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St-Elisabeth site - Uccle
02-614 20 00
St-Michel site - Etterbeek
02-614 30 00
Bella Vita Medical Center
02-614 42 00

Sleep medicine

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Sleep medicine

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ABOUT THE SOMNOLOGY WARD

Snoring, insomnia, tiredness, reduced vigilance, memory loss, headaches, irritability, depression, weight gain, inability to lose weight, marital conflicts, impotence... We spend about a third of our life sleeping or trying to find sleep. Sleep helps us resume a normal state of vigilance, necessary to face another day. Some of us suffer greatly from sleep disorders or know people who do. Recent technological advances have enabled us to identify a wide range of sleep disorders, and have shown us that we have to monitor certain “daytime” illnesses during the night. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that cardiovascular diseases (high blood pressure, angina pectoris, decompensated heart failure), respiratory illnesses (chronic bronchitis, asthma), neurological diseases (epilepsy, restless legs syndrome, myoclonus, Parkinson’s disease) and psychiatric conditions are a nocturnal expression that occurs during a subconscious period of your life.

WHAT ARE SLEEP DISORDERS?

  • Insomnia: both transient and chronic, associated or not with another condition...
  • Hypersomnia: sleep apnoea syndrome, snoring, narcolepsy, sleep drunkenness...
  • Parasomnia: nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, impatience and periodic limb movement...
  • Disorders of the sleep-wake cycle: jetlag, night work, rotational shift work, delayed sleep phase disorder...

THE COMPLAINTS OF THE INSOMNIA-SUFFERERS ARE...

Difficulties in finding sleep, the feeling of not sleeping enough, waking up during the night or too early in the morning. The feeling of being insufficiently rested and experiencing the consequences of lack of sleep throughout the day.

Insomnia can start at any age, but it generally begins between the ages of 20 and 40. It can be the consequence of temporary emotions or events.
But it can also conceal more specific issues such as depression, neurological or respiratory disorders (sleep apnoea syndrome), chronic pain (rheumatism) or cardiac disorders (angina pectoris). Naturally, your doctor will have to identify the cause of insomnia to provide a treatment specifically targeting your condition rather than treating all insomnias with the same method.

Sleeping pills are not always necessary and have to be selected carefully.

Snoring is an issue for the people who share your life, however you should be careful of SAS.

But the danger can come from somewhere else entirely.

Since 30 years approximately, doctors have identified among snorers breathing interruptions (apnoea) that can last from 10 seconds to more than a minute and that occur on numerous occasions (several times per night). This disorder is now well documented and called sleep apnoea syndrome (SAS). It is preferable to diagnose it before the symptoms become too severe. Imagine the effect of this apnoea on the oxygenation of the heart or the brain. Indeed, 40% of SAS sufferers die within 10 years if the disorder goes untreated.
However, available treatments reduce the fatality rate to ZERO.

HYPERSOMNIA

It is estimated that 95% of sleeping disorders are ignored, improperly diagnosed and/or poorly treated.
The professional world does not take the effects of lack of sleep sufficiently into account. In school, the consequences of a sleep disorder or of poor sleep hygiene among adolescents and children are starting to be recognised.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION

The Sleep Medicine Unit also works in close collaboration with: 

  • ENT
  • oral medicine
  • dentistry (orthodontics)