Scientists are quickly learning that quality sleep is as important to health as nutrition and exercise. An estimated 12 million Americans have sleep disorders, the majority undiagnosed.  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common of the nearly 100 known sleep disorders.  A far greater number don’t get enough sleep. Left untreated and unaddressed, sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with increased incidence of:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • All Cause Mortality
  • Weight Gain
  • Compromised Immune Function
  • Surgical and Medication Complications
  • Motor Vehicle/Industrial Accidents
  • Cognitive Impairment/Memory Problems
  • Mental Health Problems/Depression
  • ADHD
  • Poor Work/School Performance, Learning Difficulties
  • Major Health Problems in Teens


Sleep Disorders

There a many types of sleep disorders. The most common are listed here. They can occur with other sleep disorders, and some disorders can contribute to others. Why are sleep disorders so dangerous?

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. This is when the airway collapses during sleep. Loud snoring is often heard, and gasping of choking, restless sleep, daytime sleepiness. Why is sleep apnea so dangerous?

Insomnia - inabilty to initiate or maintain sleep
  • Chronic - Greater than 3 months.
  • Situational - Caused by temporary stress/conditions.
  • Behavioral -   Generally due to poor sleep habits.
  • Limit setting - This refers to children, parents, and bedtimes.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Irresistible urge to move legs/body in evening. This odd sensation is described as “creepy crawly”.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

Frequent leg movements during sleep. Often disturbs sleep/bed partner.

Parasomias - Abnormal movements, behavior, perceptions while sleeping
  • Sleep terrors - Occurs in deep sleep (first 1/3 of night). No memory of incident.
  • Sleep walking/talking - Generally occurs in deep sleep. No memory.
  • Bed wetting - Mostly occurs in children and teens.
  • REM behavior disorder - Acting out dreams or lots of movement. There should be almost no movement during dream sleep.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders affects the timing of sleep
  • Advanced sleep phase - Going to bed and rising early.
  • Delayed sleep phase - Going to bed late, rising late. Normal in teens.
  • Non 24 hour sleep cycle - Varying bed and rise times.
  • Shift Work Disorder (SWD) - 24 hour internal clock is disrupted.
  • Jet Lag - Due to changing time zones.

Narcolepsy (With or without cataplexy)

Excessive sleepiness. Sleep attacks. Cataplexy is the loss of muscle tone often triggered by emotions such as laughing, surprise, crying.

Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

Did you know that almost 50% of people with diabetes also have sleep apnea? If you have diabetes you should speak with your physician about your sleep. Click here to read the article from the American Academy of Clnical Endocrinologists.


Sleep Apnea Risk

Obstructive (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. If you are overweight, have a large neck, and/or have high blood pressure, your risk of OSA increases further.

How Serious is Sleep Apnea?

fblogo 'Like' our Facebook page to see interesting sleep articles and for your chance to win prizes!