Sound sleep at night is essential for good health. But for many people going to sleep can be a very complicated process. Various scientific institutions have concluded that there are over 80 sleep disorders that people suffer from. Here are some of the most common ones:
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is very widespread. A person with insomnia finds it difficult to fall or stay asleep. There are two types of insomnia seen in people: short-term or transient insomnia and chronic insomnia. Short-term insomnia is usually seen after a stressful life event such as losing a loved one or an accident. Chronic insomnia is seen in people who are having difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep for at least one month.
2. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where the person is unable to breathe properly for some period of time while sleeping. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs mostly when there is a blockage of the airway due to the falling back of soft tissue like tongue in the back of the throat. In OSA, the person can be found sleeping during the day or snoring, being restless and gasping for air while sleeping.
In central sleep apnea (CSA), the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to send signals to the body that help you breathe. They not only gasp for air at night but also wake up in the middle of the night because of it.
3. Restless leg syndrome
A person with restless leg syndrome (RLS) has an irresistible urge to move their legs. Restless leg syndrome is mostly seen during the evening, making it difficult for the person to sleep at night. A person with RLS may feel irritated, tired and sleepy during the day. They may also complain of aching, tingling, burning and a weird feeling of something crawling on their calves.
Narcolepsy is a neurological condition where the person is unable to control their sleep. These people may feel excessively sleepy during the day along with uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep even in the middle of a conversation. They can fall asleep at any time of the day, in the middle of any type of activity.
5. Shift work sleep disorder
Shift work sleep disorder is seen in people who have suddenly been shifted from a day-time job to a night shift or the ones with rotating work shifts. In this type of disorder, the person is unable to sleep at night and feels sleepy throughout the day. It happens because the biological clock of the body, which tells you when to sleep and signals you when to wake up, are out of sync.
6. Jet lag
People who have travelled across countries may have faced jet lag. Jet lag is the temporary disruption in circadian rhythms of the body when a person travels across time zones. Jet lag is temporary but can stay for a maximum of 3 days. The person may complain of sleepiness during the day, headache, fatigue and insomnia.
7. REM sleep behaviour disorder
REM sleep is the other name for deep sleep. In REM sleep behaviour disorder, the person starts enacting their dreams while sleeping. The person may start moving their limbs, start talking, hitting, punching, screaming and even walking while sleeping. These people lack muscle paralysis, which generally occurs in people while sleeping.
For more information, read our article on Sleep disorders.
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