There are several sleep disorders out there. Most of these are rare, however, some are quite common. Since 70 million Americans experience at least one sleep disorder, in some instances even unknowingly, you must know how to identify symptoms. In this regard, here is a brief intro to 5 of the most common sleep disorders:
1 – Insomnia
Insomnia refers to a condition is which a person is unable to fall asleep. Insomniacs when eventually do fall asleep after struggling to catch zzz either experience a restless sleep or an interrupted one. Treatment for this condition varies from one person to another based on its severity. There are two types of insomnia – acute and chronic. The former is short-term sleep loss while the later is long-term. As per stats, 10% of the American population has insomnia. Stress, certain medications, jetlag, environment, depression, and emotional and physical discomfort are insomnia’s causes.
2 – Sleep Apnea
The second most common sleep problem is obstructive sleep apnea. Most people who have this condition are themselves unaware that they do. In this condition, one’s breathing stops mid-sleep when his upper respiratory system gets blocked for quite a few seconds. This may result in snoring or choking sounds as one’s breathing resumes. Since air doesn’t reach the lungs, the brain partially wakes up to force one to breath harder. This discourages a deep, restful sleep and also strains the heart along with lowering cognitive functionality.
3 – Narcolepsy
This one is a neurological disorder in which the brain loses its ability to have a grip on its sleep-wake cycle. People with narcolepsy experience daytime sleepiness and may also fall asleep unexpectedly. This symptom of suddenly falling asleep during daytime is referred to as sleep attacks. Sleep attacks may occur regardless of how productive or unproductive one feels. They are uncontrollable and can happen when one is studying, working or even driving. The exact cause behind narcolepsy is not known yet. Accompanying symptoms include hallucinations and cataplexy as well.
4 – Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis refers to the inability to move when one is about to fall asleep or wakes up from it. This can also be accompanied by hallucinations, and anxiety. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, hallucinations, sweating, headaches, muscle aches, etc. One can experience both narcolepsy and sleep paralysis at once. This condition typically occurs during one’s adolescence and may be triggered by panic disorder, sleep deprivation or stress. An episode of sleep paralysis may last for a few seconds or minutes.
5 – Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is a movement disorder. It is a neurological condition that is characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an urge for leg movement to relieve the feeling. Sometimes this condition can also affect other body parts such as one’s arms. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Alcohol use and sleep loss can encourage the onset of this condition. Certain medications bring RLS as a side effect. What’s more, certain chronic diseases may also bring restless legs syndrome along and some women experience it during their pregnancy.