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Types of Sleep Disorders

  • Published: 2009-01-06 (Revised/Updated 2013-06-16) : Cindy Heller.
  • Synopsis: There are innumerable sleep disorders ranging from the most trivial ones to the ones we might never have heard before.

Main Document

Quote: "There are innumerable sleep disorders ranging from the most trivial ones to the ones we might never have heard before."

Sleep disorders have become a serious concern. People who lead a busy life, shuffling between work, home and family are more vulnerable to getting sleep disorders.

Lack of proper sleep is the reason for a number of road accidents, on the job tragedies and lower performance in the classroom. Even intimate relationships suffer when the partners have sleep problems.

There are innumerable sleep disorders ranging from the most trivial ones to the ones we might never have heard before. New born babies, young and old adults and even our favorite pets can suffer from sleep disorders. There are some sleep problems such as bed-wetting which is normally seen in kids and would go as the child develops a stronger bladder control. Yet another sleep disorder narcolepsy may not have a definite cure and can be controlled with proper medications and sleep behavior.

Reading this article, you will get to know about some types of sleep disorders that have affected our sleep patterns.

1. Insomnia: it is the most commonly known sleep disorder in young adults. It is characterized by the difficulty in falling sleep or remaining in sleep for a longer period of time. Insomnia can be caused due to anxiety and depression. Women are more susceptible to having insomnia than the men. Melatonin is generally prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. Behavioral therapies and good sleep hygiene are known to work better as the treatment for insomnia.

2. Sleep Apnea: it is characterized by cessation of breath during sleep. Sleep apnea can be life threatening. At times, the breathlessness occurs so frequently that the person is unable to sleep. This occurs because at times the brain forgets to send the signals to the respiratory system to breathe. This may also cause snoring in some people. Treatment methods for sleep apnea include respiratory apparatus, behavioral methods and in some cases, surgery. Surgery is used to clear the obstruction in the airway passage of the respiratory system by trimming of excess tissue.

3. Narcolepsy: narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that impairs the ability of the central nervous system to regulate the sleeping pattern. It is characterized by excessive day time sleepiness, hallucinations during the sleep or wake times and a sudden short lived loss of muscle control. Narcolepsy can be a chronic sleeping disorder and can cause sleep paralysis in certain cases. Treatments of narcolepsy include counseling, behavioral therapies and medications for relaxation.

4. Restless Leg Syndrome: this is a neurological disorder and is characterized by a constant urge to move your legs. It is accompanied by uncomfortable and tingly sensations in the legs. This feeling is so intolerable that the person is not able to have a good sound sleep. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) can occur anytime of the day and not always related to the sleep times. Self help techniques are used as the treatment for RLS. Occasionally, iron supplements and applying electrical stimulations to the feet and legs are also prescribed. People having RLS should sleep on their sides with pillows placed in between the legs to induce sleep. In some cases, massaging and exercises also help.

5. Jet Lag: jet-lag is a physiological condition that affects the body clock of travelers, shift workers etc. People who travel across different time zones get jet lag as the body clock goes out of sync and is not able to instantly align itself with the destination time. People having jet lag may take a few days to adjust to a different time zone. Women are more prone to getting jet lags as compared to men. Dehydration accompanied by loss of appetite, headaches, insomnia or irregular sleep patterns are some common symptoms of jet lag. To prevent jet lag, it is advisable to wake and sleep according to the destination time zone. Exposing oneself to sunlight also helps. Exercises, sufficient liquid intake and a healthy diet can help one get rid of jet lags.

Reference: Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit to learn more about treatment for sleeping disorders and other types of sleeping disorders.

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4 : Making Healthy Sleep a Priority - Sleep Well, Be Well Campaign : American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
5 : Sleep Issues and Children with Developmental Disorders : Disabled World.
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