Women's Health

Do I Have a Sleep Disorder?

Do I Have a Sleep Disorder?

Key Takeaways

  • Sleep disorders come from causing changes in the typical sleep patterns.
  • Different changes cause different sleep disorders.
  • Sleep disorders can manifest in a number of different ways.

Do I Have a Sleep Disorder?

Sleep normally follows a pattern that alternates between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. Changes in this pattern affect sleep resulting in disorders that may lead to tiredness and lack of concentration and attention during day time. Sleep can be disrupted by a number of factors. But getting adequate sleep is very important in preventing a number of chronic diseases.

A typical adult requires an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per day. If you are not able to fall asleep quickly, or wake up in while sleeping and then struggle to fall asleep again, or if you have a tendency to wake up too early than required you may be having any one of the following sleep disorders.

  • Disorders that affect sleep rhythm – It is the body’s internal clock that sets the alarm for sleeping and waking up on a normal day. Any abnormality in this internal clock will affect the sleep rhythm and are known as circadian rhythm disorders. This includes jet lag, abnormal shift patterns, delayed sleep phase syndrome, and advanced sleep phase syndrome.
  • Insomnia – This refers to the condition in which the person may feel as if sleep was not enough. They find it hard to fall asleep or get up very often in the night and struggle to go back to sleep again. Some of the common causes of insomnia include stress, depression, certain medications, and anxiety.
  • Sleep apnea – When the upper parts of the respiratory tract are blocked completely, breathing is affected for some time.  Cessation of breathing may wake up the person from sleep. If left untreated, this condition may lead to other serious health issues including stroke and heart attack.
  • Nacrolepsy – Sleep may be affected if a person tends to oversleep during daytime due to a disorder in the area of the brain that regulates sleep. The most common symptom of this condition is sleepiness throughout the day.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome – Discomfort in the legs may cause the person to keep moving their legs for relief. The continuous movement of legs and arms affects the onset of sleep or wakes up the person from sleep.
  • Night terrors – During night terrors, the person may have frightening dreams or remember a terrifying image. The person may often wake up screaming which may affect others in the house.