Sleep disorders appear to be going on with everyone, everywhere! But in actuality, there are 15 percent of Americans who have chronic sleep problems and 10 percent who sometimes have problems. A sleep disorder is profound enough to impair ability to function, to get to work or school, or to have a sense of well being. Anyone who has worked a deep night shift for a while can attest to the disruption that such a change in schedule can cause.
There are sleep disorders that are parasomnias or dissomnias. The dissomnias involve not getting enough sleep, not being able to sleep according to the dictates of life, or of not getting very good sleep. the parasomnias involve psychological problems and events that occur during sleep.
There are two types of primary insomnias, which are dissomnias. The primary insomnias are primary hypersomnia and primary insomnia.
Primary hypersomnia involves excessive sleepiness. This can occur during nighttime or during the day. Narcolepsy, breathing related sleep disorder, and circadian rhythm sleep disorder are primary hypersomnias.
Anyone who has travelled across many time zones in a short period of time by flying long distances is well aware of the devastating effects of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Also, trying to get kids to go to bed on time and to get up on time can attest to the training and behavioral modification required to prevent sleep disorders from not getting with society's program for waking and sleeping.
Narcolepsy involves sudden and unannounced episodes of going right to sleep. There can also be a sudden loss of muscle tone called cataplexy, which causes the person to drop where they are. This is caused by a physical abnormality in the brain that is either congenital or brain surgery related.
Breathing related sleep disorder is commonly called, or includes sleep apnea, which can either be a physical problem with the breathing apparatus, or with the brains breathing control centers.
Primary insomnia involves events that happen when already asleep. The three main disorders are nightmare disorder, sleepwalking disorder and sleep terror disorder. In nightmare disorder, the situation is not just the occasional nightmare, but recurring and repeated nightmares that cause the individual to wake up.
Sleep terror disorder involves something waking the individual and inducing states of terror for up to ten minutes, during which time they cannot be calmed or fully awakened. Once the episode ends, there is no memory of the terror that caused the episode.
Sleepwalking involves motor activities while asleep, with the ultimate being getting up, walking around, and even doing things while asleep.