The Major Types of Sleep Disorders Explained

How much sleep is enough varies from person to person, but many adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Getting adequate sleep is vital to help you stay healthy and function at your best. Beyond making you tired, inadequate sleep can affect your physical and mental health and daily functioning. While sleep is important, sleep disorders usually disturb your normal sleep patterns. Below are some of the most common sleep disorders San Diego, including their causes and symptoms.

Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that causes a tingling or prickly sensation in your legs, resulting in an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. The uncomfortable feeling typically happens in the evenings or nighttime when you are resting or lying down. Restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep and interfere with your daily activities. It can begin at any age, but this sleep disorder generally worsens as you advance in age.

The cause of restless legs syndrome is often unknown, but researchers suspect it could result from an imbalance of dopamine, a brain chemical that sends messages to control muscle movement. Many people with restless legs syndrome find relief with simple self-care steps and lifestyle changes. Sometimes doctors recommend medications to help alleviate RLS symptoms.


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder characterized by the inability to fall or stay asleep. It can also cause you to wake up too early and find it hard to get back to sleep. As such, you may feel tired when you wake up. Besides sapping your energy level and mood, this sleep disorder affects your health, work performance, and quality of life.

At some point, many adults experience acute or short-term insomnia due to stress or a traumatic event; this usually lasts for days or weeks. But for chronic or long-term insomnia, the symptoms could last for a month or more. Sometimes insomnia is the primary problem, but other times it may be associated with medications or other medical conditions.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops repeatedly and starts, preventing you from enjoying the deep, restful sleep phases. Snoring is a classic symptom of sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has this sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form; it occurs when your throat muscles relax, narrowing or blocking the airway.

Central sleep apnea is a less common form that occurs when your brain does not send proper signals to muscles that control breathing. Although rare, some people may have complex sleep apnea syndrome; this means one has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.


Hypersomnia is characterized by extreme daytime sleepiness despite having an adequate amount of nighttime sleep. The inability to stay awake and alert during the daytime challenges your work, home, and social life. Primary hypersomnia means that the disorder is its condition and doesn’t result from other medical conditions. But secondary hypersomnia means your excessive sleepiness is due to a known cause, including medications, alcohol, or a medical condition.

Visit your healthcare provider at MindSet for diagnosis and treatment to enjoy your eight hours of sleep.

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