Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders

Sleep is a state of rest, which occurs in many animals, and humans. Sleep disorders are alterations in sleeping patterns that can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing, increased movement during sleep, difficulty sleeping and abnormal sleep behaviors. Sleep disorders can affect overall health, and quality of life. With accurate diagnosis, sleep disorders can be treated effectively.

On this page we will do an overview of Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping). For Sleep Terror etc Click Here, For Sleep Apnea Click Here


Sleep is controlled by the body’s circadian rhythm commonly known as the biological clock

bio clock

Among people with healthy biological clocks, there are “Larks” or “morning people”, who prefer to sleep and wake early, as well as “owls” or “night people”, who prefer to sleep and wake at late times. Whether you are a lark or an owl, you must be able to:

  • wake in time for what you need to do in the morning, and fall asleep at night in time to get enough sleep before having to get up, and
  • sleep and wake up at the same time every day, if you want to.

How much sleep is enough varies from person to person. Newborns need almost 22 hours of sleep. Infants need around 18 to 20 hours. Toddlers need around 12 to 14 hours of sleep. teenagers need around 8 to 10 hours. Most adults need seven to eight hours a night. Elders may need only 4 to 6 hours. Many adults experience insomnia at some point, but some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia.

Common causes of insomnia:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Medications such as heart and blood pressure medications, allergy medications, corticosteroids. some pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products containing caffeine and other stimulants
  • Coffee, tobacco (smoking and chewing), and alcohol
  • Medical conditions such as chronic pain, breathing difficulties, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, heartburn, hormonal disorders, neurological disorders etc.
  • Change in your environment or work schedule such as travel, working late, shift work etc., can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms, making it difficult to sleep.
  • Poor sleep habits such as irregular sleep schedule, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment and use of your bed for activities other than sleep or sex.
  • Worrying excessively about not being able to sleep well and trying too hard to fall asleep.

Insomnia is a condition in which there is inadequate sleep for normal daily function, in spite of  having enough opportunity for sleep. It can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep / waking too early, or both. With insomnia, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day.

Symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Awakening during the night
  • Awakening too early
  • Not feeling well rested after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention or focusing on tasks
  • Increased errors or accidents
  • Tension headaches
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Ongoing worries about sleep

Hypersomnia is a condition in which there are  recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep with or without a compelling urge to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times such as at work, during a meal, or in conversation. 

Insomnia and hypersomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.

Common symptoms include:

  • Prolonged night sleep
  • Difficulty waking from a long sleep,
  • Feeling disoriented on waking
  • Frequent urge to nap during the day
  • Anxiety,
  • Increased irritation,
  • Decreased energy,
  • Restlessness, slow thinking,
  • Slow speech and thinking,
  • Loss of appetite, hallucinations,
  • Memory difficulty,
  • Loss of ability to function in family, social, occupational, or other settings.

Common causes of hypersomnia: 

  • another sleep disorder (such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea),
  • dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system,
  • drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Medical conditions such as a brain tumor, head trauma, or injury to the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis, depression, encephalitis, epilepsy, or obesity
  • Medications, or medicine withdrawal, may also cause hypersomnia
  • Genetic predisposition to hypersomnia