A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning. A test commonly ordered for some sleep disorders is the polysomnography
Disruptions in sleep can be caused by a variety of issues, from teeth grinding (bruxism) to night terrors. When a person suffers from difficulty in sleeping with no obvious cause, it is referred to as insomnia. In addition, sleep disorders may also cause sufferers to sleep excessively, a condition known as hypersomnia. Management of sleep disturbances that are secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders should focus on the underlying conditions.
Common Sleep Disorders
  • Primary insomnia:
    Chronic difficulty in falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep when no other cause is found for these symptoms
  • Bruxism:
    Involuntarily grinding or clenching of the teeth while sleeping
  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS):
    Inability to awaken and fall asleep at socially acceptable times but no problem with sleep maintenance, a disorder of circadian rhythms Other such disorders are advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS), non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome (Non-24), and irregular sleep wake rhythm; all much less common than DSPS, as well as the transient jet lag and shift work sleep disorder
  • Hypopnea syndrome:
    Abnormally shallow breathing or slow respiratory rate while sleeping
  • Narcolepsy:
    Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) often culminating in falling asleep spontaneously but unwillingly at inappropriate times
  • Cataplexy:
    A sudden weakness in the motor muscles that can result in collapse to the floor
  • Night terror:
    Pavor nocturnus, sleep terror disorder: abrupt awakening from sleep with behavior consistent with terror
  • Parasomnias:
    Disruptive sleep-related events involving inappropriate actions during sleep; sleep walking and night-terrors are examples
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD):
    Sudden involuntary movement of arms and/or legs during sleep; for example kicking the legs, also known as nocturnal myoclonus
  • Rapid eye movement behavior disorder (RBD):
    Acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep (REM sleep disorder or RSD)
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS):
    An irresistible urge to move legs; RLS sufferers often also have PLMD
  • Situational circadian rhythm sleep disorders:
    Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) and jet lag
  • Sleep Apnea, and mostly Obstructive sleep apnea:
    Obstruction of the airway during sleep, causing lack of sufficient deep sleep; often accompanied by snoring
  • Sleep paralysis:
    Characterized by temporary paralysis of the body shortly before or after sleep; accompanied by visual, auditory or tactile hallucinations - not a disorder unless severe, often seen as part of narcolepsy
  • Sleepwalking or somnambulism:
    Engaging in activities that are normally associated with wakefulness (such as eating or dressing), which may include walking, without the conscious knowledge of the subject
  • Nocturia:
    Frequent need to get up and go to the bathroom to urinate at night. It differs from Enuresis, or bed-wetting, in which the person does not arouse from sleep, but the bladder nevertheless empties
  • Somniphobia:
    Dread of sleep