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Trouble Sleeping? Here’s a Look at the Most Common Sleep Disorders

Every now and then, everyone struggles to fall asleep or they wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.

It’s always frustrating to watch the time tick away, knowing you’ll feel exhausted the next day, so count yourself lucky if difficulty sleeping is only an occasional problem.

People with a sleep disorder face the stress of sleep problems every night. If you have a sleep disorder and you need solutions, it’s time to consider personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (PrTMS™) at MindSet in San Diego, California.

How does PrTMS treat sleep disorders? Read on to learn more about the most common sleep disorders and how magnetic stimulation can dramatically improve your sleep.


Insomnia affects one-third of adults, making it the most common sleep disorder overall. When you have insomnia, you experience one or more of the following problems:

Beyond the utter frustration of insomnia, lack of sleep leads to fatigue, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. 

Without restorative sleep, your risk of developing chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease increases. Poor sleep is also associated with weight gain.

Central sleep apnea

When you have central sleep apnea, your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts while you sleep. This sleep disorder develops when your brain stops telling your body to breathe. By comparison, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissues block your airway while you sleep.

There are two main types of central sleep apnea, hypoventilation and hyperventilation:

Hypoventilation type

In this type, your brain doesn’t send signals to the respiratory muscles that control breathing. This type of central sleep apnea typically occurs due to an underlying medical condition, such as a stroke, brain tumor, and traumatic brain injuries. Taking narcotics, such as opioids, can also trigger central sleep apnea.

Hyperventilation type

In this type, you still follow the same pattern in which you stop breathing for a short time before starting to breathe again. However, when you breathe, it’s as though you’re hyperventilating because you take in quick, deep breaths. One of the most common hyperventilation types, Cheyne-Stokes respiration, is associated with cardiovascular disease.

No matter what type of central sleep apnea you have, you experience symptoms, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, waking up feeling tired, and morning headaches. You may also wake up frequently during the night.

Though snoring is the primary symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, it’s not a reliable sign of central sleep apnea. Like many people, you may snore, but central sleep apnea does not typically cause snoring. Your partner may notice pauses in your breathing while you sleep. Otherwise, your daytime symptoms are the key signals.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

RLS affects 5-10% of American adults, which makes it the most common sleep-related movement disorder and a frequently diagnosed sleep disorder.

RLS causes two primary symptoms. First, you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. And second, you develop unpleasant sensations in your legs. These sensations are described as creeping, aching, crawling, itching, and pulling.

The urgent need to move your legs begins when you lay down to rest or after sitting for a long time. Then the leg twitching increases and persists during the night, often waking you up, and making you get up and move to relieve the problem.


If you have narcolepsy, you may wake up during the night, yet most patients still feel rested and ready to face the day in the morning. But then you suddenly become very drowsy and uncontrollably fall asleep during the day.

You may fall asleep at any time and during any activity, which makes narcolepsy unnerving and potentially dangerous. You can suddenly sleep during a meeting at work, while eating, or worse, while driving.

Some people, but not all, experience hallucinations while they sleep. Others have narcolepsy together with cataplexy. Cataplexy is triggered by strong emotions and causes temporary muscle weakness that prevents you from moving.

How PrTMS can treat sleep disorders

Beyond affecting your sleep, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and central sleep apnea share something else in common: they’re all associated with abnormal electrical activity in specific areas of your brain.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) directly targets these underperforming areas of brain activity, using painless magnetic waves to precisely stimulate the nerves, boost deficient brain chemicals, and restore normal electrical activity. As you regain balance in your brain, your sleep disorder improves.

We deliver precise results with PrTMS, which combines TMS with a personalized protocol. We perform an electroencephalogram to initially map your brain activity and pinpoint areas of irregular electrical activity.

You also have EEGs throughout your treatment so we can see the positive changes as you experience the difference in your sleep.

If you struggle with a sleep disorder and you’d like to learn about effective treatment without medication, call MindSet or schedule an appointment online.

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