types of sleep disorders

Did you know there are more than 100 different sleeping and waking disorders?

If you have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping through the night, if you wake up too early or have a hard time waking up at all, or if you are overly tired during the day, you may have one of the following sleep problems.

insomnia

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint. It occurs when you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or do not feel refreshed in the morning even though you had the opportunity to get a full night of sleep. Nearly 30 percent of adults complain of insomnia. There are two types of insomnia based on duration:

  • Acute Insomnia: This type of insomnia lasts for a short time — from several nights up to three weeks — and goes away on its own without treatment. Acute insomnia is more common than chronic insomnia.
  • Chronic Insomnia: Insomnia that lasts more than three weeks is classified as chronic insomnia. Nearly one in 10 people have chronic insomnia, which often requires some form of treatment to go away.

obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. The airway repeatedly becomes blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches your lungs. When this happens, you may snore loudly or making choking noises as you try to breathe. Your brain and body becomes oxygen-deprived and you may wake up. This may happen a few times a night, or in more severe cases, several hundred times a night.

The lack of oxygen your body receives can have negative long-term consequences for your health. This includes:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Pre-diabetes and diabetes
  • Depression

snoring

Snoring is the often loud or harsh sound that can occur as you sleep. You snore when the flow of air as you breathe makes the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate. The sound most often occurs as you breathe in air, and can come through the nose, mouth or a combination of the two. It can occur during any stage of sleep. Snoring is more common in men, though many women snore. It appears to run in families and becomes more common as you get older. About 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women are habitual snorers. Men become less likely to snore after the age of 70.

circadian rhythm disorders (shift work disorder & jet lag)

Shift work disorder occurs when you have difficulties adjusting to a work schedule that takes place during a time which most people sleep. When you have shift work disorder, there is a conflict between your body’s circadian rhythms and your work schedule. You may have to be at work when your body wants to sleep. Then when you have to sleep, your body expects to be awake.

Jet lag occurs when you travel across multiple time zones and have trouble adjusting to the new schedule. After traveling a long distance by air, your circadian rhythms may still be aligned with the previous time zone. Your body may expect to sleep when it is daytime in the new time zone or be awake when you are supposed to sleep.

restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is a neurological sleep disorder that makes you have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. Restless legs syndrome makes it difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. The symptoms are usually worse at night. The sensation is difficult for some people to describe. You may lie down and begin to feel burning or itching inside your legs. If you move your legs or get up and walk around, these symptoms may go away. The discomfort may return when you try again to go to sleep.

narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a lifelong sleep disorder that makes you feel overwhelmingly tired, and in severe cases, have sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks. Narcolepsy can impact nearly every aspect of your life. It is dangerous because you can have excessive sleepiness or a sleep attack at any time of the day, in the middle of any activity including eating, walking or driving. Operating a vehicle with untreated narcolepsy can be very dangerous and some states even have laws against it. Many people with narcolepsy do not know they have the sleep disorder. Nearly one in 2,000 people have some form of narcolepsy.

sleep-disruptive behaviors (parasomnias)

Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up. Parasomnias may include abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions or dreams. Although the behaviors may be complex and appear purposeful to others, you remain asleep during the event and often have no memory that it occurred. If you have a parasomnia, you may find it hard to sleep through the night.

Parasomnias include:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
  • Confusional Arousals
  • Night Terrors
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
  • Nightmare Disorder
  • Sleep Paralysis
  • Sleep Talking
  • Bedwetting (enuresis)
  • Sleep-Related Groaning
  • Exploding Head Syndrome
  • Sleep-Related Eating Disorder

Sources:
http://www.sleepeducation.com/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001803/
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/understanding-sleep-problems-basics

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