Sleep Disorders: 7 Types & Symptoms

sleep disorders

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Think a sleep disorder may be negatively impacting your day to day life? Get a rundown of seven possible issues here!

Sleep disorders are on the increase…make sure you know the signs to look for.  Is quality sleep proving elusive night after night? Spending your daytime hours yawning and feeling drained? A sleep disorder may be to blame. With so many solutions available nowadays, there’s no need to push aside and ignore your tiredness.

Let’s examine various possible issues and their symptoms!

Common Sleep Disorders

1) Sleep Apnea

This disruptive condition can be broken up into two categories: obstructive sleep apnea (soft tissue located in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway) and central sleep apnea (the brain does not signal your body to breathe). The signs connected with sleep apnea are: daytime sleepiness due to frequent waking, increased moodiness, suffering from headaches upon waking, unexplained weight gain, and male impotence. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, please seek immediate medical attention.

2) Insomnia

Insomnia can be classified in two different groups based on its duration: acute insomnia and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia is often temporary and is the result of a specific situation (for example, experiencing stress over a work deadline). Chronic insomnia is characterized by disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts a minimum of three months. Bad sleep habits, shift work, other medical issues, changes in environment, and certain medications could be at the root of the problem.

Individuals with insomnia often feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school. Sound familiar? You are not alone. According to NPR, chronic insomnia affects about 10 to 15 percent of adults in the U.S. alone. Discover a specialized playlist to help with insomnia here.

3) Snoring

Snoring is common, approximately 90 million American adults are impacted. Although it’s treated by many as a minor inconvenience, it’s a big deal when it comes to sleep quality. Letting snoring go unchecked can snowball into bigger health issues and also greatly impact your partner if you share the same bed. Nasal strips, specially designed mouth guards, and nasal sprays may help curb this problem!

4) Teeth Grinding 

Often waking up with a sore jaw and stiff neck? You might be grinding your teeth. Obviously, this isn’t the best for your oral health either and utilizing a mouth guard at night may be necessary. Talk to your dentist about this habit and different ways you can address it.

5) Sleepwalking & Night Terrors

Sleepwalking may involve more complex behavior than just walking during deep sleep. Once awake, a sleepwalker will likely not recall the episode. Night terrors are often paired with sleepwalking and may involve screaming, flailing, along with intense fear while asleep. Sleepwalking and night terrors cause abnormal movements during sleep and could potentially put you in danger.

6) Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a neurological condition characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. This chronic issue can also be linked to a complete loss of muscle tone. While there is no cure yet, the cause of the problem is a deficiency of hypocretin which is an important hormone in your brain that helps regulate wakefulness and REM sleep. Medications can help alleviate symptoms in those suffering from this issue.

7) Periodic Limb Movement

Feeling a creepy-crawly sensation in your legs as you try to fall asleep? You may be suffering from periodic limb movement which becomes more common as we age. Medication that helps your legs “rest” may need to come into play if your ability to sleep is hindered.

If any of these sleep disorders seem to be impacting you, please consult your primary physician for diagnosis and proper treatment options.

Sources: Harvard Medical SchoolReader’s Digest, National Sleep FoundationMayo Clinic