Sleep Disorders – Signs, Types & More
Sleep is essential to our health and wellbeing, as well as our ability to function normally on a day to day basis. Sometimes, a good night of sleep just doesn’t happen. There are few feelings more frustrating than lying awake and staring at the ceiling for hours on end!
Everyone has a bad night of sleep every once in a while. Recurring patterns of poor sleep, however, may indicate a type of sleeping disorder.
There are many types of sleeping disorders. This list is not comprehensive, but highlights some of the most common types of sleeping disorders.
- Insomnia: When a person is unable to fall asleep, or has difficulty staying asleep, they are experiencing insomnia. Just about everyone will experience symptoms of insomnia at some point during their lives. Insomnia becomes problematic when it is a chronic issue.
- Sleep Apnea: The nightly sleep cycle is disturbed when breathing is interrupted, preventing the individual from getting crucial REM sleep. The cause of breathing interruptions varies from person to person, but factors can include age, neurological conditions, or issues with the windpipe itself.
- Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy seems like the exact opposite problem of an insomniac, causing people to fall asleep during the day in the middle of whatever they were doing, whether eating, having a conversation, or at work. However, most narcoleptics feel daytime sleepiness! Cataplexy, the sudden loss of muscle tone resulting in collapse, is another common symptom of narcolepsy.
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: An unrestful night of sleep can leave anyone tired! However, some people regularly find themselves exhausted or fatigued. In these cases, they may have excessive daytime sleepiness, which encompasses a wide range of causes and symptoms.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: Although the individual may be tired and ready to sleep, Willis-Ekbom disease – more commonly known as Restless Leg Syndrome – causes an overwhelming need to move the legs while trying to fall asleep. It is a neurologic sensorimotor disorder which may be painful in some cases.
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders: Also known as Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, some people are unable to fall asleep and wake up at normal hours. They are able to have full, quality nights of sleep; just at a delayed time!
- REM Behavior Disorder: People acting out their dreams isn’t just in movies! Sleep walking, sleep talking, and other waking behaviors happen while some people are asleep.
What is the Most Common Sleep Disorder?
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Over 40 million Americans experience insomnia during a given year! There are two types of insomnia: chronic and acute.
Acute Insomnia: Most people have experienced acute insomnia at some point in their lives. Acute insomnia is an occasional occurrence, and usually triggered by stress or anxiety. Individuals do not generally require treatment, as it usually resolves naturally.
Chronic Insomnia: Chronic insomnia is defined as sleeplessness at least 3 times per week for 3 months. Many factors play into chronic insomnia, including neurological, life habits, shift work schedules, and even some medications. Treatment plans for chronic insomnia vary per individual, and may include lifestyle changes or medication.
People with insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and return to sleep if awoken, resulting in unrefreshing or unsatisfying sleep the following day.
Signs of a Sleep Disorder
Hot weather can make it difficult to sleep during a Florida summer! There are a few signs to look for if you’ve noticed you are having trouble sleeping or feeling unusually exhausted during the day.
- Daytime Fatigue
- Excessive Drowsiness
- Low Energy
- Requiring Frequent Daytime Naps
- Trouble Concentrating
- Waking Up at Night and Remaining Awake for Hours
The best way to determine if you have a sleep disorder is to speak with your primary care physician, who will determine a plan of action for you.
Sleep Disorder Doctors at Florida Medical Clinic
Sleep helps us recover from injuries or illness, and keeps us at the top of our game for work and school! Occasional bad nights of sleep happen. When your sleep is regularly interrupted – or you have difficulty falling asleep at all – the Pulmonary and Sleep Disorder doctors at Florida Medical Clinic can help you get back those restful nights of shut-eye you deserve. Make an appointment online today.