Home Health A-Z What are the 5 Types of Sleep Disorders?

What are the 5 Types of Sleep Disorders?

Verified By Apollo General Physician June 12, 2019 4603 0

Sleep is a must for maintaining good health. Several disorders and disturbances may affect the duration and depth of your sleep. Sleep disorders are the sleep disturbances that interrupt the person’s capability to sleep well on a regular basis. These disorders result in inadequate sleep or excess sleep,  causing numerous behavioral and cognitive problems.

Sleep disorders are most prevalent and are usually caused by a depression or a health problem. Around 75 percent of persons aged between 20 and 59 are estimated to have sleeping difficulties regularly. 


Insomnia is the inability to initiate sleep. The person may also wake up frequently during the night or may wake up too early in the morning. They often sense disturbed sleep and feel tired on waking up. Insomnia is of two types.  

  • Transient or intermittent insomnia: It occurs because of stressful life event, poor sleep conditions, side effects from medications or other medical conditions or sleep/wake cycle problems such as jet lag.
  • Chronic insomnia: It occurs when there is sleep disruption for more than 3 nights in a week during a month. It is considered to be complex and often results from underlying sleep disorders including OSAS, UARS or periodic limb movement.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where your airway gets blocked repeatedly which interrupts breathing. If you have this disorder, you will snore loudly or make choking noises. Your body and brain are oxygen deprived because of which you may wake up. This may happen once or twice a night and can also happen hundreds of times a night in severe cases. 


If you have narcolepsy, you may suddenly fall asleep at any time irrespective of where you are. Sometimes, you may fall asleep uncontrollably during unusual circumstances like while eating. People with narcolepsy cannot regulate their sleep-wake cycle.          

Restless Legs Syndrome

This disorder results in the uncontrollable urge or desire to maneuver your legs while you’re resting. While resting, you could also experience Unpleasant aching

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Feeling that something is crawling in your calves

You may also feel uncomfortable sensations in other body parts. 

REM sleep Behavior Disorder

Symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder may include Movement, such as kicking, punching, arms flailing or jumping from bed, in response to action-filled or violent dreams, such as being chased or defending yourself from an attack. Noises, such as talking, laughing, shouting, emotional outcries or even cursing. 


These are the sleeping disorders which result in abnormal movements and behavior during sleep. This abnormal movements and behaviors include: 

  • Sleepwalking
  • Circumcision
  • Sleep talking (somniloquy)
  • Groaning
  • Nightmares
  • Bedwetting
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching 

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

The interruption in a person’s “internal body clock” results in circadian rhythm disorder. This is because of the continuous or occasional disruption of sleep. These disruptions may be due to factors like :

  • Going to bed late
  • Waking up late
  • Shift work
  • Jet lag

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis creates an inability to move the arms, legs, or the entire body. It will last a very brief period of time. People with sleep paralysis disorder may become very anxious. They usually often regain their movement only after hearing a loud noise or another stimulus.


Sleep disorders Treatment vary from type to type and the underlying cause. The treatment will be generally a combination of medical treatments and lifestyle changes. However, don’t hesitate to communicate regularly with your doctor who may refer you to the Best Psychiatrist in India or order specialized sleep studies to analyze the sleep patterns.

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