Are you spending sleepless nights? Then there are chances that you are suffering from a sleep disorder. There are various types of sleep disorders. Snoring, insomnia, parasomnia, sleep paralysis, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorders, narcolepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, jet lag, and seasonal affective disorder are some of them.Insomnia is a condition in which an individual is unable to sleep properly or faces persistent difficulty in falling or staying asleep. This disorder is the most common type with almost seven out of ten people complaining of it. Other ways of defining insomnia are difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep, non-restorative sleep that is associated with impairment of day time functioning, or marked distress for more than a month. Insomnia can be categorized as transient insomnia, acute insomnia, and chronic insomnia.A person snores when there is an obstruction to air movement during respiration while sleeping. The irregular air flow is caused by blockage of the airways due to various reasons. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is considered to be a more serious condition comparatively.
It is a disorder in which the person experiences abnormal pauses in breathing or very low breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea can be of three types, namely central, obstructive, or complex.Parasomnias consist of a series of sleep disorders that involve abnormal behavior, perceptions, unnatural movements, and dreams that occur while sleeping, or between stages of sleep. Sleep paralysis is observed when a person is not fully awake and is unable to move temporarily. Sometimes, unpleasant feelings in the legs like aches, burning or tingling sensations, or a feeling of bugs crawling on the legs may restrict one’s movements. This can occur at rest or during nighttime. This neurological disorder is termed as restless legs syndrome, which also alters the sleeping patterns.Narcolepsy is characterized by cataplexy (loss of muscle tone), sleep paralysis, excessive daytime sleeping, and hypnagogic (sleep inducing) hallucinations. Circadian rhythm disorders result when the internal biological clock is disturbed or is out of sync with the external time period; for example, working in shifts or jet lag. This may lead to insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness).In some individuals, depression and excessive sleepiness is observed during the winter season due to lack of bright light, which affects the biological clock. This recurrent mood disorder may be due to a seasonal affective disorder. Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by prolonged and unexplained fatigue that neither improves by rest nor worsens by any form of activity.