Two types of disorders prevent people from getting enough sleep. The word “hyposomnia” is derived from “hypo” (under, or, less than normal), and “somnia” (pertaining to sleep). So a less than normal amount of proper sleep.

  1. Insomnia
    1. Defined by Mayo Clinic is “a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep”
    2. We’ve almost all heard of this one. It becomes a clinical disorder when it happens to a significant extent, so that one’s function during the day is compromised.
    3. A lot of the time, other disorders can cause insomnia. They range from anxiety (“I’m really nervous about the test I have to take tomorrow”) to drug addiction (“I don’t have any heroin left, so I fee like I have the flu and can’t calm down enough to sleep”).
  2. Sleep-related movement disorders (SMRD)
    1. This, as stated by the National Sleep Foundation, involves “non-restorative sleep stemming from movements that occur either during sleep or near sleep onset”
    2. Again, drug addiction, particularly to opioids, can mimic this disorder, causing restless limbs

Losing sleep means more than just feeling tired. It impairs cognition (the ability to think), causes social irritability, and oftentimes makes one feel depressed. In fact, enough sleep deprivation, and there won’t be an aspect of one’s life that isn’t negatively affected. Top that off with increased symptoms of another illness one may have (such as arthritis or fibromyalgia), hypertension, and even heart disease and serious endocrine disorders. Even just one night of sleep deprivation carries a remarkable amount of negative consequences.

Here’s the criteria…

Insomnia:

  1. Lack of sleep quality and/or quantity
  2. Sleep habits impair important daily functions
  3. Sleep problems at least three of seven days
  4. The sleep issue has gone on for at least three months
  5. No environmental aspect impairs healthy sleep
  6. No other sleeping disorder is present
  7. Drugs aren’t causing it
  8. No other condition fully explains it

  • Types (length of suffering)
    • Episodic
      • 1-3 months
    • Persistent
      • longer than three months
    • Recurrent
      • Two or more episodes in 12 months
  • Types (how one is affected)
    • Sleep onset insomnia
      • Difficulty falling asleep
    • Sleep maintenance insomnia
      • Common, sustained, awakenings
    • Sleep offset insomnia
      • Waking to early in the morning
    • Non-restorative sleep
      • Fatigue despite a normal amount of time spent asleep

As for the latter two:

The sheer amount of stress can provoke a wide variety of negative thinking, which reverberates through one’s social life.

  • Populations most at risk for developing insomnia….
    • Women (twice as much as men)
    • Shift work
    • The elderly
    • Those who don’t exercise
    • Physical pain
    • Other illnesses (mental and physical)
  • Treatment…
    • Identifying and properly confonting one’s life stressors
    • Drugs: hypnotics (designed to treat insomnia), sleep-promoting antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, antihistamines, supplements
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
      • Better than drugs long-term,
      • Cognitive therapy changes maladaptive feelings and beliefs
      • Stimulus control therapy: instructions for good sleep hygiene
      • Sleep restriction: a continuous mild sleep deprivation to have a healthy sleep schedule
      • Relaxation: meditation, breathing techniques
    • Good sleep hygiene:

Every year, about a third of adults, and a third of children, experience symptoms of insomnia. At least one in ten adult Americans have insomnia characterized as “severe and chronic”

Statistically speaking, older people are more likely to be afflicted with an insomnia that prevents them from staying asleep, while adolescents more often report trouble getting to sleep.

Insomnia is known for creating symptoms of a plethora of other mental health disorders. It’s an essential. When the body doesn’t have its rest, it gets sick, the same as starving.

Sleep-related movement disorders (SMRD)

These disorders overlap with parasomnias, such as with leg cramps and rhythmic movements. One difference is that there is always some movement causing the problem in SMRD’s. Parasomnias may be thought of as more general, and include mental experiences.

SMRD’s frequently cause insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), which can lead to impaired cognition, depression, and irritability.

  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD): repetitive, rhythmic movements while asleep
    • People naturally experience limb movements while asleep; a disorder is present when either wake up and fatigue the person as they sleep
    • Risk factors…
      • Children and adolescents with ADHD
      • Women suffer from this disorder significantly more than men
      • Consumption of caffeine, certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood-stabilizers
      • Stress
    • This disorder is not diagnosed if comorbid with, ADHD, sleep-related eating disorder, restless leg syndrome (RLS), narcolepsy, or parkinson’s Disease
    • Treatment:
      • Avoidance of caffeine
      • Iron (if levels are low)
      • In severe cases, levodopa
  • Sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder (RMD): this manifests as engaging in a rhythm involving a lot of moving
    • Such as rolling from side-to-side
    • It differs from PLMD in that RMD has a much greater risk of causing sleep disruption and sleep-related injuries
    • The disorder usually occurs just as one is falling asleep, or during sleep, but can occur while awake
    • Most at-risk…
      • Children and infants with ADHD
      • Those with intellectual disorders and/or who are under a lot of stress
    • Treatment can involve…
      • Padding the sleeping area and head
      • Trying to reduce the stress experienced by the individual
      • Some types of antidepressants or anti-convulsants are sometimes useful
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS): a very strong urge to periodically move one’s legs (or sometimes, arms)
    • Legs can be aching, in pain, or uncomfortably tingly
    • The worst symptoms tend to manifest after midnight
    • About 8% of the adult population have experienced it
    • Mostly seen in…
      • Women (twice as much as in men)
      • Smokers
      • Obese people
      • It has a strong genetic factor: 50% of cases)
    • Treatment…
      • Walking relieves oneself very quickly
      • Good sleep hygiene, daytime exercise, and relaxation techniques can help
      • Dopamine agonists and anticonvulsants may help severe cases

  • Sleep-related leg cramps, or, nocturnal leg cramps: sudden, quite painful, involuntary muscle contractions (tightening, becoming hard)
    • Usually in the lower part of the leg
    • The average duration is 9 minutes
    • Some people experience a few in their lifetime, others go through many episodes every night
    • Significantly more than half of adults, and more than one in twenty children, report experiencing them
    • At-risk…
      • People of 50 or older
      • Chronic dehydration
      • Alcohol abuse
      • Exercising too vigorously
      • Sitting for too long
      • A wide range of other illnesses, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and many endocrine (related to hormones) disorders
      • Pregnant women (up to half, are afflicted)
      • Contraception, heart medication, and steroid use
    • Treatment may involve…
      • Stopping a medication that is causing these cramps
      • Stretching
      • Applying heat
      • Staying hydrated
      • Wearing shoes that fit
      • Vitamin E and B12
      • Orphenadrine
  • Sleep-related bruxism (SB): hard clenching, or grinding, of teeth while asleep
    • It is loud enough to disturb other(s) in bed
    • The individual can significantly wear their teeth down, make them much more sensitive, and cause pain in the jaw area and head
    • According to parents, up to one in five of children younger than age 11 have this problem
    • At-risk…
      • According to parents, up to one in five of children younger than age 11 have this problem
      • The issue is statistically less prevalent as one ages – for example, only 3% of people 60 or older are afflicted with SB
      • Often an effect of another disorder or recreational drug use
      • About 40% of the afflicted have a family member with a history of sleep-realated bruxism
    • This population is twice as likely to have sleep apnea
    • As for treatment…
      • An oral guard can prevent damage to teeth, pain in the region, and noise disturbance
      • An anti-seizure medication may be given to promote healthful sleep
  • Students! Please appraise yourself of this information:

Sources: http://sleepdisorders.sleepfoundation.org/, http://www.sleepeducation.org/, http://www.webmd.com/