A sleep disorder is a medical illness that disrupts or shortens standard sleep patterns. They disrupt sleep, severely affecting your day-to-day functioning, quality of life, and health. Knowing the signs of the various sleep disorders can help you, and your doctor determine the root cause of your chronic fatigue and, more importantly, the best course of treatment.

The medical community has identified and named over a hundred unique sleep disorders. As far as sleep problems go, there are four major categories:

  • Challenges while trying to sleep and staying asleep
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Unable to maintain a consistent sleep-wake routine
  • Sleeping habits that don’t make sense

What Are the Major Types of Sleep Disorders?

The following are among the most prevalent forms of sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea and snoring
  • Parasomnias
  • Lack of movement during sleep
  • Insomnia in the legs
  • Periodic movements of the limbs characterize REM sleep.
  • Circadian rhythm problems
  • Narcolepsy

Aside from insomnia, other disorders that include excessive daytime drowsiness and other sleep problems include:

  • Syndrome of persistent tiredness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • The Effects of Jet Lag
  • SAD is short for the seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Both physiological and psychological variables have been linked to various forms of sleep disruption. Thus, they may also be harmful to one’s bodily and mental well-being.

When It Comes to Sleep, What May Cause These Disorders?

There are a wide variety of potential root reasons for sleep disorders.

  • Predisposition based on genetics
  • Circumstances of daily life, such as shift work, travel, and other disruptions to a person’s typical routine
  • Conditions of the mind, such as worry and melancholy
  • The use of excessive amounts of coffee or alcohol, as well as other dietary components
  • Extra weight, or obesity
  • Health issues such as chronic pain, mental illness, and cardiovascular problems
  • Various pharmaceuticals
  • Aging

Various sleep problems exist. Possible contributing factors include preexisting medical issues in some instances.


The inability to sleep or stay asleep is the term “insomnia.” Jet lag, stress, worry, hormones, and gastrointestinal issues are all potential triggers. It might also be an indicator of something else being wrong. There are several adverse effects that insomnia may have on your health and quality of life, including:

  • Mood disorders include despair, a lack of focus, and anger.
  • Gaining weight might hinder academic or professional success.
  • Women and those of advanced age are disproportionately affected by this condition.

There are typically three categories for describing insomnia:

Insomnia may be classified as chronic when it lasts for at least a month, intermittent when it occurs sometimes, and transient when it lasts for just a few nights at a time.

Sleep Apnea

Stops in breathing during sleep are a hallmark of sleep apnea. This is a life-threatening illness that reduces oxygen intake. It may also wake you awake at odd times.

You may classify them as one of two varieties:

There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, when breathing pauses because the airway is blocked or too small, and central sleep apnea, where there is an issue with the link between the brain and the muscles that govern breathing.


Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders characterized by involuntary or erratic activity while sleeping. Those things are:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Involuntary utterances during sleep
  • Groaning\nightmares
  • Clenching one’s jaw or grinding one’s teeth
  • Syndrome of the restless legs
  • The incessant need to move one’s legs is the hallmark symptom of restless leg syndrome (RLS). Leg tingling is a common symptom of this impulse. These signs and symptoms may appear at any time but manifest at night.

In some cases, you may identify the etiology of RLS; however, the illness remains mysterious in other issues, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease.


While awake, “sleep attacks” are a defining feature of narcolepsy. As a result, you may find yourself abruptly exhausted and unable to stay awake. Sleep paralysis, a symptom of the illness, may leave sufferers immobile upon awakening. While narcolepsy may arise independently, it is also linked to M.S. and other neurological conditions.

Parting Thoughts

The intensity and kind of sleeping disturbance have a role in determining the resulting symptoms. And when sleep problems are brought on by anything else, those causes might be different, too. The key is identifying the root cause.