Thu, Jun 4, 2009

Sleep DisordersSyndromes

Common Sleep Disorders and Sleep Disorder Syndromes: Signs and Treatments

The term syndrome, as it  used in medicine and psychology, is associated with many clinically identified features: (a) signs, which are observed by a physician; (b) symptoms, which are reported by the patient, phenomena; or (c) characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one feature alerts the physician to the presence of the others.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, also known as DSM-IV, is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that includes all currently recognized mental health and all sleep disorders. DSM-IV recognizes three major categories of sleep disorders:

1.   Dissomnias are broad classification of sleeping disorders that make it difficult to get to sleep, or to stay sleeping

2.   Parasomnias is a broad term used to describe various uncommon disruptive sleep-related disorders. They are intense, infrequent physical acts that occur during sleep. Some common Parasomnias include sleepwalking, sleep talking, sleep terror, nightmares, and teeth grinding.

3.   Neurological and psychiatric disorders. 

 Watch Video: Sleep Disorders Overview 


Alternatives to sleep medications

Insomnia treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills.  






Doctor recommends:

By House of Nutrition



Cognitive Behavior Therapy vs. Pharmacotherapy for Insomnia:


Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has a better impact on insomnia in young and middle-aged adults than does pharmacotherapy. Sleep studies published by American Academy of Family Physicians discuss obvious benefits of CBT vs sleep medications. Mayo Clinic, a non-profit organization and internationally renowned medical practice headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, has conducted well-documented analysis of the previous statement by concluding accurate results.

Sleep researches recommend changing your sleep environment and bedtime behaviors instead of beginning to take a sleep medication. Most of the time, it is the first thing to try before medication. Why? Because behavioral and environmental changes can produce as much of an impact if not more than sleep medications, without any risk of side effects or developed dependencies.

The following short list will give you an idea about other common sleep disorders:

Cataplexy symptoms: a loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control.

Central sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the airway is not blocked, however, the brain doesn’t control the muscles to breathe.

Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms that include the internal “clock,” which creates a set of signals to the brain, such as: when, how much, and how well we sleep.

Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea (see below).

Narcolepsy is a neurological condition when people are subjects to unexpected and excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis (see below), hallucinations, and intermittent, uncontrollable sleep attacks during the daytime.

Non 24-hour sleep-wake disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder, commonly noticed in blind people, when the sleep-wake rhythm does not coincide to the common 24-hr day cycle.

Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep is one of the two main stages of sleep. It consists of stages 1, 2 (light sleep) and stages 3,4 (deep sleep).

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common kind of sleep apnea, which is caused by a blockage of the upper airway. Check article on Snoring for more details).

Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is also a disorder, in which rhythmic jerking of the legs are the reasons for interrupts sleep.  PLMD usually results in insomnia and/or excessive daytime sleepiness.

Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal and unnatural movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams that occur while falling asleep, sleeping, between sleep stages, or arousal from sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation method that involves tensing and relaxing muscles of the body in a special order. Ultimately, achieve relaxation of a part or the whole body is very useful in some cases of insomnia, as well as for eliminating  muscle cramps during the night.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is one of the two basic states of sleep. REM sleep, also known as a “dream sleep,” is accompanied by REM, and includes, as a rule, erratic breathing and heart beat in comparison with NREM sleep.

Sleep paralysis is the main symptom of narcolepsy (see above). It involves short-term inability to move or even speak while falling asleep or waking up. Note that in hypnotic stage, which is known as catalepsy, is observed very similar paralysis symptoms, which might tell you that this disorder has cognitive nature and could be cured cognitively. Consult your family doctor for a specific advice.  

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