Sleep experts estimate every person will experience a sleep disorder at some point in their life. Sleep disorders occur regularly over long periods, or they can be intermittent, occurring maybe once or twice over a person's life, or at random, unpredictable intervals. Sleep disorders usually occur as part of a range of symptoms of an outside stress – whether that's illness, stress from work or family life, grief, or an irregular work schedule.
While hundreds of different sleep disorders have been documented, most people suffering from sleep disorders will experience one of the more common sleep disorders. Do you, or anyone you know, suffer from any of these sleep disorders?
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder: do you have trouble waking up in the morning? If you suffer from delayed sleep phase disorder, your biological clock goes out of sync with normal hours. Your sleep is restful, but you struggle to wake up and feel drowsy and fatigued throughout the morning.
Jet Lag: when you cross time zones quickly – usually in an aeroplane, your sleep patterns become disrupted as your internal clock struggles to adjust. You may struggle to fall asleep, feel fatigued, get headaches and generally feel "blah".
Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder: similar to Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, your biological clock shifts to an earlier time, so you fall asleep before 9pm and wake up around 3-5am. Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder commonly occurs in elderly people.
Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome: Your biological clock should be set for 24 hours, but in some people, their clock is 25 hours or longer. Their sleep and wake times fluctuate erratically. This is particularly common in blind people.
Shift Work Sleep Disorder: shift work wrecks havoc on the body. Constantly changing your sleep pattern results in numerous health problems, including heart disease, impaired concentration and migraines.
Sleep Apnea: during sleep apnea, your airway collapse and you stop breathing for several seconds. This might occur several times a night and result in gasping and snoring. You may wake up with shortness of breath. Sleep Apnea can be dangerous and should be treated by sleep professionals.
Sleepwalking: most common in children, sleeping occurs during deep sleep and involves a person moving around as though they are awake. Sleepwalking episodes last only a few minutes and the sleepwalker won't remember the incident in the morning.
For more information about sleep problems and insomnia cures you can visit the Sleep and Insomnia Guide