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Sleep disorder information from the (AAHS) American Alliance for Healthy Sleep

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders are medical disorders that affect an individual’s sleep patterns and encompass a wide-variety of disorders.  There are dozens of sleep disorders; the most common sleep disorders are listed below.


Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder– Circadian rhythm refers to a person’s internal sleep and wake rhythms that occur during a 24-hour period. A circadian rhythm sleep disorder is a recurring pattern of sleep disruption resulting either from an altered sleep-wake schedule or an inequality between a person’s natural sleep-wake cycle and the sleep-relate demands placed on him or her.


Hypersomnia–  A person with hypersomnia sleeps longer and for more hours than what is deemed normal for sleeping during the night or day.  It is difficult for them to wake up. The need to take naps is overwhelming and provides little to no relief. 


Insomnia- Insomnia is the inability to obtain an adequate amount or quality of sleep. The difficulty can be in falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both. People suffering with insomnia do not feel refreshed when they wake up. 


Narcolepsy- Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. Individuals with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, no matter what the circumstance.


Parasomnias– Parasomnias are various disorders of sleep characterized by abnormal behavioral or physiological activity (such as sleepwalking or night terrors) during sleep or in the transitional stage between sleep and wakefulness.


Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) -Periodic Limb Movement Disorder is a condition in which repetitive cramping or jerking of the legs occurs during sleep. Also referred to as Periodic Leg Movements, the movements are rhythmic and repetitive occurring roughly 20 - 40 seconds. Often linked to Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), the two disorders are not the same.  RLS leg sensations occur while awake, while PLMD occurs while asleep.


Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)– Restless Legs Syndrome, also referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition in which you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually due to leg discomfort. It typically happens in the evening hours or night time while you are sitting or lying down.  Moving normally eases the symptoms.


Sleep Apnea– Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops for more than ten seconds during sleep. Sleep apnea is considered to be a leading cause of daytime sleepiness. It can have serious negative effects on a person’s life and is considered one of the most undiagnosed conditions in the United States.


Sleep Bruxism -Sleep Bruxism is when an individual grinds, nashes, clenches their teeth during sleep.  This occurs in a large percentage of children (14-17%) and tends to decrease with age.


Sleep Related Breathing Disorders– Sleep related breathing disorders are repeated episodes of under breathing and not breathing during sleep. 

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