sleep disorder symptoms and causes

What Are Sleep Disorders – Symptoms and Causes

What are Sleep Disorders? Are you having trouble sleeping? And you are searching for what are sleep disorders and the possible reasons behind it. Then you don’t have to look any further.

Unquestionably, Sleep problems affect your ability to sleep. Most of the time, sleeping disorders are because of stress, hectic schedule, and much more. When such disorders started daily, it affects your mental and physical health.

Due to such disorders, you start feeling tired all day long. In addition to that, you may also feel some changes in your behavior. You may have mood swings; moreover, it’ll have some negative impact on energy, food, and your overall health.

What are Sleep DisordersWhatever the sleeping disorders are, you can’t just ignore them. As they can be the symptoms of serious medical and mental health conditions. They won’t just disappear until you find a cure.

Even if they not that serious, they can cause you some huge losses. They may worsen your relationships, as you don’t feel in a mood to talk to anyone. You don’t have enough energy to perform your daily activities. Likewise, they will affect your work performance too.

Also Read: Catathrenia – Everything You Need To know

What are the four major disorders?

In order to treat it, you should have all the knowledge of what sleep disorders are? So, that you can succeed running from its bad impacts on your life. The major sleep disorders are:


Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can be of short term or long term. It can last from 1 week to a few weeks. It is chronic when it lasts for 3 nights or a week.

Primary insomnia is the one that is not directly linked to any health problem. Whereas, Secondary insomnia is if you have some trouble in sleeping because of poor health conditions like asthma, cancer or heartburn.

What are sleep disordersCauses of insomnia

If it’s primary insomnia, then its possible reasons can be

  • You have stress too much stress. And you are going through a really tough time or trauma.
  • Change in your work shifts or the things that don’t let you sleep like noise.

If it’s secondary insomnia, then the cause behind it can be:

  • Depression, anxiety hyperthyroidism and endocrine problems.
  • The rise in blood pressure, asthma and allergies.

It can be treated with the help of medicines prescribed by your doctor. Or in case it is serious, then your doctor can suggest behavioral therapy.


What are sleep disorders? Then, Narcolepsy is one of the sleep disorder caused by excessive sleepiness. Men and women both have equal chances to get infected. Also, the ratio of its occurrences is 1 in 2000 people.

Most probably, it shows symptom since childhood, but there is a possibility that it appears before getting a proper diagnosis.

What are sleep disordersCauses of Narcolepsy

  • Loss of chemical known as, hypocretin, in the brain, which is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
  • By the damage in the region called the hypothalamus.

It’s an incurable disease, but proper medication and treatments can help reduce it. The most recommended treatment is a combination of medications and behavioral changes.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) causes you to move your legs uncontrollably; mostly, it happens due to an uncomfortable sensation.

Also, it has been seen that it usually occurs during the evening or nighttime hours.

Restless legs syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom disease, can happen to a person of any age. Although it becomes serious as you grew older. It is more common in men than in women. It urges you to move your legs.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

  • After proper research, we came to know that RLS can be caused by iron deficiency. And iron deficiency is due to the bleeding from your stomach or if you are a regular blood donor.
  • If your kidneys are not functioning properly and this causes a huge deficiency of iron, then it may result in RLS.
  • Conditions related to spinal cord such as spinal block can also lead to RLS.


If you are looking for something like what are sleep disorders and which one you have? Then you should keep Bruxism in your mind. As most people have it.

In Bruxism, most people clench their teeth when they are awake. If you have Mild bruxism, then there is no need for treatment.

But if it is serious, then you should not hesitate to visit a doctor. As it can lead to jaw disorder, headaches and can be more serious than that.

What are sleep disordersCauses

Many people are unaware that it causes even doctors to get confused:

  • Awake bruxism is a result of frustration, tension and stress etc.
  • Whereas, Sleep bruxism is because of sleep-related chewing activity.

What are the most common types of sleep disorders?

What are sleep disorders and which ones are the most common? There are numerous sleeping disorders, but the below ones are most reported:

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder

Nowadays, the most common sleeping disorders reported is Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. You go to bed late every night, and you wake up late the next day.

For example, you go to bed at 2 am one day, and after 10 hours of sleep, your whole routine gets messed up. And it keeps getting worse day by day.

As our mind doesn’t link with the light and dark cycle of day and night. Some say that people suffering from this disorder are blind. As our internal clock cannot be able to see the light.


Nightmares are known as a dream that causes fear and anxiety. Dreams are the world of fantasy, but sometimes those fantasies become a nightmare.

Once, you have woken up from the nightmare; you may find difficulty getting back to sleep. It can be happened because of many things like illness, trauma, and loss of a loved one.

 If it keeps continuing for a long time, nightmare leaves a bad impact on your mental health. So, talk to your doctor as soon as possible, if you have it more than one time a week.

What are sleep disordersLeg Cramps

During sleep, the sudden and uncontrolled muscle contraction is known as leg cramps. Mostly, it happens in the calves. It may last from a few second to a few minutes. The pain is unimaginable.

Normally, it happens to middle-aged or older people, but anyone age group can get it. There is not a specific reason behind it, but sometimes it is because of dehydration, overwork or some sort of physical problems.

Sleep Paralysis

While falling asleep or waking up, one not been able to move is known as sleep paralysis. It can be total or partial paralysis of your body.

Sleep Paralysis is not dangerous. Although it can be scary as you don’t know the reason behind it? But the good thing is that it only lasts for a few minutes. Some people only have it once, while others have it often.

Rapid Eye Movement

During Rapid Eye Movement (REM) shortness of breath occur, your eye movement become irregular, and you feel paralyzed. Although, scientist say that your brain is active at that time.

As the electrical activity recorded in your brain is exactly the same when you’re awaked. REM usually occur at night. 20 to 25 per cent of your sleeping period is spent in REM.

Causes of REM

  • Until now, the exact cause behind REM is still unknown, but some scientist believes that it is associated with degenerative neurological disorders.
  • About 45% of the people who are the patient of REM are alcoholic and drug addict.
  • Excess of a tricyclic antidepressant, serotonin reuptake inhibitor use or any other antidepressant can lead to REM.

Treatment of REM

Treatment options you can have for REM includes:

  • Melatonin, prescribed by your doctor, is also very effective as it reduces the symptoms.
  • Clonazepam is often used to treat anxiety, stress; depression can also be useful in the treatment of REM. It should be used in severe cases as it may cause daytime sleepiness.
  • The doctor also recommends you to stay under observation for a day. So that they can observe your every movement.
  • While you are under observation your every movement including your breathing pattern, leg movements are noted.

Doctors are still working out in order to introduce a proper treatment for REM. Mostly, older people get Rapid Eye Movement. But the cases of young people have also been reported. 55% of the people get injured during Rapid Eye Movement.

Also Read: What is REM Sleep? How to achieve REM Sleep

Final Verdict

What are sleep disorders? If you have irregular sleep time, unusual breathing pattern, feeling tired all day long. Then you have sleep disorders.

If we keep ignoring it then as time passes, it becomes dangerous, as it has a very bad impact on your mental health.

 Everyone once in a lifetime undergoes such a situation in which they are diagnosed with sleep orders. So you can’t escape it, the only thing you can do is to fight it.

Although, in most cases, sleep disorders are curable. Also, in some cases, you may not need medicine. You just have to know the reason behind it and how you can treat it. That’s how you can defeat it.

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