Sleep Disorders

About Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect sleep quality, timing, or duration. These conditions, classified by six groups, generally affect a person’s ability to function while they are awake. The six categories of sleep disorders are:

Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders

Conditions in which the sleep times are out of alignment. A patient with one of these disorders does not follow the normal sleep times at night. (e.g. jet lag, irregular sleep-wake rhythm, advanced sleep-wake phase)


This type of sleep disorder involves the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. (e.g. short sleeper, insomnia)

Hypersomnias (or Excessive Sleepiness)

Hypersomnias are a group of sleep disorders that causes a person to be excessively sleepy. People with a hypersomnia may fall asleep at times that are inconvenient or even dangerous, such as at work or while driving. (e.g. narcolepsy, Kleine-Levine syndrome, long sleeper)


A group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping, or waking up. (e.g. sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, sleep talking, sleep terrors)

Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders

Sleep disorders that involve difficulty breathing during sleep are classified as sleep-related breathing disorders, e.g. snoring, groaning. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common disorder of this type; however, there are a number of variations of sleep apnea.

Sleep-Related Movement Disorders

This classification of sleep disorders includes conditions that cause movement during or prior to sleep. These disorders can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, or to get restful sleep. (e.g. restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements, bruxism)


If you suspect that you suffer from a sleep disorder, it is important to pay close attention to and record your sleep habits. Our specialists will consider factors that may affect your sleep such as medications, caffeine intake, stress, and lifestyle disruptions. Some patients may require further tests to observe their heart, brain function, and breathing during sleep. Neurological and cardiovascular activity during sleep may hold the answer to why there is trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.


Treatment for sleep disorders will vary according to the diagnosis and cause.