Sleep disorders

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Sleep disorders are any of the over 80 different problems associated with sleep.

Also see International classification of sleep disorders

Glossary of sleep medicine

  • A journal of insomnia A journal of insomnia is a medical journal that publishes articles related to the study and treatment of insomnia, a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The journal covers topics such as sleep disorders, sleep physiology, and sleep medicine, and aims to provide healthcare professionals and researchers with the latest information and developments in the field of sleep medicine.
  • Automatic behavior Automatic behavior is a type of behavior that is performed without conscious awareness or intention. It can occur during sleep, such as sleepwalking, or during waking hours, such as when performing routine tasks on autopilot. Automatic behavior can be a symptom of an underlying sleep disorder or a sign of other neurological conditions.
  • Autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy Autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (adnfle) is a genetic disorder that results in seizures that occur during sleep. These seizures typically begin in childhood and are characterized by muscle contractions, abnormal movements, and vocalizations. Adnfle is an inherited condition that is passed down from parent to child, and it is caused by a genetic mutation.
  • Bedtime procrastination Bedtime procrastination, also known as sleep procrastination, is a common problem in which a person repeatedly delays going to bed, despite feeling tired. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Bedtime procrastination can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, and the use of electronic devices before bed. Clinical sleep educators can help individuals identify the underlying causes of their bedtime procrastination and develop strategies for improving their sleep habits.
  • Bitestrip Bitestrip is a device used to measure bruxism, or tooth grinding, during sleep. It is a small, flexible strip that is placed in the mouth, and it records the force and frequency of clenching or grinding. Bitestrips can provide valuable information for the diagnosis and treatment of bruxism, and can help track changes in bruxism over time.
  • Bruxism Bruxism is a condition characterized by the grinding or clenching of teeth while asleep. This can result in jaw pain, headaches, and tooth damage. In severe cases, it can also lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (tmj). Bruxism can be treated through behavioral therapy, oral splints, and medication.
  • Caffeine-induced sleep disorder Caffeine-induced sleep disorder is a condition in which caffeine consumption leads to sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up in the morning. Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with normal sleep patterns, and individuals who consume large amounts of caffeine may experience sleep problems as a result. Polysomnographic technologists can help diagnose caffeine-induced sleep disorder by conducting sleep studies and evaluating the individual's sleep patterns in relation to their caffeine consumption.
  • Cataplexy Cataplexy is a sudden and brief loss of muscle control, typically triggered by strong emotions such as laughter, anger, or surprise. This sudden loss of muscle tone can cause a person to collapse, but it does not result in loss of consciousness. Cataplexy is a symptom of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks. Treatment options may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
  • Catathrenia Catathrenia is a type of parasomnia characterized by long, slow breathing sounds during sleep. These sounds, which can be loud enough to disrupt the sleep of others, are often accompanied by a peaceful facial expression and a lack of physical movement. The exact cause of catathrenia is unknown, but it is thought to be related to the regulation of breathing during sleep. Treatment options are typically not necessary, but lifestyle changes and positional therapy may help reduce the frequency and severity of catathrenic breathing
  • Central hypoventilation syndrome Central hypoventilation syndrome (chs) is a condition in which the body's normal breathing patterns are disrupted during sleep, leading to a decrease in oxygen levels. This can result in difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as excessive daytime sleepiness. Chs is most commonly seen in individuals with neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injuries or brainstem lesions, and can also be caused by other factors, such as obesity or sleep apnea.
  • Central sleep apnea Central sleep apnea is a type of sleep apnea characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep due to a failure of the brain to send signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. It is often associated with underlying medical conditions such as heart failure, and can result in significant sleep disturbances and decreased quality of life.
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorder Circadian rhythm sleep disorder is a condition in which a person's sleep-wake cycle is disrupted, leading to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up in the morning. This can result from a misalignment of the individual's internal circadian rhythm with the 24-hour day, and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as jet lag, shift work, exposure to artificial light at night, or sleep deprivation. Polysomnographic technologists can help diagnose circadian rhythm sleep disorder by conducting sleep studies and evaluating the individual's sleep-wake cycle.
  • Clinical sleep educator A clinical sleep educator is a healthcare professional who specializes in educating patients about sleep disorders and helping them implement lifestyle changes and treatment options to improve their sleep. They work closely with sleep specialists, such as sleep doctors and sleep therapists, to provide comprehensive care for patients with sleep problems. Clinical sleep educators are trained in the latest research and treatments in the field of sleep medicine, and they help patients understand the impact of sleep disorders on their health and quality of life.
  • Clinophilia Clinophilia is an attraction to beds or sleeping, characterized by a strong desire to spend time in bed, take naps, and engage in activities related to sleep. It is not considered a sleep disorder, but rather a type of paraphilia, or atypical sexual interest.
  • Dyssomnia Dyssomnia is a general term used to describe sleep disorders that affect the quality and quantity of sleep. This can include conditions such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. Symptoms of dyssomnia can include difficulty falling or staying asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and restless or disturbed sleep. Treatment options vary depending on the specific type of dyssomnia, but may include lifestyle changes, medication, and behavioral therapy.
  • Epworth sleepiness scale The epworth sleepiness scale is a commonly used tool for measuring daytime sleepiness. The scale asks individuals to rate their likelihood of dozing off in different situations, such as sitting and reading, watching tv, or driving a car. The scores are then used to determine the severity of a person's sleepiness. A score of 10 or higher indicates excessive daytime sleepiness and a potential sleep disorder. The epworth sleepiness scale is a quick and easy tool that clinical sleep educators often use to help diagnose sleep problems.
  • Exploding head syndrome Exploding head syndrome is a rare sleep disorder that causes a person to hear loud, sudden noises as they fall asleep or awaken from sleep. These noises, which can range from explosions to loud crashing sounds, are not actually happening in the external environment, but are experienced as occurring within the person's head. The cause of exploding head syndrome is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to changes in the brain during the transition between sleep and wakefulness. The condition is not harmful and does not cause any physical damage, but it can be frightening and disruptive to sleep.
  • Fatal insomnia Fatal insomnia is a rare and debilitating sleep disorder characterized by progressive and total loss of the ability to sleep. It is caused by a genetic mutation and is typically fatal within several years of onset. Symptoms can include severe insomnia, changes in mood and behavior, and progressive cognitive decline.
  • Hypersomnia Hypersomnia is a type of sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and an increased need for sleep. This can result in difficulty waking up in the morning, falling asleep during the day, and decreased productivity. Causes of hypersomnia can include sleep apnea, depression, and certain medications. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, and behavioral therapy.
  • Hypnagogia Hypnagogia is the state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, characterized by vivid, dream-like hallucinations and experiences. This can include visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations, as well as sleep-related movements and behaviors. Hypnagogia can be a normal part of the sleep process, but it can also be a symptom of certain sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea.
  • Hypnic jerk Hypnic jerk, also known as hypnagogic jerk, is a sudden muscle contraction or movement that occurs just as a person is falling asleep. This can result in a feeling of falling or being startled, and can cause disruption to sleep. Hypnic jerks are a common and normal part of the sleep process, but they can become more frequent or severe in certain individuals. Treatment options are typically not necessary, but lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques may help reduce the frequency of hypnic jerks.
  • Hypnopompia Hypnopompia refers to the state of consciousness experienced when waking up from sleep. It is characterized by feelings of confusion, disorientation, and memory lapses. It can last for a few minutes or up to several hours and may be accompanied by vivid hallucinations and intense emotions.
  • Hypopnea Hypopnea is a form of sleep-disordered breathing characterized by shallow breathing during sleep, leading to a reduction in oxygen levels. It can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, reduced concentration, and increased risk of heart disease. Treatments for hypopnea include lifestyle changes, positional therapy, and continuous positive airway pressure (cpap) therapy.
  • Idiopathic hypersomnia Idiopathic hypersomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and prolonged, uninterrupted nighttime sleep. Unlike narcolepsy, there are no sudden and involuntary lapses into sleep during the day. The cause of idiopathic hypersomnia is not well understood, and it is thought to be related to a malfunction in the central nervous system that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Idiopathic hypersomnia is often treated with medications that promote wakefulness, such as stimulants, and with lifestyle changes that promote good sleep hygiene.
  • Insomnia Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, or waking up too early. It can result in feelings of fatigue, low energy, and irritability during the day. Causes of insomnia include stress, anxiety, depression, and certain medications. Treatment options include cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
  • Irregular sleep-wake rhythm Irregular sleep-wake rhythm is a condition in which a person's sleep-wake cycle is disrupted, leading to irregular patterns of sleep and wakefulness. This can result in difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up in the morning, and can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating. 
  • Jet lag Jet lag is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person travels across multiple time zones, causing a disruption to their circadian rhythm. Symptoms of jet lag include fatigue, insomnia, disorientation, and decreased concentration. It can take several days for the body to adjust to the new time zone, and it can be treated by adjusting sleep patterns, exposure to sunlight, and hydration.
  • Kleine–levin syndrome Kleine–levin syndrome (kls) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by episodes of excessive sleep and altered behavior. During an episode, a person with kls may sleep for most of the day and night, and have a decreased appetite and difficulty with memory and concentration. Kls is most commonly diagnosed in males during adolescence and can last for several days to several months. The cause of kls is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates sleep and other essential functions.
  • Morvan's syndrome Morvan's syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms including sleep disturbances, muscle weakness and twitching, and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. It can also cause hallucinations and delusions.
  • Narcolepsy Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks. It is caused by a deficiency in the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which regulates wakefulness and sleep. Symptoms of narcolepsy can include cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations. Treatment options may include medication, lifestyle changes, and behavioral therapy.
  • Night hag Night hag is a folklore term used to describe a supernatural being that is said to torment people during the night, causing nightmares and sleep paralysis. The concept of the night hag is found in various cultures around the world, and is often associated with witchcraft or other supernatural entities. In modern times, the term is sometimes used to describe sleep-related experiences such as sleep paralysis or vivid dreaming.
  • Night sweats Night sweats refer to excessive sweating that occurs during the night, often leading to drenched sleepwear and bedding. Night sweats can be a symptom of a medical condition, such as menopause or an infection, or a side effect of certain medications or treatments.
  • Night terror Night terror, also known as sleep terror disorder, is a sleep disorder characterized by episodes of intense fear and panic during sleep. It typically occurs in the first few hours of sleep and can result in screaming, thrashing, and rapid breathing. Unlike nightmares, individuals experiencing night terrors do not usually recall the episode upon waking.
  • Nightmare disorder Nightmare disorder, also known as recurrent nightmare, is a sleep disorder characterized by vivid and distressing dreams that cause significant distress or impairment in waking life. It can be a standalone disorder or a symptom of another underlying condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Nightmare A nightmare is a disturbing dream that often causes the dreamer to awaken in a state of fear. Nightmares can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, and traumatic events. While most people will experience occasional nightmares, frequent nightmares may be a symptom of a larger problem such as post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) or sleep disorders. Treatments may include therapy and medication, depending on the underlying cause.
  • Nocturnal enuresis Nocturnal enuresis, also known as bedwetting, is the involuntary release of urine during sleep in children or adults who are otherwise capable of controlling their bladder during waking hours. It is a common problem, especially among children, and can be caused by a variety of physical and psychological factors.
  • Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder (ns-red) is a condition in which an individual eats during the night while asleep. This can result in excessive calorie consumption and weight gain, as well as disruptions in sleep. Ns-red is often seen in individuals with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, and can also be caused by other factors, such as stress or anxiety.
  • Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder (n24swd) is a condition in which an individual's sleep-wake cycle does not align with the 24-hour day. This can result in a persistent pattern of late bedtimes and late wake-ups, which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, staying awake during the day, and functioning at work or school. N24swd is most commonly seen in individuals who are blind or have limited vision, as they do not receive adequate light exposure to regulate their circadian rhythm. Polysomnographic technologists can help diagnose n24swd by conducting sleep studies and evaluating the individual's sleep-wake cycle.
  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (ohs) is a condition in which excess body fat interferes with normal breathing patterns, leading to a decrease in oxygen levels during sleep. This can result in difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as excessive daytime sleepiness. Ohs is often seen in individuals with obesity, and can also be caused by other factors, such as sleep apnea. Polysomnographic technologists can help diagnose ohs by conducting sleep studies and evaluating the individual's breathing patterns during sleep.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea Obstructive sleep apnea (osa) is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep. These episodes occur when the airway is partially or completely blocked, making it difficult to breathe. This can lead to a drop in oxygen levels in the blood, which can cause the person to awaken briefly in order to restart breathing. Osa is a common condition that can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. The most common treatment for osa is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (cpap) machine, which delivers air pressure to the airway to keep it open during sleep.
  • Orthosomnia Orthosomnia is a condition characterized by an obsession with obtaining good quality sleep, to the point of causing stress and anxiety. It can result in excessive focus on sleep hygiene and routine, and a preoccupation with the use of sleep tracking devices and other sleep aids.
  • Parasomnia Parasomnia is a term used to describe abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep, including sleepwalking, sleep talking, sleep eating, and sleep sex. These behaviors can be harmless, but they can also be disruptive to sleep and cause safety concerns. Parasomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, including sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, and certain medications. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, and behavioral therapy.
  • Periodic limb movement disorder Periodic limb movement disorder (plmd) is a condition in which a person experiences repetitive movements, such as kicking or jerking, during sleep. These movements can cause disruptions in sleep, leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, and can result in excessive daytime sleepiness. Plmd is often seen in individuals with restless legs syndrome (rls), and can also be caused by certain medications, alcohol, or other factors. Polysomnographic technologists can help diagnose plmd by conducting sleep studies and evaluating the individual's sleep patterns.
  • Polysomnographic technologist A polysomnographic technologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in conducting and interpreting sleep studies. They work in sleep laboratories, hospitals, and clinics, and are trained to use equipment and techniques to measure various physiological parameters during sleep, such as brain activity, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, and breathing patterns. Polysomnographic technologists play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, and they work closely with sleep specialists to provide comprehensive care for patients with sleep problems.
  • Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (rbd) is a condition in which an individual acts out their dreams during sleep. This can result in physical movements, such as thrashing or hitting, that can be harmful to the individual or their bed partner. Rbd is often seen in older adults and is more common in men than women.
  • Restless legs syndrome Restless legs syndrome (rls) is a neurological disorder that causes a strong urge to move the legs, especially when lying down or sitting. This urge is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as tingling, crawling, or itching. Rls can interfere with sleep, leading to daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating. The cause of rls is not well understood, but it is believed to be related to a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Rls is often treated with medications that increase dopamine levels.
  • Shallow breathing Shallow breathing refers to breathing that is lighter and quicker than normal, using only the chest muscles. It can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea, or a result of stress or anxiety. Shallow breathing can lead to reduced oxygen levels in the blood, which can have serious health consequences.
  • Shift work sleep disorder Shift work sleep disorder (swsd) is a condition that affects people who work rotating or irregular shifts, such as night shifts, early morning shifts, or rotating shifts. The disruption of a person's natural sleep-wake cycle can lead to difficulty falling asleep and staying awake during work hours, and can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and an increased risk of accidents. Clinical sleep educators can help individuals with swsd understand the impact of their work schedule on their sleep and develop strategies for improving their sleep habits.
  • Sleep apnea Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessation of breathing during sleep. It can result in decreased oxygen levels, excessive daytime sleepiness, and an increased risk of heart disease. There are two main types of sleep apnea]] Obstructive sleep apnea (osa), caused by a physical blockage in the airway, and central sleep apnea, caused by a failure of the brain to properly control breathing during sleep. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, positional therapy, and continuous positive airway pressure (cpap) therapy.
  • Sleep debt Sleep debt is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep over a period of time. It can result in decreased energy, concentration, and mood, as well as increased risk of health problems. Sleep debt can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor sleep habits, stress, or medical conditions. The best way to reduce sleep debt is to establish a consistent sleep schedule and make lifestyle changes to improve sleep quality.
  • Sleep diary A sleep diary is a personal record of a person's sleep patterns and habits. It typically includes information such as the time a person goes to bed and wakes up, the quality of sleep, and any interruptions during the night. Sleep diaries can be useful for tracking patterns and identifying potential sleep issues, and can be helpful for healthcare providers in diagnosing sleep disorders.
  • Sleep onset latency Sleep onset latency refers to the amount of time it takes to fall asleep after going to bed. A normal sleep onset latency is typically between 10 and 20 minutes, but longer latencies can be a sign of insomnia or other sleep disorders.
  • Sleep paralysis Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. It is often accompanied by vivid and intense hallucinations, feelings of impending doom, and a sense of being suffocated or choked. Sleep paralysis is not harmful, but it can be frightening and disruptive to sleep.
  • Sleep problems in women Sleep problems are a common issue for women, with a variety of factors contributing to sleep disturbances. Hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause, and the responsibilities of caring for children and elderly family members can all contribute to sleep problems in women. Additionally, sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are more common in women than in men, and can have a significant impact on a woman's physical and mental health. Clinical sleep educators can help women understand the factors contributing to their sleep problems and develop strategies for improving their sleep.
  • Sleep sex Sleep sex, also known as sexsomnia, is a type of parasomnia characterized by sexual behaviors during sleep. These behaviors can range from sexual movements to inappropriate touching or sexual assault. The exact cause of sleep sex is unknown, but it is thought to be related to sleep-wake regulation. Treatment options may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
  • Sleep state misperception Sleep state misperception is a condition in which a person has difficulty accurately assessing their own level of sleepiness or wakefulness. This can result in confusion about whether one is awake or asleep, and can lead to sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up in the morning. Sleep state misperception is often seen in individuals with sleep disorders such as insomnia or narcolepsy, and can also be caused by certain medications, alcohol, or other factors. Clinical sleep educators can help individuals with sleep state misperception understand the factors contributing to their symptoms and develop strategies for improving their sleep.
  • Sleep-talking Sleep-talking, also known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder characterized by talking during sleep without being aware of it. Sleep-talking can range from simple mumbling to elaborate conversations and can occur during any stage of sleep. In most cases, sleep-talking is harmless, but it can be disruptive to bed partners and may indicate an underlying sleep disorder.
  • Sleepwalking Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a sleep disorder characterized by walking or performing other complex behaviors while in a state of sleep. Sleepwalkers are often not aware of their actions and have limited memory of the episode upon waking. Sleepwalking is most common in children, but can occur in adults as well.
  • Snoring Snoring is a common sleep-related sound produced by the vibration of soft tissues in the upper airway. While snoring can be harmless, it can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a more serious condition that results in temporary cessation of breathing during sleep. Treatments for snoring include lifestyle changes, positional therapy, and in severe cases, continuous positive airway pressure (cpap) therapy.
  • Somnology Somnology is the scientific study of sleep and sleep disorders. It involves the examination of the physiological and psychological processes involved in sleep, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Somnologists may specialize in fields such as sleep medicine, sleep research, or sleep technology.
  • Somnology Somnology is the scientific study of sleep, including its physiological and psychological aspects. It encompasses a wide range of fields, including sleep medicine, sleep research, and sleep technology. Somnologists work to understand the mechanisms of sleep, the impact of sleep on health and well-being, and the treatment of sleep disorders. They may specialize in areas such as sleep physiology, sleep psychology, sleep medicine, or sleep technology.
  • Sundowning Sundowning is a term used to describe the phenomenon of increased confusion and agitation in people with dementia or alzheimer's disease in the late afternoon and early evening. This behavior can be disruptive to sleep and cause safety concerns. Causes of sundowning are not fully understood, but may include changes in circadian rhythms or sensory changes. Treatment options may include medication, environmental changes, and behavioral therapy.
  • Upper airway resistance syndrome Upper airway resistance syndrome (uars) is a condition in which the upper airway becomes partially obstructed during sleep, leading to a decrease in oxygen levels and difficulty breathing. This can result in difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as excessive daytime sleepiness. Uars is often seen in individuals with obesity or a family history of sleep apnea, and can also be caused by other factors, such as nasal congestion or alcohol consumption.

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