Sleep disorders may be defined as any condition that prevents a person from getting a restful sleep. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and normal functioning of the human body. Some sleep disorders may be serious enough to impair the physical and mental functioning of the person.
Normal Sleep:Before different sleep disorders are summarized here it is important to know what is the normal sleep pattern. The amount of sleep a person requires depends on many factors like age, gender, pregnancy etc
- Infants require 14-15 hrs of sleep a day
- Teenagers need an average of 8-9 hrs of sleep daily.
- Most adults need 7- 9 hrs sleep at night but some may need as few as 6 hrs or some may be satisfied after 10 hrs of sleep.
- Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy need some extra hours of sleep than usual.
Insomnia: a hard time falling or staying asleep.
Sleep apnea: a condition in which breathing difficulty interrupts sleep.
Delayed sleep phase disorder: the patient feels really difficult to wake up in the morning and the biological clock is disturbed. It becomes impossible to wake up even with a loud alarm clock or a person waking the patient up.
Restless leg syndrome: a tingling or prickly sensation in the legs with a strong desire to keep the legs moving and interfering with sleep.
Nacrolepsy: a condition in which patient has attacks of daytime sleep.
Bruxism: a condition in which there is involuntary clenching and grinding of teeth while sleeping.
Nocturia: a frequent desire to wake up and urinate at night. it may be associated with underlying disease like diabetes.
Jet lag: a condition that effects a person travelling which leads to disturbance of biological clock due to changes in time zone.
Night terror: a disorder with sudden wakening up at night from sleep and a behavior consistent with terror.
Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder: sudden acting out violently when in rapid eye movement sleep. sometimes may lead to self injury or injury to the bed partner.
Sleep paralysis: a condition characterized by temporary paralysis of body shortly before or after sleep. It may be accompanied by visual, auditory or tactile hallucinations.
Non 24 hr sleep wake syndrome: a condition that sets the biological clock to 25 hours and usually seen in blind individuals who cannot have sleep awake light clues.
Sleep walking: a condition that mainly effects children. the brain continues to sleep but the body acts as though it is awake. Sleep walking is often linked to fever, stress, medications etc.