Sleep Problems & Disorders

As many of you may probably already know, quality and regular sleep is pivotal for the health and it can impact the mood, weight, and hormone levels, as explained on Web Md. Sleep-related issues, including sleep apnea, insomnia, snoring, and restless leg syndrome are not uncommon. According to Help Guide, a lot of people will experience difficultly to sleep at a specific point of time in their lives. This may be caused by all kinds of reasons, including a disease, too much stress, travel, or other routine interruptions. However, if such problems become chronic, they can decrease one’s overall health and well-being.

This being said, it is vital to emphasize that regardless of the type of sleeping problem you may be facing, you should know that there are a lot of things that can be done in order to address the issue in question. But first, let us familiarize you with the details about sleeping disorders.

Sleeping Disorders Explained

As explained on Help Guide, a sleeping disorder (there are several) is a condition which has a negative impact on one’s capacity to get sufficient and quality sleep. Although it is considered normal to find it difficult to fall asleep from time to time, frequent troubles getting a good night’s sleep or waking up tired and feeling sleepy throughout the day are certainly not. Unfortunately, this can have a debilitating influence on one’s overall health and well-being and this cycle of no sleep at night and low energy throughout the day can damage one’s efficiency, mood, energy, memory, and even relationships.

The major sleeping disorders are the following ones:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep terrors
  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • Snoring

Opposite to what is a common belief, good sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity! Regardless of the sleeping disorder, adequate treatment increases the chances for complete recovery.

If you are suspecting a sleeping problem that is deteriorating your health and well-being, the best option is to consult your physician. Nonetheless, in order to do this, one needs to be able to recognize the symptoms of the most common sleeping disorders. Read them carefully in the section below.

The Most Common Symptoms of Sleeping Disorders

  1. Insomnia
  • Inability to fall asleep at night
  • Constant waking up throughout the night
  • Waking up very early
  • Feeling tired after waking up
  • Depression, anxiety, irritability
  • Poor concentration and focus
  • Poor memory
  • Elevated errors and accidents
  • Chronic sleep-related worries
  1. Sleep apnea
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • Waking up due to feeling as if you are being choked
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Restless sleep
  • Low interest in sex and changes in mood
  • Sleeplessness
  1. Restless leg syndrome
  • Throbbing, crawling, itching, aching, etc. sensations starting after lying or sitting for prolonged time
  • Stretching, walking, or shaking the legs brings relief
  • The symptoms may worsen in the evening
  • Twitching and kicking the legs at night
  1. REM sleep behavior disorder
  • Kicking or jumping in bed as a response to having violent dreams
  • Noises like laughing, shouting or talking during sleep
  • Ability to recall dreams if awoken during an episode
  1. Narcolepsy
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Loss of muscle control or cataplexy
  • Microsleep
  • Waking up at night accompanied by hot flashes and high alertness
  • Rapid entry to REM sleep phase
  1. Sleepwalking
  • Getting up from bed and walking around
  • Sitting up in bed with open eyes
  • Glazy and glassy-eyed expression
  • Confusion
  • Not being able to recall what happened
  • Sleep terrors
  • Doing daily routines
  • Engaging in unusual behavior
  • Becoming violent
  1. Sleep terrors
  • Screaming
  • Sudden awakening from sleep
  • Strong terror from an unknown cause
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Dilated pupils


  1. Bruxism
  • Loud teeth clenching and grinding
  • Flattened, loose, or chipped teeth
  • Worn off tooth enamel
  • Sensitive and painful teeth
  • Locked jaw and tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Pain in the face, jaw, or neck
  • Earache-like pain
  • Dull temple headache
  • Sleep disruption
  1. Snoring
  • Breathing pauses during sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat in the morning
  • Restless sleep
  • Hypertension
  • Chest ache
  • Loud snoring it wakes up others

What Are the Causes of Sleeping Disorders?

As seen on Mayo Clinic, some of the major underlying reasons for insomnia are:

  • Excessive stress and worry
  • Disrupted internal clock due to frequent travel or work schedule with frequently changing shifts
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Eating late at night
  • Some meds
  • Mental health problems
  • Other sleep disorders
  • Overuse of nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine

When it comes to sleep apnea, as noted on Web Md, it may be a consequence of:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Enlarged tonsils or large overbite in children
  • Tumor in the airway
  • Birth defects like Down syndrome
  • Genetics (narrow throat, round head, thick neck)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Deviated septum
  • Smoking, excessive use of alcohol or use of sedatives

Regarding restless leg syndrome, it may be triggered by the following factors, as emphasized on Web Md:

  • Chronic illnesses and conditions like lack of iron, Parkinson’s, and diabetes
  • Some medications, including antidepressants and antihistamines
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol use
  • Lack of sleep

The major causes of REM sleep behavior disorder may be the following ones:

  • Suffering from a neurodegenerative disorder
  • Suffering from narcolepsy
  • Some meds
  • Withdrawal from alcohol or drugs
  • Being male and having more than 50 years of age

The underlying cause of narcolepsy is yet to be determined, as noted on Help Guide, even though there are specific known contributing factors like genetics and some environmental cause like a virus.

Sleepwalking, as pointed out on Medicine Net, may be linked with genetic, physiologic, medical, and environmental factors, including family history of sleepwalkers, too much stress, alcohol and drugs, stimulants, lack of sleep, menstruation, pregnancy, fever, nighttime asthma, sleep apnea, seizures, and acid reflux.

Sleep terrors may stem from the following causes:

  • Excessive tiredness
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Sleep interruptions
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Some meds
  • Mood disorders
  • Alcohol use

Some of the main risk factors and causes of bruxism, as noted on Mayo Clinic, are these ones:

  • Emotions like anger, stress, and anxiety
  • Arousal during sleep
  • Aggressive and competitive personality
  • Younger age
  • Some meds
  • Smoking or drinking
  • Genetics
  • Disorders like acid reflux, dementia, sleep apnea

As explained on Mayo Clinic, snoring may arise due to some of these reasons:

  • Low and thick soft palate
  • Being overweight
  • Elongated soft palate tissue
  • Excessive intake of alcohol prior to bed
  • Nasal issues
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Sleeping on the back
  • Being a male (men have a higher likelihood of snoring than women)


Treatment Options

As stated by Health Line, sleep disorder treatment choices are usually conditioned by the type of sleep disorder and the reasons for it. In most cases, it is a mixture of medical therapies and appropriate lifestyle changes and improvements. Some of the available medical therapies adopted by doctors are sleeping meds, melatonin supplements, meds for allergies or colds, meds for the underlying health problems, a breathing device or a surgery, or a dental guard to address bruxism.

In terms of lifestyle improvements, they can be of great aid in bettering the patient’s sleep quality, especially when done together with medical therapies. Some of the potential lifestyle adjustments are lowering the artificial sugar intake and eating more veggies and fish, exercising to decrease anxiety and stress, creating and sticking to a balanced sleeping schedule, consuming less water prior to bedtime and caffeine, as well as tobacco and alcohol, and consuming fewer carbs before sleep.

Without doubt, sticking to the treatment plan proposed by your doctor elevates the chances for sleeping better and improving your health.


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