Sleep Disorders - An Introduction

Sleep Disorders - An Introduction

Sleep disorders are conditions that can affect the quality and quantity of sleep in individuals. The causes behind this condition can range from poor habits to medical problems that disturb the sleep cycle. When an individual does not feel rested in the daytimes, it is better to seek medical help. The reason is that lack of good sleep is a serious problem that poses a threat to overall health and safety of an individual.

What are the dangers associated with poor sleep?

Nearly every aspect of daily life can get affected due to lack of quality sleep. Researchers have found the poor quality of slumber has led to many issues in the lives of people like mood disorders, memory issues, job-related injuries, poor performance at job, trouble in relationships and car accidents. Even, it is found that poor quality of sleep can lead to diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.

Symptoms of poor quality sleep:

Generally, symptoms will vary from one patient to another. However, here are some common symptoms experienced by patients:

• Uncomfortable feelings in the leg at night or urge to move the legs at rest.

• Brief pauses in breathing or snoring during sleep

• Trouble in staying asleep and even falling asleep

• Excessive sleepiness at day times.

The sleep cycle:

Experts state that there are two forms of sleep and they are REM sleep and non-REM Sleep. The former stands for Rapid Eye Movement and it is connected to dreams. This problem is known to account for 25% of normal sleep and this type of dream tend to come in longer periods towards morning. The rest of sleep cycle of humans are spent in NREM, which encompasses four stages, right from light sleep to deep sleep. Generally, reduction in the quality of slumber will interfere with normal cycles, thereby preventing a good night sleep.

How much sleep is ideal?

Sleep requirements vary from one person to another widely, but there are certain general guidelines with respect to the required quantity:

• Infants should sleep for 16 hours

• Teenagers should sleep for 9 hours and

• Adults should sleep for 7-8 hours

Even though, these numbers are specified some individuals feel better just after sleeping for 5 hours, while some might need 10 hours of quality sleep to perform well the following day.


Even though, difficulty in falling asleep can happen once in a while, if it continues to arise night after night, there are chances that the individual might have insomnia. People with this condition will stay awake several hours before they can actually fall asleep. They may wake up too early and will find difficult to drift off again. Otherwise, there are also chances that they may wake up repeatedly all through the night.

Insomnia and sleep hygiene:

Reports state that one of the important contributors towards insomnia is poor sleep hygiene. This denotes bad habits that come in the way of getting good sleep. Some examples here include, falling asleep with television or lights on, going to bed at different time each night and smoking or eating heavy foods before going to bed.

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