A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a disorder in the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Some sleep disorders can interfere with mental and emotional function.
Common sleep disorders
The most common sleep disorders include:
- Bruxism: The sufferer involuntarily grinds his or her teeth while sleeping
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS): a sleep disorder of circadian rhythm
- Hypopnea syndrome
- Insomnia: While not considered a sleep disorder in its own right, Insomnia is characterized by the inability to fall asleep and/or remain asleep for a reasonable amount of time.
- Jet lag or desynchronosis: Temporary condition resulting in out of sync sleep patterns as a result of rapidly travelling across multiple time zones
- Narcolepsy: The condition of falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly
- Night terror or Pavor nocturnus or sleep terror disorder: abrupt awakening from sleep with behavior consistent with terror
- Parasomnias: Include a variety of disruptive sleep-related events
- Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD): Involuntary movement of arms and/or legs during sleep. See also Hypnic jerk, which is not a disorder.
- Rapid eye movement behavior disorder (RBD): Acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS): An irresistible urge to move legs while sleeping. Often accompanies PLMD.
- Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)
- Sleep apnea: The obstruction of the airway during sleep
- Sleep paralysis: Conscious paralysis upon waking or falling asleep
- Sleepwalking or somnambulism: Engaging in activities that are normally associated with wakefulness (such as eating or dressing), which may include walking, without the conscious knowledge of the subject
- Snoring: Loud breathing patterns while sleeping, sometimes accompanying sleep apnea
Broad classifications of sleep disorders
- Dysomnias - A broad category of sleep disorders characterized by either hypersomnolence or insomnia. The three major subcategories include intrinsic (i.e., arising from within the body), extrinsic (secondary to environmental conditions or various pathologic conditions), and disturbances of circadian rhythm. MeSH
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Periodic limb movement disorder
- Recurrent Hypersomnia - including Kleine-Levin Syndrome
- Posttraumatic Hypersomnia
- "Healthy" Hypersomnia
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
- Medical or Psychiatric Conditions that may produce sleep disorders
- Sleeping sickness - can be carried by the Tsetse fly
- Snoring - Not a disorder in and of itself, but it can be the symptoms of deeper problems, and may result in damaging retribution against snorer by bed partner.
Common causes of sleep disorders
Changes in life style, such as shift work change (SWC), can contribute to sleep disorders.
Other problems that can affect sleep:
- Back problems
- Environmental noise
- Neck problems
- Various drugs - Many drugs can affect the ratio of the various stages of sleep, thus affecting the overall quality of sleep. Poor sleep can lead to accumulation of Sleep debt.
According to Dr. William Dement, of the Stanford Sleep Center, anyone who snores and has daytime drowsiness should be evaluated for sleep disorders.
- Environmental noise health effects
- Reversed vegetative symptoms
- Sleep hygiene
- White noise machine
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine
- SleepNet.com's sleep disorder information
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a practitioner-oriented web site
- SleepEducation.com, patient-oriented web site from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
- Your Guide to Sleep Disorders
- The Sleep Library
- Sleep Disorders: Types, Diagnosis, Risk Factors, and Prevention
- Getting the Sleep You Need: Sleep Stages, Sleep Tips and Aids
- Alertness Matters Sleep Disorder site
- Talk About Sleep: Authoratative sleep disorder information
- Talk to a fellow sleep disorder patient - Advocates for Sleep Patient to Patient Mentoring
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