What Are Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders involve problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep that may impact and cause daytime distress and an impairment in functioning. About 70 million people in the United States suffer from sleep disorders, which oftentimes occurs due to a range of health-related conditions.

Causes, Types & SymptomsWoman covering eyes by alarm clock

Sleep Disorders can be caused by many conditions, diseases, and disorders that can cause sleep disturbances. In many cases, sleep disorders develop as a result of an underlying health problem. The causes of sleep disorders can include a combination of the following:

  • Medical
  • Physical
  • Psychiatric
  • Environmental
  • Working the night shift
  • Genetics
  • Medications
  • Aging

Some of the most common sleep disorders are:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Parasomnias
  • Periodic Limb Movement
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Narcolepsy

The symptoms for sleep disorders may differ depending on the severity and type. They may also vary when sleep disorders are a result of another condition.

  • difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • daytime fatigue
  • strong urge to take naps during the day
  • unusual breathing patterns
  • unusual or unpleasant urges to move while falling asleep
  • unusual movement or other experiences while asleep
  • unintentional changes to your sleep/wake schedule
  • irritability or anxiety
  • impaired performance at work or school
  • lack of concentration
  • weight gain

Get The Facts on Sleep DisordersStethoscope with sleep disorder sign

According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health

  • 50 - 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder
  • 48.0% report snoring
  • 25 Million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea
  • 40% of adults report unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once a month
  • 9-21% of women and 24 - 31% of men have obstructive sleep apnea

Problems Sleep Disorders Can Cause

Sleep disorders takes an emotional, physical, and mental toll, impacting every part of the human body. So, the importance of getting a good night's sleep is a pivotal component of maintaining your overall health. Below are some examples of how sleep disorders can contribute to health complications.

  • Daytime fatigue
  • High blood pressure or heart problems
  • Increased risk of hypertension
  • Increase your risk of recurrent heart attack and stroke
  • Increased risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Complications with medications and surgery
  • Liver problems
  • Sleep-deprived partners

Are You At Risk For A Sleep Disorder?

According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, more than 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder during the night. Many people with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea don't realize they have a problem or blame their symptoms on something else. The Howard University Hospital Sleep Disorders Center has provided a few signs to help you determine if you are at risk. Have you ever experienced any of the following:

  • Abnormal body movements during sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Frequently waking up during the night
  • Gasping or choking in your sleep
  • Sleep walk
  • Irritation near bedtime
  • Insomnia
  • Non-refreshing sleep
  • Waking up earlier than normal
  • Morning headaches
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Restless legs while laying down
  • Sleepiness when driving
  • Snoring

Stop Bang Screening

Take the Stop Bang Screening questionnaire, which will help make a determination if you have low risk, intermediate risk or high risk Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Schedule An Evaluation

If you are considered a high-risk candidate for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, one of the sleep experts at the Howard University Hospital Sleep Disorders Center is ready to speak with you at your earliest convenience. Call us at 202-865-2122 to schedule an evaluation.

Reach Out

Call (202) 865-2122 to contact the HUH Sleep Disorders Center.