Almost a third of adults have reported that they’re sleeping poorly. The most common disorders include:
Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep even if someone feels they are tired. People with this condition are often dissatisfied with their sleep and can suffer from symptoms like fatigue and an inability to focus leading to poor performance the next day.
Sleep apnea: A disorder in which breathing is interrupted while sleeping. There are two causes: either a person’s airway is blocked or the muscles responsible for breathing aren’t getting the right signals from the brain. In either case, this stress on the body can cause high blood pressure, heart attack and even stroke.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS): This is a disorder in the central nervous system which can give people an itching or prickling feeling in their legs, often while laying in bed. This can cause people to feel a strong urge to move their legs to relieve these sensations. The nightly discomfort can lead to sleep deprivation.
REM behavior disorder (RBD): In the REM stage of sleep your mind is very active while your body is temporarily paralyzed to prevent your body from physically moving in response to dreams. In contrast, people with RBD retain the ability to physically move their bodies in response to what is happening in their dreams, which can lead to serious injuries.
Narcolepsy: People with this chronic sleep disorder can find themselves feeling excessively drowsy throughout the day, even falling asleep suddenly. These episodes of sleep are often brief, a few seconds or minutes, but can be disorienting as people are unable to remember what just happened.
Sleepwalking: This is a disorder more common in children although it can occur in adults where a person gets up and walks around while in a state of sleep. It is more likely to occur if someone is sleep deprived.
Sleep terrors: Someone suffering from this disorder might react to a sense of fear while sleeping and react by screaming or thrashing about in their sleep. Someone in the middle of a sleep terror can be difficult to wake up. When they do wake up, they may feel disoriented, be covered in sweat, or feel their heart racing.
Teeth grinding: Grinding or clenching one’s jaw during sleep can be a physical manifestation of feeling stressed or anxious. If left untreated, it can lead to the wear down and damaging of teeth, headaches and jaw pain.