Sleep disorders are situations that prevent a person from getting restful sleep and, as a result, can reason daytime sleepiness and dysfunction. There are approximately eighty different types of sleep disorders. About 70 million Americans suffer from them.
The most essential sleep disorders are:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless legs syndrome
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people have difficulty falling or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Having unrefreshing sleep
Insomnia varies in how long it lasts and how often it happens. About 50 percent of adults experience occasional bouts of insomnia and 1 in 10 suffers from chronic insomnia. Insomnia can occur by itself or can be associated with medical or psychiatric conditions. Insomnia can be short-term or can last a long time (chronic insomnia).
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that happens when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep.
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the more common of the two. It is caused by a blockage of the airway, generally when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. Symptoms of OSA may contain snoring, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, restlessness during sleep, gasping for air while sleeping, and trouble concentrating.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that reasons an intense, often irresistible urge to move the legs. This sensation is brought on by resting such as lying down in bed, sitting for prolonged periods such as while driving or at a theatre. RLS typically occurs in the evening, making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can be associated with problems with daytime sleepiness, irritability and concentration. Often, people with RLS want to walk around and shake their legs to help relieve the uncomfortable sensation.
What is narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder of sleep regulation that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness and intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sudden sleep attacks may happen during any type of activity at any time of the day. Some patients with narcolepsy experience sudden muscle weakness with laughter or other emotions.