Sleep Disorders: Causes, Diagnosis, and More


Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect the capability to sleep well on a regular basis. Whether they are caused by a health problem or by too much stress, sleep disorders are becoming increasingly typical in the United States.

In fact, more than one-third of grownups in the United States report getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour duration. More than 70 percent of high school students report getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep on weeknights.

Many people occasionally experience sleeping problems due to stress, hectic schedules, and other outside impacts. Nevertheless, when these problems begin to take place on a regular basis and hinder daily life, they might show a sleeping disorder.

Depending on the type of sleep disorder, individuals might have a tough time falling asleep and may feel incredibly tired throughout the day. The lack of sleep can have a negative effect on energy, mood, concentration, and total health.

In some cases, sleep disorders can be a sign of another medical or psychological health condition. These sleeping problems might eventually disappear once treatment is obtained for the underlying cause.

When sleep disorders aren’t caused by another condition, treatment usually includes a mix of medical treatments and lifestyle changes.

It’s important to receive a diagnosis and treatment right now if you believe you might have a sleep disorder. When left neglected, the negative impacts of sleep disorders can cause further health consequences.

They can also affect your performance at work, cause pressure in relationships, and impair your capability to perform daily activities.

What Are the Different Types of Sleep Disorders?

There are various types of sleep disorders. Some may be caused by other underlying health conditions.


Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep. It can be triggered by jet lag, stress and anxiety, hormones, or gastrointestinal problems. It may likewise be a sign of another condition.

Insomnia can be bothersome for your total health and quality of life, potentially triggering:

  • depression
  • trouble concentrating
  • irritability
  • weight gain
  • impaired work or school performance

Unfortunately, insomnia is extremely typical. Up to 50 percent of American adults experience it at some point in their lives.

The disorder is most prevalent amongst older adults and ladies.

Insomnia is typically categorized as one of three types:

  • chronic, when insomnia takes place on a regular basis for at least 1 month
  • intermittent, when insomnia occurs periodically
  • transient, when insomnia lasts for simply a few nights at a time

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is identified by stops briefly in breathing throughout sleep. This is a severe medical condition that causes the body to take in less oxygen. It can likewise cause you to wake up during the night.

There are two types:

  • obstructive sleep apnea, where the flow of air stops because airway space is obstructed or too narrow, and
  • central sleep apnea, where there is a problem in the connection in between the brain and the muscles that manage your breath.


Parasomnias are a class of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements and behaviors throughout sleep. They include:

  • sleepwalking
  • sleep talking
  • groaning
  • nightmares
  • bedwetting
  • teeth grinding or jaw clenching

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an overwhelming requirement to move the legs. This urge is sometimes accompanied by a tingling feeling in the legs. While these signs can occur throughout the day, they are most prevalent at night.

RLS is often associated with particular health conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease, but the precise cause isn’t always known.

Information verified by the team.


Narcolepsy is defined by “sleep attacks” that take place while awake. This implies that you will all of a sudden feel very tired and fall asleep without warning.

The disorder can also trigger sleep paralysis, which may make you physically unable to move right after waking up. Although narcolepsy might happen on its own, it is also related to specific neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Disorders?

Symptoms differ depending on the seriousness and type of sleeping disorder. They might likewise differ when sleep disorders are a result of another condition.

However, basic symptoms of sleep disorders include:

  • difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • daytime fatigue
  • strong urge to take naps throughout the day
  • unusual breathing patterns
  • unusual or unpleasant urges to move while falling asleep
  • unusual motion or other experiences while asleep
  • unintentional changes to your sleep/wake schedule
  • irritability or anxiety
  • impaired performance at work or school
  • lack of concentration
  • depression
  • weight gain

What Causes Sleep Disorders?

There are lots of conditions, diseases, and disorders that can cause sleep disturbances. In most cases, sleep disorders develop as a result of a hidden health problem.

Allergies and Respiratory Problems

Allergies, colds, and upper respiratory infections can make it challenging to breathe at night. The inability to breathe through your nose can also cause sleeping problems.

Frequent Urination

Nocturia, or frequent urination, may disrupt your sleep by triggering you to wake up throughout the night. Hormonal imbalances and diseases of the urinary system may add to the advancement of this condition.

Make certain to call your doctor immediately if frequent urination is accompanied by bleeding or pain.

Chronic Pain

Continuous pain can make it difficult to fall asleep. It may even wake you up after you fall asleep. A few of the most typical reasons for chronic pain include:

  • arthritis
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • persistent headaches
  • continuous lower back pain

In some cases, chronic pain might even be intensified by sleep disorders. For example, doctors believe the development of fibromyalgia might be linked to sleeping problems.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety often have a negative impact on sleep quality. It can be hard for you to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Nightmares, sleep talking, or sleepwalking might likewise disrupt your sleep.

How Are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?

Your doctor will initially carry out a physical examination and gather details about your symptoms and case history. They might also order various tests, including:

  • Polysomnography (PSG): This is a lab sleep study that assesses oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep vs. home sleep study (HST) that is carried out in your own and is utilized to diagnose sleep apnea.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG): This is a test that examines electrical activity in the brain and finds any prospective problems related to this activity. It’s part of a polysomnography.
  • Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT): This daytime napping research study is used in conjunction with a PSG at night to assist diagnose narcolepsy.

These tests can be crucial in determining the best course of treatment for sleep disorders.

How Are Sleep Disorders Treated?

Treatment for sleep disorders can vary depending upon the type and underlying cause. However, it typically includes a mix of medical treatments and lifestyle changes.

Medical Treatments

Medical treatment for sleep disruptions may include any of the following:

  • sleeping pills
  • melatonin supplements
  • allergy or cold medication
  • medications for any hidden health issues
  • breathing device or surgery (normally for sleep apnea).
  • a dental guard (usually for teeth grinding).

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle adjustments can considerably enhance your quality of sleep, especially when they’re done together with medical treatments. You might want to think about:

  • incorporating more vegetables and fish into your diet plan, and reducing sugar consumption.
  • lowering stress and anxiety by exercising and stretching.
  • producing and adhering to a routine sleeping schedule.
  • consuming less water before bedtime.
  • restricting your caffeine consumption, specifically in the late afternoon or night.
  • decreasing tobacco and alcohol use.
  • consuming smaller low carbohydrate meals before bedtime.
  • maintaining a healthy weight based upon your doctor’s recommendations.

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day can also considerably improve your sleep quality. While you might be tempted to sleep in on the weekends, this can make it harder to wake up and fall asleep throughout the workweek.

What Is the Outlook for Someone with a Sleep Disorder?

The impacts of sleep disorders can be so disruptive that you will likely desire immediate relief. Unfortunately, long-term cases can take a bit more time to solve.

However, if you stick with your treatment plan and frequently communicate with your doctor, you can discover your way to much better sleep.

Ali Gadimov
Health Recovery Tips