may lead to daytime drowsiness, agitation, Chronic Fatigue, unexplained muscle aches and pains and cognitive impairments. Treatment consists of environmental manipulation, psychotherapy, short-term sleeping medications, light therapy, chronotherapy, or a combination of these.

Other common sleep disorders are:

  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Periodic Leg Movements of Sleep
  • Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep Behavioral Disorder
  • Nighttime Seizures
  • Nighttime terrors
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Restless Leg Syndrome

Approximately 2% of the older US population have this disorder. It is a disorder of the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal chord) usually characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs while at rest or attempting to fall asleep. Patients feel a deep crawling sensation in the calves and legs during periods of inactivity. Often, symptoms are worse at night. Frequent moving or rubbing of the legs or walking helps relieve the unpleasant sensations. The disorder is usually lifelong, there may be a family history. The condition readily responds to treatment.

Periodic Movements of Sleep

This syndrome consists of periodic movements of the legs, feet and/or toes after falling asleep. These patients may or may not be aware of a restless leg sensation or of any involuntary movements. Daytime sleepiness and unrefreshed sleep is common. This syndrome interferes with the patient’s sleep continuity and may disturb the bed partner’s restfulness as well.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Behavioral Disorder

Patients with this disorder frequently act out their dreams by thrashing or other violent motor activity. These unconscious behaviors may pose safety risks to both the patient and/or bed partner. Several treatments are effective.

Nighttime Seizures

Some abnormal, unconscious night time behaviors may actually be manifestations of sleep induced seizures and should be controlled.

Nighttime Terrors

The patient experiences partial awakening while sleeping, often with features of terror, but unlike nightmares there is no dream content.

Where can I go for treatment

Michigan Sleep Consultants, (a division of Michigan Neurology Associates, PC) is a freestanding state-of-the-art sleep center.

Dr. Thomas Giancarlo is Board Certified in Sleep Disorders Medicine and acts as the Medical Director. You will need to schedule a consultation prior to any testing for a complete sleep history and physical examination. Based on the outcome of this examination, the most appropriate diagnostic testing and/or treatment options will be arranged in communication with your private family physician’s care.

How do I set up an appointment?

You can easily begin your treatment by a simple phone call to Michigan Sleep Consultants (an affiliate of MNA) at (586) 445-9900. Our receptionist will schedule an assessment at a time that is convenient for you.