Common Sleep Disorders
Most common sleep disorders are treatable.
You do not have to settle for poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, irritability or other symptoms associated with sleep disorders. There are very effective treatments for most sleep problems. While there are more than 70 distinct sleep disorders, these are the most common:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Structural problems create a blockage in the airway that impedes or stops breathing in this serious condition. The brain senses the pause and sends a signal to breathe. Breathing resumes, often with a loud snort or gasp. This condition affects the entire body, and if left untreated, can lead to more severe health concerns. Often, those with OSA also have daytime sleepiness.
This condition is the inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Insomnia is the most commonly reported sleep disorder.
This disorder affects the part of the brain that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition that usually appears in early adulthood. It is characterized by attacks of an irresistible urge to sleep at unexpected times and severe daytime sleepiness, and is also accompanied by intermittent muscle weakness and sleep-related vivid dreams. There are very effective medications that can mitigate symptoms and restore a sense of normalcy to the lives of those diagnosed with this condition.
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Humans have an internal, 24-hour biological clock known as the circadian rhythm that helps regulate our wake/sleep cycle. This rhythm is sensitive to sunlight, creating a natural waking cycle during the day and a sleeping pattern at night. Disruptions to this cycle cause the clock to unpredictably shift the body's wake/sleep cycle, leading to significant problems. Shift workers are particularly at risk for this sleep disorder.
This is a group of sleep issues that includes sleepwalking, night terrors, teeth grinding, acting out dreams and other unusual events that occur while sleeping.
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movements (PLM)
These are involuntary leg or arm movements before and during sleep, which disrupt sleep patterns and can lead to daytime sleepiness.
Do you think you may have a sleep disorder? Take our online sleep quiz.