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Sleep Disorders

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Sleep is essential for functioning well during the day, feeling good and being healthy. Although most people sleep well and are refreshed when they wake, 20% of people don't get enough sleep and have some sort of sleep disorder.

You don't have to suffer with a sleep disorder. At UVA, we can diagnose and treat all sleep disorder or sleep-related symptoms.

    Conditions We Treat

    • Difficulty staying asleep at night
    • Excessive daytime sleepiness
    • Insomnia
    • Irregular sleep-wake schedules
    • Narcolepsy
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Periodic limb movement
    • Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
    • Loud snoring
    • Unexplained breathing disturbances during sleep

    Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea causes loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. It can also put you at risk for other health problems, like an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

    Find out more about the symptoms and risks of sleep apnea

    Doctors most commonly treat sleep apnea by encouraging the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. 

    Sleep apnea treatment is not just one-size-fits-all. At UVA, we'll get to the root of the problem and help you find the best solution that works for you, including:

    • Dental appliances
    • Surgical options
    • Weight-loss 
    • Behavioral changes
    • Side-sleep

    We are the first place in central Virginia to offer Inspire, a new upper airway stimulator that works like a pacemaker. Implanted under your skin, this device monitors your sleep and sends gentle signals to your body to keep you breathing. You could be eligible if you have:

    • Moderate to severe sleep apnea
    • Tried multiple times to use a CPAP machine

    Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

    Excessive daytime sleepiness is a frequent complaint with potentially severe consequences, including impaired job performance, automobile accidents and a reduced ability to enjoy life. It's often thought to be caused by overwork or psychological problems, but daytime sleepiness can be a symptom of several different medical disorders.


    Narcolepsy causes people to have excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy may have recurrent attacks during the day.

    Periodic Limb Movements & Restless Legs Syndrome

    Periodic limb movement is a disease where people repeatedly jerk their legs or arms during sleep and wake themselves up. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling or painful. Both conditions can be treated.


    Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep. This can lead to difficulty thinking and concentrating and poor daytime performance. There are many causes of insomnia, most of which can be treated.

    Irregular Sleep-Wake Schedules

    Jet lag and night or rotating shift work cause changes in the body's circadian rhythms and can lead to irritability, daytime sleepiness and depression. Sleepwalking and moving, talking, screaming and other behaviors in sleep are frightening and may lead to injuries. Sleepwalking presents a danger of accidental injury and can be a sign of medical illness or psychological stress. Effective therapies are now available for most of these conditions.

    Looking for a CPAP Alternative?

    We offer alternative treatments to CPAP for those that have moderate to severe sleep apnea or have tried a CPAP machine with poor results.

    Alternatives include:

    • Dental appliances
    • Weight-loss surgery
    • Side-sleep
    • Other surgical procedures
    • A pacemaker-like device called Inspire

    We aim to solve the root of your sleep disorder, sometimes finding a way to disrupt your sleep apnea altogether. Our team of experts include:

    • Pulmonologists
    • Head and neck specialists
    • Neurologists 
    • ENT specialists

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