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A restorative process, adequate sleep (in its duration and quality) is a critically important factor in the wellbeing of patients with energy problems.  Inadequate sleep can be associated with fatigue, weakness, lethargy, behavioral issues, and difficulty with memory, learning, and concentration.  Such a scenario can exacerbate the severity of symptoms that a patients typically experiences.

Patients with mitochondrial disease are at risk for developing sleep disturbances as the disease progresses, including central apnea (Sembrano, 1997; Yasaki, 2001).  More commonly though, upper respiratory muscle weakness and fatigue can be associated with obstructive sleep apnea, associated with snoring, restless sleep, day-time fatigue, and a sluggishness upon waking in the morning.  A sleep study can help document the presence of a sleep disturbance.  An ENT evaluation may be necessary to evaluate whether or not tonsillar and/or adenoid enlargement are the cause of obstruction, especially in children.  Treatment options include surgical removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids when indicated, or techniques that apply positive airway pressure including CPAP or BiPAP.

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