The Complete Guide to Sleep Disorders

Getting good quality sleep is essential to staying healthy in your mind and body. If you’re having issues getting quality sleep, this complete guide to sleep disorders is your go-to reference to learn about what could be causing your sleep troubles and how you can manage it. When you commit to building heathy sleep habits, you take the first step to become your healthiest self - one full night of good sleep at a time.

Contents

Healthy Sleep Basics

How to sleep better, feel rested, and take back your life.

Sleep Disorder Overview

Symptoms, causes, and treatments for the most common sleep disorders.

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Sleep Disorder Overview

Here you’ll find 20 of the most common sleep disorders, their causes, symptoms, and potential treatments explained.

Insomnia
Do you regularly struggle to get sleepy—then find yourself awake too early in the morning? We all lose sleep sometimes, but with insomnia, the inability to fall and stay asleep can be constant and severe. It keeps 30-35% of the world’s adults wide awake at night! If you think you or your loved one might be an insomniac, read on and learn how you can manage insomnia.
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Sleep apnea
While light snoring is perfectly normal (or annoying), extremely loud, disruptive snoring could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This sleep disorder makes you temporarily stop breathing, several times throughout your sleep. If untreated, the chronic oxygen shortage experienced in OSA can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, or diabetes. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and best treatment methods for obstructive sleep apnea.
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Night terrors
Night terrors is a sleep disorder causing one to experience anxiety, fear, or panic in the first few hours of sleep. It occurs most commonly in children 7 years old and below, and can be indicative of an underlying psychological or physiological condition if it persists through adulthood. Think you or your loved one might have night terrors? Read more here to learn about the causes, symptoms, and best treatment options for night terrors.
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Sleep paralysis
Have you ever experienced feeling or thinking that you’re awake, but you’re somehow unable to move or speak? And then you realize you weren’t actually awake, but rather half asleep? Sleep paralysis is a disorder wherein your muscles have completely relaxed in preparation for sleep, but your mind hasn’t followed suit. Click here to learn more about why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.
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Somniphobia
Most of us want nothing more than to laze around in bed all day. But for those with somniphobia, the bed is a dreadful place where they constantly experience horror, worry, or sadness. Also called sleep phobia or sleep anxiety, somniphobia is the irrational fear of sleep, and it’s most commonly observed in children. Know someone who might have somniphobia? Keep reading to learn about the causes, symptoms, and effective treatment methods for managing somniphobia.
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Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder
Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder that makes you physically enact whatever is happening in your dream. Although RBD may appear identical to night terrors, the difference lies in the patient’s ability to easily recall their lifelike dreams. Think you or your loved one might have rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder? Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and best treatment methods for RBD.
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Periodic limb movements of sleep
Periodic limb movements of sleep, or PLMS, is a neurological condition that makes you repeatedly jerk your limbs, or do small, repetitive movements just as you’re falling asleep. While often harmless, PLMS can become a disorder if it significantly disrupts sleep quality for the patient and/or their partner. Think you or your partner might have this sleep-disruptive condition? Keep reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and most effective treatment options for PLMS.
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Sleep rhythmic movement disorder
Sleep rhythmic movement disorder (SRMD) causes you to make specific body motions several times while sleepy or asleep. Most common in infants and young children, SRMD can occur as either body rocking, head banging, or head rolling, and can also be accompanied by humming and other vocalizations. If the sounds and movements become sleep-disruptive for you or your loved one, it might be SRMD. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for SRMD here.
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Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking or somnambulism is a sleep disorder that makes one rise from bed and walk around while asleep and unconscious. A typical sleepwalker also talks or shouts, and performs routine tasks they don’t normally do at night. It’s common in children, but with adults, persistent sleepwalking can be a disorder that coexists with other sleep-disruptive conditions, like obstructive sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. What causes it and how do you manage it? Find out here.
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Sleep talking
As its name implies, sleep talking is a sleep disorder that makes you talk or mumble in your sleep. It’s a common sleep behavior and is usually harmless, unless the sleep talking becomes persistent and severe enough to disrupt sleep. In this case, sleep talking could indicate an underlying physiological or psychological condition. Click here to learn more about sleep talking, why it happens, and how you can manage it.
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Sleep moaning
Sleep moaning, sleep groaning, or catathrenia is a sleep disorder that makes you exhale strange, loud sounds while asleep. While very rare (only 0.4% of the global population has it), its symptoms occur nightly and over a long time. It also often indicates another underlying sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea or sleep talking. What causes this disorder and what can you do about it? Find out here.
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Teeth grinding
Nocturnal teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a sleep disorder that makes you grind your teeth back and forth, even as you dream. It affects 7.5% of adults around the world and can coexist with anxiety or other sleep disorders like sleep apnea. While it doesn’t pose any major health risks, it can cause irreparable damage to your dental and oral health. Read on to learn why this happens and how you can stop it.
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Adult bed-wetting
Though common among children below the age of 5, persistent involuntary peeing while asleep is considered a sleep disorder among adults. Also known as adult enuresis, it can indicate underlying issues with the bladder or prostate, or psychological conditions like severe stress and anxiety. If you or your loved ones are losing sleep over adult bed-wetting, read on to learn the causes and the treatment options available for it right here.
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Circadian rhythm sleep disorder
Circadian rhythm sleep disorder or CRSD is an umbrella term for conditions that involve the misalignment between your sleep-wake rhythm and the day-night or light-darkness cycle in your environment. CRSDs can cause fatigue, persistent daytime sleepiness, and irritability. Learn the different types of CRSD, their causes and risk factors, and how you can effectively manage the symptoms by clicking here.
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Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a rare sleep disorder often portrayed comically in movies, with the character falling asleep in a snap anytime, anywhere. Reality is not as funny though, with some narcoleptics also being unable to move or control their muscles—potentially putting them in physically dangerous situations. Do you think you or your loved one might have narcolepsy? Read on so you can find out more about the causes, symptoms, and best treatment methods for managing narcolepsy.
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Idiopathic hypersomnia
Idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) is a sleep disorder that gives you excessive daytime sleepiness or EDS, even after a full night’s sleep. As such, IH patients struggle staying awake and alert at work, school, and social affairs. Though its exact cause is unknown, idiopathic hypersomnia involves a neurological abnormality that minimizes wakefulness and maximizes sleepiness. Know someone who might have idiopathic hypersomnia? Learn more about the symptoms and most effective treatment options for managing IH here.
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Kleine Levin syndrome
Kleine Levin syndrome is a rare neurological condition that makes you sleep excessively. When a KLS episode strikes, you can fall and stay asleep for as long as 20 hours daily, for a few days up to a few weeks. Some cases even last a few years. It can significantly affect someone’s daily routine and social roles if left unchecked. What causes KLS and how do you manage it? Find out here.
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Exploding head syndrome
Ten percent of the global adult population suffer from exploding head syndrome or EHS—a sleep disorder that makes you hear incredibly loud, explosive sounds right as you’re about to sleep or awake. Though wildly annoying, EHS doesn’t pose major health risks. It can, however, severely disrupt your sleep and coexist with sleep paralysis. Want to know more? Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for EHS here.
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Confusional arousals
It’s normal to feel a bit disoriented after waking up. But if the mental fogginess and confusion about your whereabouts and general existence last longer than normal, this could be a sign of the sleep disorder called confusional arousals. A popular version of this condition is sleep drunkenness, where patients have difficulty functioning properly at work or school. What are the treatment options, causes, and other symptoms of confusional arousals? Find out here.
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