If your throat structures are too large or the muscles relax too much during sleep, the air passage may be partially blocked. As air from the nose or mouth passes around this blockage, the throat structures vibrate and rattle against each other, causing the familiar sound of snoring. At times, this sound can be so loud that snoring wakes up others, or even themselves, during the night. Snoring gets worse as more and more of the air passage is blocked.
Periods of sleep difficulty lasting between one night and a few weeks are referred to as acute insomnia. Chronic insomnia refers to sleep difficulty at least three nights per week for one month or more. About 30 – 40 percent of adults indicate some level of insomnia within any given year, and about 10 to 15 percent indicate that the insomnia is chronic and/or severe. The prevalence of insomnia increases with age and is more common in women.
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common than generally understood. First described in 1965, sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. It owes its name to a Greek word, apnea, meaning, “want of breath.” There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respiration. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person’s nose or mouth even though efforts to breathe continue. Read more about it here.
The term “parasomnia” refers to a wide variety of disruptive sleep-related events. These behaviors and experiences occur usually while sleeping, and are most often infrequent and mild. They may, however, happen often enough or become so bothersome that medical attention is required. Read more about it here.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder includes involuntary movements in the legs during the night while the person is asleep.
Narcolepsy is defined as excessive daytime drowsiness in addition to the desire to sleep at inappropriate times. People with narcolepsy often fall asleep during stressful situations and are not refreshed with any amount of sleep. Read more about it here.
Restless Leg Syndrome
As the name suggests, this disorder primarily affects one’s legs, but it can also affect the arms. It is not related to other emotional or psychiatric disorders. The experience of RLS usually involves “creepy” sensations that occur in the legs or arms when sitting still and especially at bedtime. It is very different from the feelings associated with a limb “falling asleep” when the blood supply is lessened. The pain and unpleasant feelings are usually in the calf muscles and can often be temporarily lessened by stretching and moving the legs. Read more about it here.