What Are the Types of Sleep Disorders?

Sleep is a crucial part in our day to day activities, and plays a big role in our wellbeing. If anyone lacks sleep for an extended period of time, the body starts to shut down some activities one by one until the person finally gets to sleep. The reason why sleep is important is that, this is the only time when all body organs get to rest. This includes brain activity and muscles. The heart also benefits from sleep in that, the heart rate is at its minimal when one is asleep than when he is awake.  Lack of sleep can cause many cerebral disorders, as well as his or her moods.

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Discussed below are the most common known sleep disorders that many people experience.


Insomnia is very common among many people today, especially those over the age of 65. It is commonly related to the inability for one to get to sleep, or sleep for the recommended 8 hours in a day without arousals or disruptions. The disruption of sleep as one tries to sleep can be detrimental on the person’s health and activeness.

On average, the highest percentages of persons who suffer from insomnia are women, on a ratio of 40% for women and 30% for men. These people only sleep for a few hours in a day, and rarely get quality sleep where one can have a dream or two.  Nonetheless, the aged or aging persons suffer from insomnia because most of their sleeping times is during the day, thus reversing their sleeping schedules.

Factors that cause insomnia

Psychophysiological influences: these factors are commonly induced by aging, stressing factors and emotional and hormonal changes from within the body. Patients who suffer from psychophysiological insomnia rarely sleep at night, but have a few naps in a day.  Due to the lack of good sleep at night, these persons are constantly under fatigue and easily irritated.

Organismal influences: Organismal insomnia is rampant among patients who suffer from other diseases such as snoring, asthma or heart diseases. High blood pressure is another major cause of insomnia, because most of these patients worry much about their current situation, thus inviting lack of sleep. They frequently open their eyes at night just to confirm where they are. Ulcers and the Parkinson disease also cause organismal insomnia.

Psychiatric factors: insomnia can also be as a result of depression and other stressing factors. If one is anxious about anything, he or she is most likely to lack sleep at night.

Insomnia is not a permanent disorder, and does not last for a long time. Psychiatric insomnia caused by stress or anxiety at work can last for a few days, which then sees the patient resume his or her normal self. Nevertheless, protracted insomnia may last for a few months, though may depend on the main causing factor.  If a patient suffers from insomnia for more than 5 months, it is then advisable for proper sleep study procedures to be undertaken. This is because chronic insomnia can interfere with the brain’s normal working conditions due to tiredness and several other factors.

Excessive sleepiness

Although some people suffer from lack of sleep (insomnia), others have an overrated version of sleepiness. There are people who have an extended sleep, sleeping for more than the recommended hours of sleep without knowing it.  Resultant of these can be due to an accident involving head injuries, Parkinson’s disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and post viral infections.  Some issues such as walking while asleep, teeth grinding and talking while asleep are commonly related to sleeping during the day time.

To distinguish between insomnia and excessive sleepiness, MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Tests) need to be undertaken to check the frequency and duration of sleep. A Polysomnogram is also needed to check activity during sleep. In addition to this, a bed partner may be required to explain factors he or she might have noticed with the patient when asleep.

Apnea and Narcolepsy

Apnea is a sleeping disorder commonly caused by obstruction along the airway, which results to snoring at night. The patient tends to wake up severally especially when the obstruction is severe. It also leads to feeling sleepy during the daytime. Narcolepsy is a paralysis condition of a patient when asleep. It affects persons in their youth, where they get excessive sleep during the day, which is followed by hallucinations and cataplexy.

Circadian rhythms sleep disorder

These are sleep disorders where the patient’s body has difficulties in establishing sleeping patterns as well as timing for the same.  It is a disruption of the body’s clock mechanism that standardizes sleeping hours and timing. There are several conditions related to this disorder. The most common ones are delayed sleeping phase disorders and advanced sleep disorders.  A delayed sleeping phase disorder is a condition where the patient only gets sleep late at night, mostly in the early hours of the day. A person suffering from advanced sleeping phase disorder can sleep as early as 5 or 6 in the evening.

Other sleeping disorders are induced by lifestyles and activities during the day. Jet-lag for example is a sleeping disorder caused when one travels from one continent or time zone to another. This is mainly because the time when the body is adjusted to sleeping has changed, and the body has to readjust to the new time zone.

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