Understanding The Different Types Of Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders affect many people each and every night, and understanding the different types of sleep disorders that are disrupting your rest is important for your health. There are many different kinds of sleep disorders that can greatly interfere with a good night's rest, and if you’re not completely sure as to how or why you’re not getting the adequate sleep you need, then it can be hard to put a stop to it. 

In order to effectively treat and help your sleeping habits, it’s important to truly understand the different types of sleep disorders that exist, and if they are affecting your personal sleep. Here is a closer look at the different types of sleeping disorders out there.

Names Of Sleeping Disorders 

Sleeping disorders can be divided into three different categories: lack of sleep, disturbed sleep, and excessive sleep. These three categories each contain different types of sleep disorders, and the ways they affect your sleep. 

Sleep disorders that affect your lack of sleep include insomnia, where the individual is unable to fall asleep. Insomnia is common, and at some point in a person's life, they will experience it at least once. However, others can suffer from it more often, leaving them feeling tired and stressed.

Disturbed Sleeping Disorders

Disturbed sleeping disorders are where the sleep is often being interrupted by symptoms and issues experienced with a particular disorder. These include Restless Legs Syndrome, Sleep Apnea, and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. 

Sleep Apnea occurs when the breathing is disrupted during sleep. The individual might have a neurological or windpipe issue, and should be further evaluated. 

Restless Legs Syndrome is when an individual experiences a prickly or tingling sensation in the limbs, and feel as if they should be moved, thus making them restless or unsettled. This can lead to disruptive sleep, as the individual feels the need to keep moving their legs. 

REM interferes with the signals in the brain that occur during sleeping and dreaming. Often times when an individual is dreaming, their body will physically interact, or act out the dream itself. For example: if an individual is dreaming about clapping their hands, they might physically start clapping their hands while in bed sleeping. This can be a danger to oneself and others, especially if the dream leads them to get up out of bed and move about the room while still asleep. 

 Excessive Sleep Disorders

Excessive sleep disorders are the opposite of a lack of sleep disorder. Examples of excessive sleep disorders, include Narcolepsy, Sleep Paralysis, Cataplexy, and Hallucinations. 

Narcolepsy is when the patient uncontrollably falls asleep for short periods of time. These attacks can range anywhere from a few minutes to a half an hour. 

Hypnagogic Hallucinations occur in between the sleep and awake stages, and are “dream-like” hallucinations that are often categorized as terrifying or nightmares. 

Cataplexy is a weakness in the muscles, where the individual can become paralyzed and even fall down. 

Sleep Paralysis is when a person is falling asleep or waking up, and there is a temporary inability to move, that sometimes is only stopped by a loud noise or exterior stimulus. 


There are a number of ways you can treat sleep disorders, and they vary according to each type. Some disorders, such as Sleep Apnea will require a device to help the patient maintain their breathing during sleep and not be disrupted. In some cases surgery can also help to resolve breathing issues during sleep. 

Other disorders can be treated with sleeping pills and medications, which is a more common form of treatment. Natural or holistic remedies are often considered for some individuals, and various products and vitamins can be used for a sleeping disorder natural treatment

Sleeping Disorder Diagnosis 

If you’re skeptical as to whether or not you’re suffering from a sleeping disorder, there are numerous ways you can be tested or evaluated to find out what is causing a disturbance in your sleeping habits. Sleep studies, such as polysomnography, evaluates your sleeping by monitoring your brain activity, oxygen levels, and movements while you sleep. 

Some sleep disorders are inherited and can be tested through a simple blood test to determine if you have any genetic health issues. Another test called electroencephalogram is used to study the brain and evaluates electrical activity that could be associated with a sleeping disorder. 

Sleep disorders are a common issue among many individuals, and should not be left untreated or undiagnosed, as it could lead to other health problems in the future. It’s important to understand the different types of sleep disorders to help diagnose your personal issues and symptoms. 

*This article is a guest post by Jordan Walker.

+ + + + + + +

Author Bio: Jordan Walker is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience publishing informative articles across many news and media outlets around the world, he has absorbed an expertise on many different topics in multiple industries. When he is not busy researching and writing, he enjoys reading books and painting.

{original photo credits: 1, 2, 3}

You Might Also Like