A sleep disorder is anything that interferes with the quality, timing, or amount of sleep you get in a night. There are many types of sleep disorders, many of which can be directly linked to physical and/or emotional problems.
The six main types of sleep disorders include:
Insomnia, which is by far the most common sleep disorder, is a complex condition that’s defined as having difficulty either falling or staying asleep, even when conditions are conducive to sleep. Short-term insomnia, which is generally caused by psychological stress or a traumatic life event, typically resolves itself and usually isn’t a cause for concern.
Chronic insomnia, which occurs at least three nights a week and lasts three months or longer, can be far more problematic. Chronic insomnia can wreak havoc on your daily life, causing low energy, daytime fatigue or sleepiness, irritability, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and even anxiety or depression.
Sleep apnea is a relatively common, potentially serious sleep disorder in which your breathing slows or stops during sleep. The condition causes repeated waking through the night as your brain recognizes a lack of oxygen and stimulates respiration.
The three main types of sleep apnea are:
The most common type, OSA occurs when your airway collapses or relaxes during sleep, causing you to snore or stop breathing for short periods. Being overweight increases the risk of OSA.
This less common type of sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to send signals to the muscles that help you breathe. Snoring isn’t a normal symptom of CSA.
Also called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this condition occurs when someone has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Dr. Sergio Jaramillo is the board-certified sleep medicine expert at The Neurology Group. He uses a variety of approaches to diagnose sleep disorders and figure out what’s contributing to an individual patient’s sleep problem. You might be asked to keep a sleep log that details when you fall asleep each night, the amount of sleep you get, and how many times you wake during the night.
Dr. Jaramillo may also suggest that you do an overnight sleep study in a sleep lab. During the study, an EEG machine will monitor your sleep patterns, including your stages of sleep, oxygen levels, body movements, heartbeat, and breathing patterns.