Insomnia and Sleep Apnea Sleep Disorders

Insomnia and Sleep Apnea Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorder is a term used to refer to conditions that affect sleep timing, duration, and quality and affect the individual’s ability to function properly when awake. Sleep disorders tend to lead to other medical issues and some may signify underlying mental health problems. The American Sleep Disorders Association published the first classification for sleep disorders in 1979. However, the understanding and knowledge of sleep health have transformed tremendously in the last four decades. Over 100 specific sleep disorders are known today and today’s classifications are based on criteria such as symptoms, causes, physiological effects and other criteria. Common signs of sleep disorders include difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying awake during daytime, circadian rhythm imbalance, and unusual behavior that disrupts sleep.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterized by the recurring difficulty to remain or fall asleep despite the means and motivation to do so. Individuals that struggle with insomnia tend to encounter excessive sleepiness during the day and other cognitive impairments when awake. Insomnia is deemed chronic when the patients show the symptoms for a minimum of 3 times a week for 3 months (Patel, Steinberg, & Patel, 2018). According to recent statistics, one-third of adults grapple with some form of insomnia. Causes of insomnia include poor sleep habits, stress, eating a lot in the evening, and -tight work schedules. Other causes include post-partum and PMS. Symptoms of insomnia include having worries concerning sleep, waking up at night, having a hard time falling asleep, increased accidents, waking up too early, difficulty focusing, not feeling rested after sleeping, irritability, and daytime tiredness.

Sleep apnea is a sleep-related sleep disorder that takes place as a result of a blocked upper airway. People that have the condition wake up gasping for air or choking. Sleep apnea is also characterized by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, like other sleeping disorders is caused by excessive fatigue and daytime dryness and numerous cognitive impairments. Sleep apnea is categorized into obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Sleep apnea is associated with other health issues such as heart disease and PTSD. Additionally, a link has been established between teeth grinding and sleep apnea.

Understanding the negative effects of insomnia on the mind is important. Sleep deprivation disrupts normal body and brain functioning. When one is sleep deprived, it means that they are not getting a sufficient amount of sleep. The average adult needs between seven to nine hours of daily sleep for optimal functioning. Lack of sleep especially affects cognitive functions. Insufficient sleep causes mood swings, sleep deprivation, headaches, and judgment and memory impairment. Lack of sleep also tends to cause clumsiness, weight loss, and weight gain. The effects of sleep deprivation on the brain vary depending on whether one is partially sleep deprived or total deprived. Partial sleep deprivation is when one sleeps for insufficient amount of time to rest. It goes unnoticed until the buildup of sleep deficit. Sleep deprivation has arguably dangerous and life-threatening effects. Partial sleep deprivation causes impaired and slower thinking in the prefrontal cortex (Rundo, 2019). This part is responsible for higher functions such as executive function, language, and creativity. Total sleep deprivation is when a person an entire night without sleeping. A person’s ability to finish tasks with accuracy and speed decreases with sleep deprivation. In a clinical setting, knowledge about sleep deprivation is important in helping clinicians understand their patients’ health problems and recommend the necessary help.


Patel, D., Steinberg, J., & Patel, P. (2018). Insomnia in the elderly: a review. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14(6), 1017-1024.

Rundo, J. V. (2019). Obstructive sleep apnea basics. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 86(9 Suppl 1), 2-9.

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