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5 Most Common Sleep Disorders Explained

Different Types of Sleep Disorder

Are you constantly feeling tired or irritable during the day even though you make sure to set your bedtime early each and every night? Well, you may be one of 50-70 million U.S. adults suffering from one of the many sleep disorders.

It’s important to get a good night’s sleep because it mentally prepares you for the day ahead. It can improve concentration and productivity, benefit your immune function, and even aid social interaction and emotions. Learn about the 5 most common sleep disorders that could be affecting you here:


Insomnia is known as the difficulty to fall and/or stay asleep. You may have insomnia if you can’t fall asleep when you’re tired, can’t get enough sleep to feel refreshed and well-rested, or experience restless sleep and are exhausted when you wake up. Insomnia is the most commonly reported sleep disorder and actually affects about one-third of the U.S. population.

The causes of insomnia include high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, certain medications, and drug or alcohol abuse. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.


Narcolepsy is a neurological brain disorder caused by your brain’s inability to regulate and control sleep. Due to this, you can fall asleep at any time no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Symptoms include fatigue, cataplexy (loss of muscle control), insomnia and hallucinations.

The cause for narcolepsy is abnormalities in the parts of the brain that control REM sleep. Treatments include medication, cognitive behavior therapy, stimulus control, hypnosis, sleep restriction, relaxation techniques, as well as avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder that disrupts breathing during sleep. Your airway repeatedly becomes blocked, which causes you to stop breathing. When this occurs, you might make choking/gasping noises and/or have loud/chronic snoring. Sleep apnea can also cause low oxygen levels and fragmented sleep, and it affects more than 18 million American adults.

The cause of sleep apnea is a complete or partial blockage of the throat. Treatments include a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine that keeps a person’s throat open with a steady stream of air, dental or oral appliance, positional therapy, weight management programs and surgery.

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak while transitioning from sleep to wakefulness. It can either last for a few seconds or drag on for minutes. Symptoms include a feeling of foreboding, the sensation of something on your chest, a sense that someone is in your room, and a hallucination of a menacing figure. Sleep paralysis is common and affects about 25 percent of people at least once.

The causes of sleep paralysis are sleep deprivation, certain medications, and some sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. There is no treatment for sleep paralysis; the key is prevention and treatment of any underlying causes. Make sure to get enough sleep, avoid alcohol and drug use close to bedtime and limit caffeine intake to the afternoon.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is an overwhelming and uncontrollable urge to move your legs while at rest. You will experience an unpleasant aching, tingling and burning feeling that compares to ants crawling through your legs. About 10% of the population suffers from RLS and is most common in women.

The cause for RLS is actually unknown. Experts theorize that the cause can be hereditary or due to the use of certain medications. Also, pregnant women are sometimes prone to RLS. Treatments include regular exercise, reduction in alcohol and caffeine, medication for severe cases and behavioral therapy.

If you’re finding yourself tired during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. There are many steps you can take to increase your quality of sleep. The first being purchasing a new mattress and getting your very own sleeping coach. Efficient sleep is the answer to many of your problems. Give Mattress World a call today at (619) 260-8000 and get the best sleep of your life tonight.