Sleep disorders include many types of sleep problems, from insomnia to narcolepsy, affecting many people worldwide. It is difficult to believe they exist, especially in this civilized world.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing markedly stops or is reduced during sleep, causing a person to have poor oxygen levels in their blood as they stop breathing 10 seconds or more. The pause of breathing during sleep mainly affects adults and if left untreated may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Similarly, sleep apnea can worsen one’s existing health condition, particularly among those who already have congestive heart failure (lower flow of blood to the heart muscles), insomnia, stroke and high blood pressure.

Bruxism


Bruxism is an unconscious act of clenching (holding top and bottom teeth together tightly) and grinding (sliding the teeth back and forth over each other) of teeth while sleeping, which can cause parts of the teeth, muscles and structures around your jaw to become painful or loose and eventually it can result in jaw joint problem called temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).


People under stress or depressed can also grind or clench their teeth without being aware of this habit, but upon waking will note a headache, or sore jaw muscles.

Sleeping murder


During childhood, at least 10% of the adults have experienced with sleepwalking, but sometime with undesirable terrible events. Jules Lowe from Manchester, England was caught and tried in 2003 for killing his father while sleepwalking and this incident was one of the 70 cases known in the world. Even though Lowe was charged for murder, he was confined due to a case of mental disturbance.

Ondine’s curse



Ondine’s curse (also called primary alveolar hypoventilation, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome) is a serious form of sleep apnea due to serious neurological trauma or damage to the brain or an inborn failure of autonomic control of breathing. This rare medical condition can result in death since it can cause a sudden cessation of breathing during sleep. Worldwide, there were approximately 200 known cases being reported. Scientists believed that this phenomenon is largely associated with a genetic disorder and have also associated its occurrence with spinal and head injury.

Narcolepsy


Narcolepsy is considered as a chronic sleep disorder (or dyssomnia) as well as a chronic neurological disorder causing the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles efficiently. This chronic disease of the central nervous system is not rare as it affects one in every 2,000 Americans, and can occur among young adults or teenagers.




People with Narcolepsy experience a disorder in between the sleeping and waking states, causing them to fall asleep at inappropriate times. Throughout the day, they have a strong urge to fall asleep while at study or at work and may fall asleep for as few as several seconds to as long as several hours. Approximately 100% of people with Narcolepsy exhibit a disturbed nocturnal sleep pattern, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and automatic behaviour (meaning they perform certain actions with no conscious awareness) and it’s common for them to experience the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep from 10 and 30 minutes while playing a game, having a meal, chatting or driving. In addition to this abnormal sleeping pattern, sleep paralysis (unable to talk or move at the beginning or/ and end of sleep), hallucinations (distorted perceptions either upon awakening or during sleep onset) and cataplexy (sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone) are three main features highlighting the characteristics of Narcolepsy.

Parasomnia


Parasomnia is a term used to characterize sleep-related disorders which include night terrors, sleepwalking, narcolepsy, confusional arousals and bedwetting. These sleep disorders involve abnormal behaviour and unexplainable movements and can happen during different stages of sleep either during partial arousals (being asleep and awake at the same time) of Non-REM sleep or complete arousals from REM sleep.

Parasomnia is undesirable and acute phenomenon occurs during sleep when a person wakes up abruptly from bed perpetuating by stress, accompanying by moaning, screaming, shocking and gasping. Its causes have been associated with stress, depression and biological factors.

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