Sleep Wake Disorders

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Individuals with these disorders typically present with sleep wake complaints of dissatisfaction regarding the quality, timing and amount of sleep. Daytime distress and impairment are core features shared by all of these sleep-wake disorders.
Sleep disorders are often accompanied by depression, anxiety and cognitive changes. Persistent sleep disturbances are established risk factors or the subsequent development of mental illnesses and substance use disorder.
Common symptoms include:
  • Dissatisfaction with sleep quantity or quality.
  • Difficulty initiating sleep.
  • Difficulty maintaining sleep
  • Early-morning awakening with inability to return to sleep.

Most of us have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, due to stress or other outside factors. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders cause more than just sleepiness. The lack of quality sleep can have a negative impact on your energy, emotional balance, and health. If you’re experiencing sleeping problems, learn about the symptoms of common sleep disorders, what you can do to help yourself, and when to see a doctor. The most common kinds are:
1. Insomnia
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night or getting back to sleep after waking during the night
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Your sleep feels light, fragmented, or exhausting.
  • You need to take something (sleeping pills, nightcap, and supplements) in order to get to sleep.
  • Sleepiness and low energy during the day

2. Sleep Apnea
  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Frequent pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Gasping, snorting, or choking during sleep
  • Feeling exhausted after waking and sleepy during the day, no matter how much time you spent in bed.
  • Waking up with shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, nasal congestion, or a dry throat.

3. Restless legs syndrome
  • Uncomfortable sensations deep within the legs, accompanied by a strong urge to move them.
  • The leg sensations are triggered by rest and get worse at night.
  • The uncomfortable sensations temporarily get better when you move, stretch, or massage your legs.
  • Repetitive cramping or jerking of the legs during sleep.

4. Narcolepsy
  • Seeing or hearing things when you’re drowsy or starting to dream before you’re fully asleep.
  • Suddenly feeling weak or losing control of your muscles when you’re laughing, angry, or experiencing other strong emotions.
  • Dreaming right away after going to sleep or having intense dreams
  • Feeling paralyzed and unable to move when you’re waking up or dozing off.

Nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep talking, head banging, wetting the bed and grinding your teeth are kinds of sleep problems called parasomnias. There are treatments for most sleep disorders.