Guide to Common Sleep Disorders

Not being able to get a good night’s rest is not uncommon; more than 70 million people have one of the more than 80 different types of disorders that exist. Some people suffer from the inability to get to sleep while others fall asleep easily, but wake prematurely without the ability to go back to sleep and feel rested. Knowing the type of disorder you have can help you use the proper methods to get a good night’s rest and keep yourself healthy.


The Dreaded Insomnia


Insomnia is one of the most common types of sleep disorders and is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit whenever someone cannot sleep. Insomnia can be defined by a variety of symptoms including the inability to fall asleep at all; the inability to fall back asleep after waking during the night; and the constant feeling of not being fully rested. Insomnia can last temporarily, such as for a day or two or long-term, otherwise known as chronic insomnia, which occurs at least 3 times a week for at least one month.


Restless Leg Syndrome


Restless Leg Syndrome occurs when your legs are unable to stay still while you are lying down. You do not necessarily have to be asleep for your legs to start “dancing”; any type of rest will make the symptoms occur. Most people experience this disorder at night, however, making it difficult to rest and even enter the first stage of sleep. Depending on the degree of pain in your legs, you may have the urge to get up and walk around to shake off the feeling, making sleep impossible. Many people experience daytime drowsiness, the inability to focus, and irritability as a result of this disorder.


Sleep Apnea – A Common Issue


Sleep apnea occurs to more than 18 million Americans, yet many people do not realize they have it. This disorder causes people to stop breathing while they sleep as a result of a blockage in the airway. Most of the time, your brain wakes you up because of the lack of oxygen being passed through your body. This could happen a few times to a few hundred times per night, making it impossible to get to one of the later stages of the sleep cycle, making REM sleep impossible. Sleep apnea is signified by snoring, choking, and pure exhaustion during the day.


Narcolepsy – Falling Asleep Everywhere


Falling asleep while on the job or in the car are not out of the realm of possibility for those with narcolepsy. These people fall asleep without any warning and during any type of activity. These sleep attacks are dangerous as they could happen at any moment. Some people exhibit signs such as a sudden weakness, paralyzed feelings upon waking up or falling asleep and seeing things before actually falling asleep. This disorder is very dangerous and needs to be addressed with a medical professional right away as there is no way to control the episodes of falling asleep, which could put your life as well as the lives of other in danger.


REM Sleep Behavior Disorder


If you thrash during your dreams or physically move while asleep, you could suffer from REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. This disorder causes your body to do the opposite of what it is supposed to do during REM sleep, which is become paralyzed or very unlikely to move. People with this issue cannot control the motions their body makes and can occur multiple times a night, making it very difficult to sleep


Not getting the proper amount of sleep can greatly diminish your ability to function during the day. In addition, you set yourself up for severe illness and the possibility of injury because you are not rested enough. Understanding why you are not sleeping right and what you can do to fix it is important to enhance your health and wellbeing.