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Sleep Disorders Overview – Cause and Effect

Types of Sleep Disorders – Complications of Insomnia – Poor Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Disorders Overview

There are more than a hundred sleep disorders. The most common sleep disorders are those that cause either difficulty falling and/or staying sleep or excessive sleepiness. The most common reason for the difficulty staying asleep is depression/anxiety. The most common reason for the excessive daytime sleepiness is obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep disorders may adversely affect the quality of life to such a significant extent that they cause chronic headaches, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and other problems.

Some sleep disorders may look rather bizarre. Adults don’t normally fall out of bed and don’t get injured while asleep, but it does happen in some sleep disorders, such as in REM sleep behavior disorder.

Sleep is much more than just a mere rest. Sleep is an absolute necessity and it has some specific functions. Complete lack of sleep for a few days is deadly – it causes severe dysregulation of the body temperature.

Some sleep disorders are caused by abnormal sleep structure. In narcolepsy, there is an invasion of REM sleep into both, into the slow wave sleep and into the awake state. As a result, there is a combination of excessive sleepiness and poor nocturnal sleep quality in the same person.

There are also sleep disorders that are related to a faulty regulation of circadian rhythms, which causes either delayed or advanced sleep time.

What are the causes of sleep disorders? They are numerous, from genetic, to autoimmune disorders and complications of other medical problems. But… the most common cause is a POOR SLEEP HYGIENE, or chronic sleep deprivation caused by a shift work, busy life style, multiple “bed partner gadgets” or an erratic sleep pattern for any reason.

The treatment and prognosis of sleep disorders are variable. Some disorders, like sleep-talking, sleep starts, night terrors are either harmless or resolve over years. Some disorders, like related to depression or to sleep apnea, require an adequate treatment of the underlying condition. Others are a lifelong struggle, like narcolepsy, and the effect of treatment is only partial.

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