Sleep Disorders

Any difficulties related to sleeping, including insomnia, falling asleep at inappropriate times (narcolepsy, hypersomnia), excessive need for sleep or total sleep time or abnormal activities or behaviors whilst sleeping are considered part of the large category of sleep disorders.

There are over 100 different sleep disorders having to do with falling asleep, staying asleep, staying awake or behavior during sleep.  Four general categories can be discussed more easily:

  1. Insomnia – problems with falling or staying asleep
  2. Problems staying away during the day
  3. Sleep rhythm problems – difficulties sticking to a regular sleep pattern or schedule
  4. Sleep-disruptive behaviors or unusual behaviors during sleep

In general 4 key, simple elements help prevent sleep disorders:

  • Maintain regular sleep habits or schedules
  • Establish a quiet sleep environment
  • Get regular exercise
  • Stay generally fit and healthy by maintaining an appropriate weight and eating a balanced diet

Sleep apnea is to be considered in patients that snore loudly, wake frequently and are unrefreshed after a night’s sleep.