Medical conditions that disrupt normal sleeping patterns are considered sleep disorders. They can lead to daytime fatigue and drowsiness, as well as other serious health issues.
Perhaps the most well-known sleep disorder is insomnia, which is characterized as being either acute or chronic. Both types are associated with difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both. Acute (short-term) insomnia is usually caused by stress. Chronic (long-term) insomnia is sometimes brought on by an underlying medical condition. For others, it is its own primary disorder. In addition to causing daytime drowsiness, chronic insomnia may also lead to anxiety, difficulty focusing and memory impairments.
Types of Sleeping Disorders
Making lifestyle changes, like sleeping without the TV on or avoiding caffeine, can improve symptoms in some cases. Others may seek medications or therapy. Types of sleeping disorders include:
Sleep apnea, which is especially common in overweight individuals, can lead to heart disease, diabetes and more. This condition causes momentary pauses in breathing and/or shallow breathing while sleeping. This impacts sleep quality and usually results in snoring.
Restless legs syndrome is both a sleep disorder and neurological condition that causes a creeping, pulling sensation in the legs. This is accompanied by a strong urge to move the legs for relief. It affects roughly 5 to 10 percent of the adult population in the United States. For unclear reasons, restless legs syndrome often flares up at night. This can make it very difficult to fall asleep.
Narcolepsy is another common sleeping disorder, which is associated with sudden bursts of sleep that can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. People with narcolepsy suddenly and unwillingly fall asleep. This can occur even during activities like talking or eating.
According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 125,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. have narcolepsy. The condition is associated with poor sleep, obesity and hallucinations.
Latest Sleep Disorders News