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Common Sleep Disorders


Insomnia is an inability to fall or stay asleep that prevents normal daytime functioning. It can interfere with the ability to concentrate, make decisions, and solve problems.

Transient Insomnia

is a response to temporary stress, excitement, or an unfamiliar environment (an extra-hard bed in a hotel room, for example). It lasts for one night to several nights. Sleep returns to normal after the triggering event or situation is resolved.

Short-term Insomnia

occurs during longer periods of stress at home or at work and can last for several weeks.

Chronic Insomnia

is a pattern of poor sleep every night (or most nights). It interferes with day-time activities because sufferers are often too tired to perform well on the job or relate well to other people.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA is the most serious sleep disorder. The upper airway becomes obstructed during sleep, causing the sleeper to stop breathing for as long as 90 seconds. Periods of apnea may occur several hundred times per night. OSA is the most common medical cause of sleepiness during the day, especially in men, who are affected by the disorder more often than women.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea sufferers may be identified by loud, habitual snoring, gasping during sleep, waking up frequently during the night, daytime fatigue, obesity, high blood pressure, morning headaches, and daytime sleepiness. Depending on the severity of a person’s OSA, sleep apnea surgery may be recommended.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movements (PLM)

Patients with RLS or PLM report rhythmic jerking of the legs or feet, pain, or an uncomfortable sensation that makes them want to move their legs. This restlessness interferes with normal sleep.


A fairly rare sleep disorder, narcolepsy results in muscular weakness when angry or laughing, sleep paralysis, and daytime sleepiness. Symptoms can appear suddenly or develop slowly over a long period of time.

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