Just like food and water, sleep is an important physiological need—we cannot survive without it. Sleep helps maintain our mental and emotional health and helps our bodies fight illnesses and infections. On the other hand, lack of sleep can lead to hallucinations, delusions and loss of immune function. Sleep disorders range from insomnia to narcolepsy. They may also act as a warning sign for other medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis, and Parkinson’s disease.
Insomnia is defined as “a repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, consolidation, or quality that occurs despite adequate opportunity for sleep, and results in some form of daytime impairment.”
These are defined by difficulty in breathing while sleeping.
These group of disorders are defined by excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnolence).
Individuals with a circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder are unable to naturally go to sleep or wake up at the necessary time. These all lead to excessive sleepiness or insomnia, or both.
Parasomnia is abnormal movements or actions during sleep. This group of disorders is divided into three clusters: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) related, rapid eye movement (REM) related, and other.
Sleep-related movement is simple and stereotyped movements during sleep.
For those who suspect or are suffering from sleep problems, it is important to seek medical advice and treatment. In the meantime, the following are some self-help tips that may be useful.
Written by Alannagh Kelly