What Kind of Sleep Disorders Exist?
Here are the 4 most common of the more than 80 sleep disorders.
Insomnia is not only the inability to fall asleep, but it can also manifest in failure to stay asleep. Sometimes, intrusive thoughts keep us relaxing enough to drift off, and sometimes, it’s simply that the drowsiness that precedes sleep never occurs, or we keep waking well before the alarm goes off.
Sleep Apnea is characterized by a blockage of the airway when the muscles of the neck and throat relax. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. When this happens, the body’s involuntary breathing mechanism kicks in, forcing the sufferer to gasp awake, often on a loud or persistent snore. In severe cases, this can happen dozens of times in a single hour, preventing REM sleep, where the body restores itself the most.
Restless Leg Syndrome is when the sufferer feels the overwhelming urge to move their legs due to an uncomfortable sensation. There is relief in the movement, but this keeps the sufferer from sleeping, especially since the symptoms worsen at night. RLS is often described as feelings of crawling, creeping, throbbing, aching, itching, pulling, or a jolt similar to electric shock.
Narcolepsy is nothing to joke about, as it can lead to serious levels of exhaustion. Narcoleptic patients have difficulty regulating sleep patterns. The person will typically fall asleep at the most inopportune times, and it can be dangerous for people who drive or operate heavy machinery.