Sleep apnea is a serious disorder in which breathing is consistently obstructed for periods of time then resumes after a brief awakening. This cycle can occur hundreds of times a night. Symptoms include snoring and daytime sleepiness. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, stroke, and many other diseases.
Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes extreme daytime sleepiness. It is usually associated with cataplexy, which is a sudden weakness or paralysis. In addition to an overnight sleep study, a series of naps the following day is required to diagnose narcolepsy.
Periodic limb movement syndrome involves jerking motions of the feet, knees, or hips. These movements cause frequent awakenings and prevent a restful night of sleep.
Insomnia is a condition in which falling asleep or maintaining sleep is difficult or often impossible. There are many causes for insomnia including depression, poor sleep habits, stress, and physical discomfort.
Restless leg syndrome involves a “crawly/itchy” sensation in the legs brought on by relaxation. This syndrome can lead to insomnia.
REM behavior disorder, sleepwalking, and bedwetting are unusual behaviors that can occur in sleep. These disorders can lead to accidental injury, embarrassment, or other serious problems.