There are many sleep disorders that thousands of us suffer with in our lifetime. Here we outline some of the more common ones.
Boffins believe that up to 30% of us live with some form of insomnia. The condition is defined by a persistent difficulty falling or remaining asleep despite the opportunity and motivation to do so. Chronic insomnia occurs when sleepers experience symptoms at least three times per week for at least three months. Insomnia lasting less than three months is known as short-term insomnia.
Sleep Apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea have multiple extended pauses in breath when they sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs, such as itching, prickling, pulling, or crawling. These sensations create an overwhelming urge to move the legs, which often get worse when trying to sleep.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterised by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and in some cases episodes of cataplexy (partial or total loss of muscle control, often triggered by a strong emotion such as laughter). Narcolepsy is thought to affect around 1 in 2,000 people.
Parasomnia is a catchall term for unusual behaviours that people experience prior to falling asleep, while asleep, or during the arousal period between sleep and wakefulness. These behaviours vary considerably in terms of characteristics, severity, and frequency. Examples include sleepwalking, night terrors, nightmares, sleep paralysis.