You might think of sleep disorders as conditions that keep you from getting sleep or makes you sleep too much.
But you may not realize that there are dozens of unique sleep disorders recognized by the medical community.
Science is constantly evolving and new sleep disorders are discovered and classified often.
Currently, the official sleep disorder diagnostic manual, the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD), lists 6 major categories of sleep disorders.
Sleep Disorder Categories
The 6 major categories of sleep disorders include:
- Sleep Disordered Breathing
- Circadian Rhythm Disorder
- Sleep-related Movement Disorder
- Parasomnia Sleep Disorders
Continue reading to learn more about sleep disorders and their sub-categories.
1. Insomnia Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for you to get enough sleep.
People with insomnia typically find it difficult to fall asleep, wake up often during the night, or wake up earlier than they intend. This usually leaves the individual feeling tired the next day.
Types of Insomnia Disorders
Insomnia can be classified as short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) and further divided into the following four categories:
Can’t Sleep? The Comprehensive Guide to Insomnia
2. Hypersomnia Sleep Disorders
Hypersomnia is a collection of sleep disorders that abnormally increases the total amount of sleep needed by several hours. People with hypersomnia typically require more than 10 hours of sleep per night and yet still feel unrested the next day.
Individuals with hypersomnia also experience hypersomnolence, the feeling of extreme daytime sleepiness and usually have a strong urge to nap.
Types of Hypersomnia Disorders
There are five main types of hypersomnia sleep disorders:
3. Sleep Disordered Breathing
Sleep-disordered breathing, also known as sleep-related breathing disorders are characterized by abnormal respiration during sleep.
People with sleep-related breathing disorders tend to wake up often during the night due to reduced oxygen intake into the lungs. This leads to low quality and insufficient sleep, leaving the sufferer feeling excessively sleepy the next day.
Types of Sleep Disordered Breathing Disorders
There are seven main types of sleep-disordered breathing disorders:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Central Sleep Apnea
- Mixed Sleep Apnea
- Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
- Sleep-related Hypoventilation
- Sleep-related Hypoxemia Disorder
The Complete Guide to Sleep Apnea
4. Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Circadian rhythm disorders occur when there’s a dysfunction in your internal body clock that regulates biological processes on a 24-hour cycle. We call our internal clock ‘circadian rhythm’.
People with circadian rhythm disorders experience disruption to their sleep patterns. This means that they don’t sleep during normal night-time hours as dictated by our internal body clock.
Due to societal constraints of work, school, and social lives, individuals with circadian rhythm disorders must often reduce their total sleep duration, resulting in chronic sleep deprivation.
Types of Circadian Rhythm Disorders
There are six main types of circadian rhythm sleep disorders:
- Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder
- Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder
- Non-24-hour Sleep-wake Disorder
- Irregular Sleep-wake Rhythm
- Jet Lag Disorder
- Shift Work Disorder
5. Sleep Movement Disorders
Sleep movement disorders, also known as sleep-related movement disorders include conditions that cause abnormal movement before or during sleep. These disorders can be uncomfortable and make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Low quality sleep caused by sleep-related movement disorders usually leads to partial sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Types of Sleep Movement Disorders
There are seven main types of sleep-related movement disorders:
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Nocturnal Leg Cramps
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
- Sleep Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
- Sleep Rhythmic Movement Disorder
- Propriospinal Myoclonus at Sleep Onset
- Benign Sleep Myoclonus of Infancy
6. Parasomnia Sleep Disorders
Parasomnia disorders include any abnormality that occurs during sleep. Examples include sleepwalking, sleep talking, nightmares, and sleep hallucinations.
Parasomnias occur while you’re falling asleep, during sleep, or while you’re waking up.
Some parasomnias only happen during specific phases of the sleep cycle, Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
Sufferers can develop a wide range of negative effects, including daytime sleepiness and a decline in mental health.
Types of Parasomnia Disorders
There are many types of parasomnia disorders that are classified into different groups. These include:
NREM Parasomnia Disorders
- Confusional Arousals
- Night Terrors
- Sleep Walking
- Sleep-related Eating Behavior
- Sleep-related Sexual Behavior (Sexsomnia)