Is it hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night? Do you wake up feeling tired or feel very sleepy during the day, even if you have had enough sleep? You might have a sleep disorder. The most common kinds are

  • Insomnia - a hard time falling or staying asleep
  • Sleep apnea - breathing interruptions during sleep
  • Restless legs syndrome - a tingling or prickly sensation in the legs
  • Narcolepsy - daytime "sleep attacks"

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. Sometimes just having regular sleep habits can help.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

The following features are indicative of Sleep Disorders:
  • difficulty falling asleep at night
  • waking up during the night
  • waking up too early
  • not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
  • sleepiness
  • depression
  • difficulty paying attention
  • increased errors
  • ongoing worries about sleep
  • loud snoring
  • breathing cessation during sleep
  • abrupt awakenings
  • shortness of breath
  • awakening with a dry mouth
  • sore throat
  • morning headache
  • insomnia
  • hypersomnia
  • attention problems
  • irritability

Get TabletWise Pro

Thousands of Classes to Help You Become a Better You.

Common Causes of Sleep Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Sleep Disorders:
  • stress
  • travel
  • works schedule
  • poor sleep habits
  • eating too much late in the evening
  • relaxed back throat muscles
  • low levels of oxygen in blood

Other Causes of Sleep Disorders

The following are the less common causes of Sleep Disorders:
  • mental health disorders
  • sleep-related disorders
  • caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake

Risk Factors for Sleep Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Sleep Disorders:
  • over age 60
  • female
  • mental health disorder
  • long-lasting stress
  • irregular schedule
  • excess weight
  • thicker necks
  • narrowed airway
  • family history
  • use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
  • smoking
  • nasal congestion
  • heart disorders
  • narcotic pain medications
  • stroke

Prevention of Sleep Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Sleep Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not drink caffeinated drinks a few hours before going to sleep
  • maintaining sleep hygiene
  • avoiding naps
  • maintaining normal weight
  • exercise regularly
  • avoiding use of alcohol
  • keeping nasal passages open at night
  • quit smoking

Occurrence of Sleep Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Sleep Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Sleep Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Sleep Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Sleep Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Sleep Disorders:
  • Physical exam: To assess the signs of medical problems that may be related to insomnia
  • Sleep habits review: To evaluate the sleep-wake pattern and the level of daytime sleepiness
  • Sleep study: To monitor and record a variety of body activities while you sleep
  • Nocturnal polysomnography: To monitor heart, lung and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen levels while sleeping
  • Home sleep tests: To measure heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns

Doctor for Diagnosis of Sleep Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Sleep Disorders:
  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Sleep specialists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Sleep medicine specialist

Complications of Sleep Disorders if untreated

Yes, Sleep Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Sleep Disorders is left untreated:
  • higher risk of accidents
  • lower performance on the job or at school
  • mental health disorders
  • increased risk and severity of long-term diseases or conditions
  • daytime fatigue
  • hypertension
  • heart problems
  • type 2 diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • liver problems

Procedures for Treatment of Sleep Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Sleep Disorders:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Helps in alleviating the negative thoughts and actions that keep you awake
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): Helps keep upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring
  • Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP): Reduce snoring and daytime sleepiness in people with mild obstructive sleep apnea
  • Oral appliances: To keep throat open and relieve snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea
  • Surgery: To enlarge the airway through nose or throat that may be vibrating and causing to snore or that may be blocking upper air passages and causing sleep apnea
  • Supplemental oxygen therapy: To treat central sleep apnea
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV): To normalize breathing pattern and prevent pauses in breathing
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP): To assist the weak breathing pattern of central sleep apnea

Self-care for Sleep Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Sleep Disorders:
  • By changing sleep habits
  • By limiting large meals and beverages before bed
  • Lose excess weight: Help to relieve constriction of throat
  • Regular exercise: Help ease the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea
  • Avoid alcohol and certain medications such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills: Help ease the breathing
  • Quit smoking: Helps prevent the symptoms

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Sleep Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Sleep Disorders:
  • Acupuncture: Effective for people with insomnia
  • Yoga: Improves the sleep quality
  • Meditation: Helps in improving sleep and lowering the stress

Time for Treatment of Sleep Disorders

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Sleep Disorders to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Sleep Disorders.
Restless Legs
Sleep Apnea

Sign Up


Share with friends, get 20% off
Invite your friends to TabletWise learning marketplace. For each purchase they make, you get 20% off (upto $10) on your next purchase.