Disturbances in sleep may involve…

  • Lack of oxygen while sleeping
  • Sleeping at inappropriate times,
  • Having something strange happen in the process of sleep

  • Sleep-related breathing disorders
    • Older people are particularly at risk
    • Sleep-related hypoventilation: airflow is decreased, but does not entirely stop, resulting in increased carbon dioxide levels (a waste product of respiration)
    • Central sleep apnea: the respiratory system briefly stops via neurological mechanism
      • Associated with head trauma
      • Frequently co-ocurrs with degenerative disorders
      • This usually causes people to wake up
    • Obstructive sleep apnea is the throat muscles temporarily block airflow
      • This population usually doesn’t wake up at night
      • About 15% of the population have it (18 million Americans)
      • Those with this disorder oftentimes snore loudly and sweat heavily during the night, and wake up with a headache
      • Breath can stop for periods of up to 30 seconds

  • Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder: one’s sleep schedule does not gel with that of their surroundings
    • A circadian rhythm is one’s normal sleep schedule
    • People who travel across three or more time zones must alter their circadian rhythm
      • Jet lag is when one feels the need to sleep based on their home time-zone, though they have traveled so far away that it would be sleeping during the day
    • The shift work type must alter their circadian rhythm to deal with employment obligations
      • People who work at night
    • Delayed sleep phase type is when sleep is significantly delayed
    • Advanced sleep phase type is when one goes to bed early and wakes up early
    • Irregular sleep-wake type is when one’s circadian rhythm varies significantly, day-to-day
    • Non-24-hour sleep-wake type is having a sleep cycle of more than 24 hours

  • parasomnia is some abnormality that goes on while falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up.
    • Arousal disorders include experiencing intense fear while sleeping
      • Crying out: sleep terrors
      • Experienced by children much more than adults
      • Extreme fear
      • Not easily comforted
      • Not caused be dreams or nightmares
      • Confusional arousals: awakening in a disoriented episode resembling drunkeness
      • Also a symptom of narcolepsy
    • Sleepwalking
      • Very few people over 15 experience sleepwalking
    • Sleep-wake transition episodes 
      • Sleep-talking: intelligible or not
      • Sleep starts: jerking awake when almost asleep
      • Nocturnal leg cramps: muscle cramps in at least one leg
      • Rhythmic movement disorders: repeated movements, causing one to rock back and forth
    • Parasomnias Associated with REM (rapid eye movement)
      • Sleep-related sinus arrest: the hearts of healthy young adults stop beating temporarily, for up to nine minutes
      • REM sleep behavior disorder: acting out one’s dreams due to a lack of a normal sleep paralysis
      •  Nightmares
        1. Anywhere from 10% to 50% of children regularly suffer from nightmares
        2. As opposed to bad dreams, nightmares awaken the individual
        3. Sleep paralysis: being unable to move for one to three minutes while awake
          • Also a symptom of narcolepsy
    • Miscellaneous parasomnias
      • Bed-wetting
      • Teeth-grinding

Sources: http://sleepdisorders.sleepfoundation.org/, Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach, http://www.mayoclinic.org/