Imagine Health

Sleep Disorders

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.

The International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) lists the following categories:

  1. Insomnia

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.”

  1. Sleep-related breathing disorders

These are defined by difficulty in breathing while sleeping.

  1. Hypersomnolence

These group of disorders are defined by excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnolence).

  1. Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders

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.

  1. Parasomnias

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.

  1. Sleep-related movement disorders

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