The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (www.sleepeducation.com) reports that there are more than 80 specific sleep disorders, a group of conditions characterized by disturbances in the amount, quality, or timing of a person's sleep. These disorders usually result in daytime sleepiness. Common sleep disorders include:
Insomnia - Continuously having difficulty in falling asleep and sleep maintenance.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea - Obstruction of the airway during sleep, causing lack of sufficient deep sleep; often accompanied by snoring. Central sleep apnea is less common.
Hypopnea Syndrome - Abnormally shallow breathing or slow respiratory rate while sleeping
Narcolepsy - Excessive daytime sleepiness, often culminating in falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly at inappropriate times
Restless Leg Syndrome - The urge to move your legs when at rest, often combined with uneasy feelings like burning, prickling, itching or tingling.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) - Sudden involuntary movement of arms and/or legs during sleep, for example kicking the legs
Rapid Eye Movement Behavior Disorder (RBD) - Acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) - inability to awaken and fall asleep at socially acceptable times but no problem with sleep maintenance, a disorder of circadian rhythms. Other such disorders are advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS) and Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome (Non-24), both much less common than DSPS.
Bruxism - Involuntarily grinding or clenching of the teeth while sleeping
Night Terror, Pavor Nocturnus, Sleep Terror Disorder - Abrupt awakening from sleep with behavior consistent with terror
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a common
disorder in which the airway is
blocked causing lack of sufficient
deep sleep and snoring.
For more information about sleep disorders, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's sleepeducation.com.
Do You Have Symptoms?
Good sleep is key to maintaining your health. Individuals with sleep disorders may report symptoms such as those listed below.
- Abnormal daytime sleepiness
- Not feeling refreshed in the morning
- Morning headache
- Loud snoring during sleep
- Chocking or gasping for breath at night
- Getting up frequently at night to urinate
- Feeling tired
- Restless sleep or sleep walking
- Aggressive behavior during sleep
Should you be evaluated for a sleep disorder? Take our quick screening test.
Sleep Hygiene Tips
Good sleep is key to maintaining great health. Below are some tips to getting better sleep.
- Maintain a regular bedtime and wake up time.
- Everyone's sleep is unique. Adjust your sleep to fit your need to feel alert and energetic during the day.
- Avoid naps during the day.
- Regular exercise in the morning or early afternoon may deepen your sleep.
- Find a comfortable bedroom temperature and maintain it through the night.
- Avoid heavy meals within 2 hours of bedtime. A light snack at bedtime may help you sleep.
- Do not drink alcohol after dinner.
- Avoid stimulants and caffeine after 3:00 PM.
- Chronic use of tobacco disturbs sleep.
- Plan sexual activity in relation to its effect on your sleep.
- If you have trouble falling asleep, do not stay in bed more than 15 minutes.