Is it difficult for you to go to bed or stay asleep through the night? Do you wake up tired or feel exhausted through the day, even when you’ve spent enough time in bed? You might have a sleep disorder.
Sleep is a basic human need that’s essential to maintaining good health. Losing sleep can be detrimental to your well-being because it slows thinking and reaction time, makes you irritable and increases the risk of injury, infection, obesity and heart disease.
Some of the most common sleep disorders can be found in the list below.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that makes breathing repeatedly stop and start. The condition affects approximately 20 million adults in the United States, with an estimated 80 percent of cases going undiagnosed. Snoring, breathing difficulties, and waking up abruptly are a few of the key characteristics of the disorder.
Restless legs syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is a condition that causes an overwhelming urge to move the legs, typically experienced in the evenings. The impulse is most often accompanied or caused by unpleasant sensations in the legs. Up to 7-8 percent of the population has this neurological condition, with 2-3 percent experiencing symptoms that are so severe that they affect their quality of life and require medication.
Insomnia is a persistent struggle to fall and stay asleep. The condition can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, some substances or biological factors.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that causes extreme drowsiness throughout the day. The condition can cause the person to fall asleep immediately and involuntarily. About 70 percent of people with narcolepsy also have cataplexy—a sudden weakness of the motor muscles that can cause collapse.
The medical term “parasomnia” refers to any and all the abnormal things that can happen to people while asleep. These sleep problems can induce nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep talking, head banging, wetting the bed (“enuresis”) and grinding the teeth. Parasomnias affect approximately 10 percent of Americans and can occur in people of all ages, but are more common in children.
Nocturia is the frequent and extreme need to get up and urinate in the middle of the night. If you need to wake up two or more times per night to use the bathroom, you may have the condition. Nocturia is common, affecting 40 million adults in the United States. Besides just being disruptive to a good night’s sleep, nocturia can also signal an underlying medical condition. It differs from enuresis, or bed-wetting, in which the person urinates without waking up.
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
The category of circadian rhythm sleep disorders includes conditions in which sleep times are thrown out of whack. These include delayed sleep phase disorder (a person goes to sleep later at night and sleeps later in the morning), advanced sleep phase disorder (a person falls asleep before normal bedtime and wakes up hours earlier than most people), and non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder (a person’s sleep time shifts a little later every day).