Sleep disorders affect both children and adults. Over 40 million Americans have health problems related to a sleep disorder, making sleep a health problem of massive proportions.
This sleep disorder is common in children, with over seven million children wetting their beds on a regular basis. Bedwetting is the uncontrollable loss of urine or bladder control while sleeping.
Circadian Rhythm Disturbance
Circadian rhythms are how your body responds to light and dark. This disorder is caused when there is an interruption in the body’s natural sleep cycle. This disorder is often overlooked in children and adults.
Insomnia is the inability to fall sleep or remain asleep for a reasonable time. This may result in daytime sleepiness or physical, psychological or behavioral problems. There are many causes of insomnia that may be related to underlying sleep disorders, psychological problems or medical diseases. Insomnia is more common in people who are under stress, are depressed or who have anxious moods.
The symptom that all narcoleptics exhibit is excessive daytime sleepiness. This type of sleepiness is extreme and irresistible, which is why many narcoleptics can fall asleep in the middle of the day, even during physical activities. This disorder may be obvious in children as young as 7.
Night terrors, also known as pavor nocturnus, are not nightmares. Children who have night terrors behave as if they have been frightened, but are unable to be fully awakened, are difficult to comfort, have no memory of a bad dream and may be unable to explain what happened.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is often described as an irresistible urge to move your legs. Those suffering from untreated RLS report difficult falling asleep or staying asleep because of the unpleasant feelings in the legs or arms, and the twitching and kicking that often disrupts sleep.
Shift Work Disturbance
According to several studies, approximately 15 million Americans, work a non-traditional “9 to 5” work schedule. These employees are working nights, swing shifts, early mornings or many different work schedules. In addition to being at a higher risk for chronic illnesses, people who work an irregular schedule often have problems falling asleep when they are supposed to be sleeping or have excessive sleepiness while they are working.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing or has shallow pauses in breathing while sleeping. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur up to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing starts again after a pause, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. This disorder is quite common in children.
Teeth grinding or clenching
This is the unconscious clenching or grinding of teeth, often occurring at night, that can interrupt sleep.